Top 8 Last-Mile Delivery Companies of 2024 (Established + Startups)

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Last-mile delivery companies excel at efficiently transporting goods from distribution centers to end customers.
  • Some of the top last-mile delivery companies include Upper, FedEx, UPS, Purolator, Postmates, Instacart, Nuro, and Matternet.
  • Choosing the right last-mile delivery company involves considering factors like speed, coverage, cost-effectiveness, and technology integration.

These days, logistics managers, supply chain professionals, and e-commerce business owners are all actively seeking ways to optimize the final leg of the delivery process, known as last-mile delivery.

Why the sudden focus on last-mile delivery, you ask? 

Well, consider this – 

The global last-mile delivery market was valued at USD 146.81 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to USD 340.56 billion by 2032. This growth is largely driven by the increasing demand for online shopping after COVID-19.

According to a survey conducted by Statista, customers nowadays want their online orders delivered at lightning-fast speed, with 41% expecting delivery within 24 hours and 24% craving delivery in under two hours.

Last-mile delivery companies can only fulfill this demand for faster, more convenient, and cost-effective delivery options. 

But with so many last-mile delivery options available, how do you know which one is right for your business? 

That’s where our comprehensive guide comes in. 

In this guide, we’ve thoroughly researched and analyzed the top last-mile delivery companies based on key criteria:


  • Speed and reliability: Getting your customers their orders quickly and safely is everything.
  • Coverage: We considered companies that can reach your target audience, no matter where they are.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Keeping your bottom line healthy is essential, so we’ve focused on companies that offer competitive rates.
  • Technology: Real-time tracking and efficient route optimization are essential technologies for last-mile delivery, and we’ve prioritized companies that embrace such solutions.

So, whether you’re a logistics manager seeking to optimize your delivery operations, a supply chain professional looking to integrate last-mile delivery services, or an e-commerce business owner aiming to enhance the customer experience, this blog post has got you covered.

Here are the top 8 last-mile delivery companies and startups of 2024:

Company Started Founders Headquarters Best for
Upper 2019 Jeel Patel Brampton, Ontario, Canada Efficient last-mile delivery solutions and route optimization
FedEx 1971 Frederick W. Smith Memphis, Tennessee, US E-commerce and global last-mile delivery services
UPS 1907 James E. Casey Atlanta, Georgia, US Logistics, express courier, and freight forwarding services
Purolator 1960 Canada Post Corporation Mississauga, Ontario, CA Fast delivery in Canada, strong domestic network
Postmates 2011
  • Bastian Lehmann
  • Sean Plaice
  • Sam Street
San Francisco, California, US Quick take-out, groceries, on-demand deliveries
Instacart 2012
  • Apoorva Mehta
  • Max Mullen
  • Brandon Leonardo
San Francisco, California, US Essential home and grocery delivery services
Nuro 2016
  • Dave Ferguson
  • Jiajun Zhu
Mountain View, California Autonomous last-mile deliveries for instant and small parcels
Matternet 2011
  • Andreas Raptopoulos
  • Dimitar Pachov
  • Paola Santana
Menlo Park, California, US Healthcare, logistics, and e-commerce deliveries via drones

1. Upper

Information Details
Started 2019
Founders Jeel Patel
Headquarters Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Best for Businesses that require efficient last-mile delivery solutions and streamlined route optimization

When it comes to last-mile delivery, businesses need a reliable partner that can streamline their operations and ensure timely and cost-effective deliveries. 

That’s where comes the role of Upper – a specialized last-mile delivery company that provides solutions to businesses seeking to streamline their last-mile operations.

Upper’s core offering is its advanced route optimization software technology

Using sophisticated algorithms and real-time data, Upper generates the most efficient routes. It considers factors like traffic, delivery times, priority stops, delivery vehicle capacity, and other time and distance-based constraints. 

This approach minimizes fuel consumption, reduces last-mile delivery costs, and ensures that every mile driven is purposeful and worth it.

