The Last Mile

Ron Dombrowski August 7, 2019

In Wikipedia, the definition of the last mile is "Last mile is a term used in supply chain management and transportation planning to describe the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination in the home."

When doing some reading on this topic, I ran across this stock image that pretty much sums it up:

Last Mile Puzzle

The last mile is really the intersection of a few practices:

  • Transport – how someone or something is moved to its final destination.
  • Delivery – the arrival at the final destination and either delivering goods or providing a service
  • Logistics – all of the upstream work done to get the product or service ready for the movement to the final destination
  • Service – how that movement is performed (on time, as promised, etc.)

Maybe someday, a person at the final destination will be convinced to do their own pickup (like at an Amazon locker), or technology will improve and the sky will be filled with drones and the street filled with robots making those deliveries.

But, in the end, services will still require a person to do work for another person, and anything other than a lightweight package will still be delivered to the door.

Is the future the outsourcing deliveries to non-professionals? One of my neighbors recently told me that she got a delivery from someone who pulled up to her house in an unmarked car and took a box from the trunk and dropped it on her doorstep.

But what is the reliability of the non-professional? As more companies use non-professionals, will there be a time that you can’t get a delivery done in time to meet a customer commitment?

There are many questions for the future, but in the meantime there are last mile solutions that consider different methods of delivery and can effectively route the delivery vehicles in such a way as to minimize the costs of delivery, and can drastically reduce the time needed to do such planning.

Visit us at Strategic Movements and see how Strategic Movements can reduce the cost of last mile route planning and the overall transportation costs, as well.

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