First Mile vs Last Mile Trucking

First mile vs last mile trucking-1

When it comes to moving stock or equipment across the country, often the very first mile and the last mile are where delays and challenges are met.

However, there are ways to prepare for these hurdles and make moving stock or shipments as efficient and seamless as possible. Read on to find out more.

What is First Mile and Last Mile Delivery?

The first mile of any delivery is defined by the journey from the retailer to the courier or shipping company that will take on this task.

The last mile refers to the movement of goods from the shipping company or transportation hub, to the intended delivery address. This might be a residential address.

When considering the journey many goods will face, from California to New York, for example, these first and final steps are easy to overlook, but should not be underestimated in terms of importance, planning required, or cost. It’s important to remember that long journeys are often more simple and hazard-free than shorter journeys in busy cities with multiple stopping points. In fact, last mile delivery can account for 28% of the cost of shipment. Customers are expecting more efficient turnaround times when it comes to delivery and businesses are under pressure to keep up with demand: seamless first mile and last mile delivery are therefore essential.

How Can I Improve My First and Last Mile Delivery?

There are various ways to tackle the cost of first and last mile delivery and improve efficiencies.


Find a transportation provider with multiple locations across the country. If a truck breaks down or an issue arises in the first or last mile, or mid-way through the journey, they’ll have a location close by to quickly reconcile the issue and complete your shipment.

New Technology

New technology means that shipping journeys can be tracked and analyzed. A professional 3PL or 4PL team should always be able to tell you where your shipment is. Analysis of routes can mean that those busy first and last mile journeys can continue to improve in efficiency as you gather more data.

Shipping Analytics

Analyzing data can help your team identify issues, bottlenecks and parts of the journey most in need of attention. A professional 3PL or shipping company will work with shipping analytics to improve processes and make every mile of your delivery seamless.

Autonomous and Robotic Delivery

Autonomous processes and robotics are just starting to enter the shipping industry. Even drones are now in use for the delivery of some small packages. Follow the progress of this new technology, its successes and drawbacks, so that when it becomes mainstream, you are ready to make the most of it. 

Choose a 3PL or 4PL Provider

For a seamless approach to first mile delivery, last mile delivery and every aspect of the shipping process, choose to work with a 3PL or 4PL provider who can also offer additional shipment and warehousing services for a complete, seamless journey. A 3PL or 4PL provider is also likely to benefit from having better technology, skills and industry knowledge, ensuring they can understand how every part of the journey fits together. Improving efficiencies will ultimately keep the cost of shipping down.

Contact Beltmann Integrated Logistics

Beltmann Integrated Logistics is here to assist with nationwide logistics management solutions, including transportation management, warehousing and more. Contact Beltmann Integrated Logistics today!


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