Upper route planning last-mile

Key strengths of Upper:

  • Effortless route planning and optimization: No need to spend hours manually planning routes because Upper optimizes delivery routes in just minutes. Whether you’re managing a handful of stops or hundreds, Upper’s advanced algorithms ensure the most efficient paths, reducing fuel costs and saving valuable time.
  • Seamless integration: Upper seamlessly integrates with existing business workflows. It allows companies to import delivery/customer data directly from spreadsheets or popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, eliminating manual data entry and reducing errors.
  • Flexibility: The user-friendly interface enables easy last-minute route adjustments, accommodating changes in delivery schedules or unexpected circumstances.
  • Automated dispatching: Upper simplifies dispatching with one-click driver dispatch and accurate driving directions. Through this, you can easily assign optimized routes to multiple drivers, ensuring efficient delivery schedules for your entire team.
  • Real-time visibility: Upper provides comprehensive last-mile tracking capabilities, enabling businesses to monitor delivery operations in real time. Dispatchers can track route progress, and customers receive timely updates.
  • Customer-centric approach: With features like proof of delivery (POD) and customizable customer notifications with accurate ETA, Upper ensures businesses can provide a seamless and transparent delivery experience, fostering customer loyalty.
  • Advanced analytics: Upper’s reporting capabilities offer invaluable insights into delivery performance, allowing businesses to identify areas for improvement and continuously optimize their last-mile operations.
  • Scalable solutions: Upper offers flexible pricing plans tailored to accommodate businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, providing scalable last-mile delivery software that grows with your business.

Miami, praised Upper’s user-friendly interface and efficiency, highlighting how it facilitated their expansion and improved customer satisfaction.

Chef Nicole Miami’s Efficiency Journey with Upper: A Last-Mile Delivery Success Story

Before Upper, Chef Nicole Miami faced challenges like:

  • Manual route planning
  • Duplicate address errors
  • Limited adaptability to real-time changes

However, Upper’s features transformed their operations:

  1. Streamlined route planning: Upper’s Excel import feature automated route planning, saving 10 hours weekly and completing tasks in minutes instead of hours.
  2. Enhanced accuracy: Upper’s duplicate address recognition eliminated errors and improved delivery efficiency.
  3. Real-time adaptability: Upper’s quick route adjustments prevented disruptions, allowing for seamless reassignment of routes in minutes.

The impact was significant:

  1. Weekly office work hours saved: 10 hours
  2. Duplicate address errors per week: Reduced to 0
  3. Time taken to adjust routes: Reduced to 5 minutes
  4. Routes managed per week: Increased to 90 routes
  5. Customer satisfaction: Increased to 96%

Nathaniel Pool, Managing Partner of Chef Nicole Miami, praised Upper’s user-friendly interface and efficiency, highlighting how it facilitated their expansion and improved customer satisfaction.

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2. FedEx

Information Details
Started 1971
Founders Frederick W. Smith
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, US
Best for eCommerce businesses that want to reach a global audience and for delivery services with primary products.

When it comes to last-mile delivery, FedEx stands out as a formidable player in the industry. 

As one of the largest logistics and shipping companies globally, FedEx is consistently adapting its last-mile delivery services to meet the evolving needs of e-commerce businesses and consumers.

After carefully reviewing FedEx’s offerings and capabilities, we believe the company is a top contender for businesses seeking a reliable and efficient last-mile delivery partner.

fedex

Here’s why:

  • Extensive network and coverage: With a global presence and investments in last-mile capabilities, FedEx ensures seamless deliveries worldwide, including Sunday residential services and large package handling facilities.
  • Speed and reliability: FedEx offers a range of time-definite delivery options, including same-day and next-day delivery, catering to the growing demand for a faster order fulfillment process. Additionally, their advanced tracking capabilities and proactive communication ensure customers have end-to-end visibility on last-mile operations.
  • FedEx Ground: Offering low-cost last-mile delivery services to businesses and consumers, including the launch of Sunday residential delivery for most of the U.S. population.
  • FedEx Freight Direct: Expanding residential and business freight delivery options, catering to bulky items with specialized handling.
  • Retail network: Extensive retail partnerships provide convenient pick-up and drop-off services at over 14,000 FedEx hold locations.
  • FedEx Delivery Manager: Empowering customers to customize their delivery schedules, redirect shipments, and leave instructions for drivers, enhancing flexibility and convenience.

FedEx’s commitment to innovation and sustainability is evident in its forward-looking approach. 

