The first mile challenge for a successful delivery

09 November 2021

The first mile challenge for a successful delivery

In the supply chain, last mile management is a key factor in optimizing urban delivery and customer satisfaction. As the last point of contact with the customer, the last kilometer carries great stakes and must be irreproachable. 

Less known than last mile delivery management, the first kilometer logic is nevertheless important and must be taken into account, especially because it is the first element and a basis of the logistics chain. It is a first condition for the smooth running of the rest of the process.  

In fact, it is obvious that poor management of the first mile makes the actions implemented for the last mile less relevant.  

First mile v. last mile 

When the customer places an order, we can consider that the first mile stage and its operations are set up until the order is handed over to the carrier for delivery to the customer

Before being handed over to the carrier (click&collect, Drive, shared Drive, etc.) - which defines the first operation of the last mile stage - the order can make several trips between warehouses and transit zones in the logic of the first mile. 


Depending on the sector, handling is different : 

  •  For the retailer, first mile can be illustrated by the products route from the supplier's warehouse to his own warehouse,
  • For the manufacturer, the routing of its finished products to the distribution centers.

First-mile deliveries are therefore generally voluminous (e.g. palletization and consolidation processes), while last-mile deliveries are more complex because they are customized to best meet customer expectations.

Here are some examples of first mile operations :


  • Picking. The order must be prepared as soon as possible after the consumer's request. No mistake must be made, as this would result in additional costs for the warehouse to prepare the order and would delay the rest of the process,
  • Consolidation and packing. Order control and consolidation, preparation of order information and labeling, 
  • Transfers. The merchandise may have to be moved to another warehouse, or remain in transit zones for a certain period of time before being handed over to the carrier,
  • Delivery to the carrier. The products leave the warehouse for delivery to the customer.

How to optimize the first mile: automation as a key element 

A good management of the first mile is a guarantee of a good realization of the logistic process until the arrival of the product or service in the hands of the customer. But it is also necessary to know how to make it competitive and profitable.

To do this, as soon as the order is placed no time must be wasted in transmitting information. A warehouse management software capable of integrating your external platforms, such as your online store, is an excellent means of communication to start picking as soon when the order is placed. 

In the same way, digitizing the exchanges between the warehouse and the carrier makes it possible to standardize delivery information, labels, order forms, etc. Thus, the shipping process is controlled and the last mile delivery is also optimized.

The first mile challenge for a successful delivery

The first mile challenge for a successful delivery

Monstock is an inventory and flow management solution that automates and digitizes your processes to make them easier. The Monstock team helps you customize the tool to connect your favorite integrations from the +3000 available. 

To learn more please : contact the Monstock team.

Sign up for our newsletter
Sign up for our newsletter today