What Is The Last Mile? A Definition

Posted: 20 July, 2018
What is the ‘last mile’? On the face of it, it should be a fairly obvious answer. However although it’s often heard, a precise definition is hard to come by. In reality, ‘last mile’ has different meanings depending on the industry sector.Last_Mile_1

Hub To Home

The origins of ‘last mile' trace back to the advent of Cable TV and Internet. In this case, it refers to the portion of the network that physically reaches the end-user's premises.

But in the Transportation & Logistics industry, the term describes “the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination in the home” (see here). For instance, the ‘last mile’ refers to the portion of the route leading the local delivery driver from a supermarket’s distribution center to the customer’s home to deliver their weekend shop. In the context of public transport, the ‘last mile’ is the “provision of travel service from the nearest public transportation node to a home or other destination” (see here)

Then again, in the Postal & Parcel industry, the ‘last mile’ is the final leg of the journey a courier takes from the local postal hub to the recipient’s house to drop off their latest Amazon online order.

But there is also some debate in terms of the terminology...

Last Mile vs Final Mile

The two terms get used interchangeably in both North America and the UK. However, a quick Google Trends analysis reveals that ‘last mile’ gets searched for more than double the amount than ‘final mile’. The results for the UK look similar. Though this debate has been ongoing, the results make it clear that last mile is the term that resonates most with industry professionals, even though their 'miles' may be very different.

Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog to find out why the last mile is so important for the parcel delivery and trucking industry.


Tags: logistics trucking postal delivery last mile transport


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