E-commerce is here to stay, and with the tremendous growth in this industry comes a fundamental shift in shipping and delivery. The pattern of single trucks that deliver large shipments to a final, central location is being replaced by a dynamic system in which those large loads are fragmented, and goods are then delivered individually to end-users. This additional step in the delivery process is known as “last mile delivery,” although that final “mile” could be dozens of miles or just several blocks.

Last mile delivery is focused on delivering items to the single end user as quickly as possible, and it’s set to support both growth and increased profits for any shipper ready to take advantage of the trend. For fleet and repair shop owners, that can mean being prepared to deal with the consequences of stop-and-go driving and extended idling periods. Expecting these challenges and meeting them head-on will ensure a solid place in this quickly-growing market.

As shippers adjust to the new set of on-the-road demands entailed in last mile delivery, they are looking to smaller, more agile and fuel-efficient options than Class 3, 4, 5 or 6 vehicles. For those aiming to deliver smaller loads quickly, Dodge/Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter vans are a popular choice. For example, according to a Mercedes-Benz press release, Amazon Logistics placed an order for 20,000 Sprinter vans in 2018 – after an initial purchase of 5,000 vans. And Fleetio reports that smaller trucking companies are expanding their fleets by adding cargo and Sprinter vans in order to carry out e-commerce deliveries. For fleet owners, the Sprinter offers fuel economy, driver comfort, excellent handling and storage capacities, and many options for customization.

With the dramatic rise in Sprinter van popularity and utilization comes the necessity to service these hard-working fleet vehicles. The increased stress placed on all van systems means that downtime is almost inevitable. Yet downtime costs owners beyond the price of the repair, so getting back on the road quickly, with quality parts, is essential.

The driving patterns and overall high mileage entailed with last mile delivery can take a toll on the Sprinter van’s factory driveshaft. Rather than installing a new part that’s identical to the one that failed, the Spicer® driveshaft for 2002-2009 Sprinter vans is designed, engineered, and manufactured to serve as a virtually maintenance-free alternative. These front and rear aftermarket driveshafts from Dana provide the performance, reliability and durability of original equipment (OE) products – because Dana is an OE manufacturer. They are an ideal aftermarket solution, particularly for service shops with immediate uptime service programs. Since the driveshafts are pre-balanced, they offer a direct product swap without the need for a balancing machine. Spicer driveshafts for Sprinter vans are designed to be drop-in replacements, eliminating assembly time and meeting global aftermarket driveshaft requirements.

These driveshafts undergo rigorous balance testing to ensure maximum durability, safety and performance. As the global leader in driveline technology, Dana provides the parts that drive the aftermarket vehicle industry – and that help you deliver to the last mile.

For more information on this or any other Spicer driveline product, visit SpicerParts.com