By investing in new technologies like electric carts for last-mile delivery and continuously expanding coverage for heavy-good deliveries, FedEx demonstrates a dedication to reducing environmental impact while efficiently reaching diverse markets.

3. UPS (United Parcel Service)

Information Details
Started 1907
Founders James E. Casey
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, US
Best for Logistics, express courier services, and freight forwarding services that prioritize reliability and comprehensive logistics support.

Tracing its roots back to 1907, UPS (United Parcel Service) has grown to become a global powerhouse in the transportation and logistics industry. 

With a presence in more than 220 countries and territories, the company handles an average daily volume of 24.3 million packages and documents, showcasing its unparalleled reach and capacity.

After a thorough evaluation of UPS’s services and capabilities, we confidently recommend UPS as a reliable partner for last-mile delivery. 

UPS

Here’s why UPS stands out:

  • Extensive features: UPS provides a range of features, including API integration, simple return services, delivery status notifications, cold chain solutions, and a dedicated customer service team. 
  • Technological advancements: UPS is at the forefront of technology integration in logistics. It has embraced AI, drone delivery, electric cargo tricycles, and other innovations to improve delivery efficiency and sustainability.
  • Market focus: UPS caters to a diverse range of industries, including tech, healthcare, eCommerce companies, and retail. Whether you need global or national shipping solutions, UPS offers services to meet your delivery business requirements.

As the last-mile delivery space continues to evolve, UPS has introduced a hyperlocal delivery service for fast next-day delivery options.  Additionally, the company’s acquisition of Delivery Solutions, a leading delivery orchestration platform, enhances its omnichannel delivery capabilities and showcases its commitment to innovative last-mile solutions.

4. Purolator

Information Details
Started 1960
Parent Company Canada Post Corporation
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Best for Speed within Canada, strong domestic network, commitment to sustainability, understanding of the Canadian market

Purolator, a Canadian delivery company, is renowned for its agility and speed in delivering packages within Canada and internationally. It stands out as a subsidiary of Canada’s postal service, using its extensive network and expertise in last-mile logistics.

We dug into their last-mile delivery services to see if they fit your business needs. 

purolator

Here’s what we found:

  • Fastest Canadian delivery service: According to research, Purolator offers the “fastest Canadian delivery” with their Purolator Express service. ShipMatrix, a proprietary software, examined transit times across FedEx, UPS, and Purolator and concluded that Purolator excels in delivering packages promptly, including to Canadian rural destinations.
  • Going green: Sustainability is a priority for Purolator. They’re investing heavily in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, aiming to electrify 60% of their last-mile fleet and over 60 terminals. They’re also committed to using renewable energy sources.
  • Range of services: Purolator offers a range of services beyond standard delivery, including large goods management, less-than-truckload service, and automated self-serve lockers. These offerings cater to businesses with diverse and unique delivery requirements.
  • Customer-centric approach: Purolator’s exceptional customer service team ensures seamless communication and support for businesses, enhancing the overall last-mile delivery experience for both senders and recipients.

Purolator excels in Canadian deliveries, but its international shipping reach is not as extensive as some competitors. This may be a limiting factor for businesses with a global customer base.

5. Postmates

Information Details
Started 2011
Founders Bastian Lehmann, Sean Plaice, Sam Street
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Best for Busy consumers who need easy access to take-out, groceries, or on-demand deliveries

Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, Postmates is a logistics and delivery platform that connects customers with local couriers for a wide range of on-demand services. 

From food and groceries to retail items and more, Postmates has established itself as a one-stop shop for quick and reliable deliveries in 2,490 cities in all 50 states of the United States.

postmates

Let’s delve into what makes Postmates a compelling choice for businesses and consumers alike:

  • Your personal delivery assistant: Postmates connects you with local couriers to fulfill your on-demand needs. This means you can use their user-friendly app or website to order anything from groceries and restaurant meals to everyday essentials.
  • Speed and convenience: Postmates boast an extensive network of couriers, allowing them to deliver your order within an hour in most cases. Plus, their 24/7 operation ensures you can satisfy late-night cravings or grab forgotten essentials anytime.  
  • A boon for local businesses: The platform allows local retailers to expand their reach and offer on-demand delivery to compete with larger chains. The “Shop” feature is a win-win, giving consumers more options and supporting local businesses.
  • Looking beyond food delivery: While Postmates started with food delivery, it has expanded its reach. It now partners with a wide range of stores, including pharmacies, restaurants, and grocery stores, offering planned deliveries to cater to various needs.

