Supply Chain Analysis
First mile, middle mile, and last mile logistics are all widely used terms in the logistics industry. Additional terms used as part of the first mile concept include Transportation Management Systems (TMS), end-to-end visibility, and Industry 4.0.
First mile, middle mile, last mile logistics
- According to DHL, first mile is a concept widely used words in the logistics industry. It signifies the "movement of products from a production facility to a warehouse or courier managing delivery to the end user."
- The "first mile" concept is currently considered to be a concept in the logistics and packaging industry as companies look for new ways to achieve greater efficiencies as well as reduce costs in a growing competitive environment.
- Middle mile delivery is a concept which is used as a standardized term in the logistics and packaging industry, and it signifies the point of the logistics process where the parcel travels from port to distribution center, distribution center to another distribution center, or distribution center to store, with end-customers never being the receiver of middle mile deliveries.
- Last mile delivery is also considered to be a widely used concept in the logistics industry. It signifies the final step of the delivery process at which the parcel is due to arrive at the buyer's door.
- On top of being a crucial part of the logistics industry process, last mile delivery is considered to be the most expensive and time-consuming area of the logistics process with the last mile delivery costs compromising 53% of the overall logistics costs.
Additional first mile concept terms
- First mile concept is based on introducing cloud-based Transportation Management Systems (TMS) that allow companies to reduce or completely drive inefficiencies and costs out of the "first mile" while simultaneously increasing transparency and profitability.
- "End-to-end visibility" refers to retailers trying to find ways to fulfill online orders from a store instead from the warehouse, with their store locations in this case doubling up as distribution centers. End-to-end visibility is a concept which allows retailers "turn first time in full delivery and effective utilization of assets and resources into reality in order to keep costs under control and proactively manage all the steps in the process."
- "Industry 4.0" is the term which is often linked to the first mile concept as the first mile concept gets merged with the idea of the last mile concept into a first mile last mile hybrid where companies are looking to enhance production and efficiency or solve operational issues by investing into big data to find ways to tweak their logistics systems.