The first and last mile……..



Transit of goods from pick up to final delivery  would involve several stages utilising several different modes which combined offer the best options to the customer and consider factors such as speed and cost 

We use the term first and last mile usually to refer to the locality where a consignment is collected (the first mile) and then the final delivery address (the final mile). It goes without saying that the distance , namely  a mile, is used loosely but merely indicates collection and delivery addresses for our purposes.

The core part of the route involving transport  from the town/city of origin to the destination  town/city is referred to by us as City Link another terms that could be used is inter city.  This is covered in more detail on another part of the site.... City Link 

The customer will inevitably want their goods collected promptly and be on their way with the minimum of delay so the first mile is so vital. How this is done will depend largely of the pick up location and accessibility.  It goes without saying that most city centres are hugely congested whilst some rural pick ups may be from remote locations. Therefore we have to utilise several options for example cycle and motorcycle/scooter couriers are often an advantage in busy cities as can be foot couriers. The conventional view of a couriers needs to be put aside and service providers must be flexible in their approach  and have a range of resources available to them to meet every demand. This is no where as daunting as it may seem but it does require the creation of a "pool" of  workers who are "on call" as and when needed.  See more about this in The part you play section.

So the phone rings with a job and collection is made promptly and the initial pressure is off  but of course  it is just the beginning  as the chain of delivery needs to be fluent. The last mile is essentially a mirror version of the first mile.

Some service providers may use just one person to complete every part of the transit from beginning to end similar to that of the express same day couriers and it would just be the mode of transport that will differ. There will be situations where  a service provider elects to undertake just the first or last mile delivery and this could involve linking with regional and local hubs. and This will ultimately involve the use of other network members to fulfill the other sections of transit. It may sound confusing but can be implemented without too much difficulty.

The parcel delivery service myHermes already operates a similar business model using local people as couriers for the first and last mile so this part of the concept is not new and well proven.

We envisage that "ownership"  of any job stays with the service provider who accepts the job at the point of origin and  it is their responsibility to ensure it's completion from start to finish including the use of other network members as and when needed.