First Mile

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What is First Mile?

The first mile in shipping underlines the process involved in picking up the product from a manufacturer to a nearby warehouse for processing. The initial mile is often used in place of ‘first mile’ to determine the process and highlight the distance. A first-mile delivery is followed by middle-mile delivery. 

Significance of First Mile in E-commerce Shipping and Delivery

First-mile delivery is considered the starting point of a shipping life cycle. Getting the first-mile delivery right is essential for the rest of the shipping cycle to follow suit.

  • Organized processes: A first-mile delivery does not necessarily provide any direct benefits. However, one must understand that the first mile has a domino effect on the rest of the shipping cycles.

    – In contrast, a well-orchestrated first-mile delivery might dictate the success of a great shipping cycle. However, a poorly coordinated first-mile delivery might disrupt the entire shipping cycle, disorient related warehouses’ inbound and outbound flow, and more. Such a situation increases the transit time and affects every involved entity in the delivery life cycle. 

Prerequisites of First Mile and How It Works

Once an order is received, a seller must initiate a shipping cycle with their partner shipping company. A pickup location is set up, and the shipping company coordinates the first-mile delivery. However, the listed information should be attached before handing the product to the shipping company.   

  • Origin address and destination address with the name of the sender and receiver 
  • A list that highlights the package’s content and the product’s value 
  • Bill of lading

Use Case with First Mile

A seller in Manila city initiates the shipping order with a courier company to ship a self-tanning kit to Sydney, Australia. The shipping company receives from the seller the bill of lading, which is attached to the product, along with the details about the receiver and the product. The first-mile delivery happens shortly after, and the product is shipped to the nearest warehouse. 

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