Postmates is a great choice for businesses seeking a convenient and speedy on-demand delivery solution. Its extensive network, user-friendly app, and 24/7 operation make it a great choice for busy consumers and local businesses alike.

However, if you need extensive national coverage or prioritize budget-friendly deliveries, you might want to explore other options.

6. Instacart

Information Details
Started 2012
Founders Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, Brandon Leonardo
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Best for Essential home and grocery delivery services

Instacart stands out as a last-mile delivery company specializing in grocery deliveries across major cities in the United States. 

Founded in 2012, Instacart is an online delivery platform that connects customers with personal shoppers who fulfill grocery orders from local stores and deliver them directly to their doorsteps. 

This personalized approach sets Instacart apart, offering a convenient and time-saving solution for grocery shopping.

We explored their service to see if it lives up to the hype and can become your go-to solution for last-mile deliveries.

instacart

 Here’s what we found:

  • Speed at your doorstep: Instacart prioritizes speed.  They offer same-day delivery services in most cases.  Plus, their expansive reach covers over 50,000 stores across North America, making it likely they deliver in your area.
  • More than just groceries: While groceries are Instacart’s bread and butter (pun intended), the Company isn’t limited to them. They’ve expanded their reach to include stores like Costco, Aldi, and Sephora, offering a wider selection of everyday essentials.
  • Constantly innovating: They’ve recently launched Instacart Health, a program focused on delivering food prescriptions and catering to specific dietary needs.  
  • A note on costs: While Instacart offers undeniable convenience,  delivery fees can add up, especially for frequent orders.  They also offer a membership option (Instacart+) that waives delivery fees for a monthly subscription.

If you crave convenience when it comes to groceries and everyday essentials, Instacart is an ideal last-mile delivery company. Their extensive reach, user-friendly app, and speedy delivery make them a strong contender.  

However, be mindful of delivery fees, especially if you order frequently.

7. Nuro

Information Details
Started 2016
Founders Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu
Headquarters Mountain View, California
Best for Ideal for e-commerce and food delivery services requiring autonomous last-mile deliveries for instant and small parcels

Nuro is an emerging player in the last-mile delivery industry. Founded in 2016, Nuro stands out as an autonomous delivery startup that has redefined the concept of delivery logistics. 

What makes Nuro unique is its approach to delivery—completely driverless. 

Yes, you read that right. Nuro doesn’t rely on delivery drivers; instead, it operates autonomous vehicles to fulfill delivery orders efficiently.

Nuro

Our review of Nuro reveals the following points about the company:

  • Focused on robots: Nuro’s custom-built vehicles are electric, compact, and designed solely for navigating streets and sidewalks to deliver packages safely. This eliminates the need for human drivers, potentially reducing shipping costs and emissions.
  • Safety first: Nuro’s vehicles are packed with sensors and cameras, allowing them to navigate roads safely and avoid obstacles. Nuro recently partnered with Foretellix, a leader in autonomous vehicle safety, to ensure their self-driving systems meet the highest standards.
  • Speedy deliveries, limited cargo: Nuro focuses on speedy package deliveries, but their vehicles have a limited cargo capacity, typically around 250 lbs (115 kg). This means they’re ideal for smaller deliveries like groceries, restaurant meals, or everyday essentials.
  • Big partnerships, big potential: Nuro has partnered with major companies like FedEx, Domino’s, and Kroger, showcasing the potential of autonomous delivery for various industries. Their recent collaboration with chipmaker Arm will lead to faster production of Nuro’s vehicles and a wider range for their self-driving robots.

Nuro’s self-driving delivery is undeniably innovative. However,  it’s still in its early stages. Their last-mile delivery operations are currently limited to specific geographic areas, and regulatory hurdles remain before widespread adoption.

If you live in an area serviced by Nuro and need contactless delivery for smaller items, it’s definitely worth trying. However, for larger deliveries or wider availability, you might need to look elsewhere for now.

8. Matternet

Information Details
Started 2011
Founders Andreas Raptopoulos, Dimitar Pachov, Paola Santana
Headquarters Menlo Park, California
Best for Healthcare, logistics organizations, and e-commerce companies requiring small essential deliveries via drone technology

Matternet stands out in the last-mile delivery crowd by taking a big leap through its drone delivery services. Founded in 2011, Matternet has swiftly become synonymous with efficient, fast, and contactless delivery services.

With a focus on drone delivery, Matternet has successfully established itself in the USA and Switzerland, offering delivery solutions for healthcare, logistics organizations, and e-commerce sectors.

Matternet

Our thorough evaluation of Matternet reveals the following points:

  • Product offerings: Matternet utilizes custom-designed drones, like the M2 model, to deliver goods. These delivery drones can travel up to 12 miles and carry a payload of 4.4 lbs (2 kg), making them ideal for smaller, essential deliveries.
  • Safety and security: Matternet’s drones are equipped with advanced navigation systems and fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), meaning they can operate without a pilot’s direct view.
  • Limited range: While innovative, Matternet drone delivery is still in its early stages.  Their current operations are limited to a handful of regions in the US and Switzerland.  
  • Partnerships: Matternet has partnered with companies like UPS to explore the potential of drone delivery for various applications. In 2022, they launched the world’s longest urban drone delivery route in Zurich, Switzerland, showcasing the potential for wider adoption.

Drone delivery with Matternet is undeniably exciting.  It offers a faster, potentially more eco-friendly alternative to traditional delivery methods.  However,  it’s still a developing technology with limitations.  

For now, Matternet is best suited for specific needs, particularly medical deliveries in areas where they operate.

Now Make Last-Mile Delivery Profitable

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Frequently Asked Questions

Last-mile delivery refers to the movement of goods from a distribution hub or fulfillment center to the final destination, which is usually a customer’s doorstep or a retail store. It is the final stage of the delivery process.

A last-mile delivery company specializes in transporting goods from a distribution center to end-users or retail locations. These companies focus on optimizing routes, ensuring timely deliveries, and managing the complexities of delivery networks.

Some of the top final mile companies include Upper, UPS, FedEx, USPS (United States Postal Service), Amazon Logistics, DHL Express, and USPS. These companies have established networks and advanced technologies for efficient last-mile deliveries.

A last-mile provider is a company or service that handles the final leg of the delivery/shipping process, ensuring that packages or goods reach their destination accurately and on time.

Last-mile delivery is often expensive due to several factors, including the need for specialized vehicles, labor costs for delivery personnel, fuel expenses, and the complexity of navigating dense city environments. Additionally, the high volume of individual deliveries and customer expectations for fast shipping contribute to the cost.

Some of the top emerging last-mile shipping companies include Upper, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Instacart, and Deliv. These companies specialize in food delivery, grocery delivery, and same-day package delivery services.

Top last-mile logistics companies and software platforms include Upper, Onfleet, Routific, Bringg, and ShipBob. These companies offer route optimization, real-time tracking, and other logistics solutions to expedite deliveries.

When choosing a last-mile delivery company, prioritize reliability, technology integration, and cost-effectiveness. Look for companies with a history of on-time deliveries and modern tracking tools. Compare pricing structures and scalability options while also considering customer feedback and sustainability practices.

Businesses face last-mile delivery challenges such as traffic congestion, cost management, and ensuring delivery accuracy to diverse locations. Meeting customer expectations for fast and flexible deliveries while balancing environmental sustainability is also a challenge. Real-time visibility into shipping operations and optimizing routes for efficiency are ongoing challenges in last-mile logistics.

The Last Mile: Conquered

The world of last-mile delivery is booming, and for good reason. E-commerce continues to soar, and customer expectations are high. This blog post revealed eight of the top last-mile delivery companies, each with unique strengths.

Whether you prioritize speed, eco-friendly solutions, or expansive coverage, there’s a last-mile delivery partner out there for you.  

From well-established options like FedEx and UPS to newer, tech-savvy companies like Upper, Nuro, and Matternet, each offers its unique blend of speed, cost-effectiveness, and innovative solutions. 

So, consider your business needs and explore these innovative companies to find the perfect fit.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.