When discussing the aspects of the supply chain, the final mile commonly tends to appear in the conversation. What may be talked about less but is equally as important is the first mile. This can be described as the goods being moved from the producer or wholesaler to the courier. The courier is the carrier or the method of conveyance that transports the freight to the designated location. There are different components of the first mile to be mindful of when transferring goods in a supply chain.
Importance of the first mile
The first mile is usually known as the initial 120 days and sets the tone for the rest of the supply chain. Without proper attention to issues in the first mile, the issues may have a snowball effect and become larger problems for the rest of the supply chain. Before the goods even leave the original facility, the sellers should make sure that there are enough materials in the facility to create the necessary amount of goods to be sent to the customers.
Challenges in the first mile
Like other parts of the supply chain, there can be obstacles to be aware of. When cargo is transported out of the facility of origin, the packaging that is used must be strong enough to withstand long distances. This helps prevent the chances of your customers receiving damaged goods.
If your cargo is being transferred internationally, the correct paperwork needs to be sent to the customs of another country, usually done by a customs broker. Not sending the correct paperwork initially can lead to the freight being detained in customs for a certain period of time drawing out the later parts of the supply chain. That may look unfavorable to the customers of your company and lead to potential monetary loss.
How to have a strong first mile
One of the most crucial aspects of the first mile is having strong communication between all of the parts. This could include having a digital transmitting of all the required documentation to have quicker contact and to spot any issues in real-time. Planning ahead can also help lessen problems such as traffic and congestion. Having the correct labeling with all the required information on the packages being delivered to the courier can help lower delays as well.
It is important that the first mile is valued as much as the last mile and every other part of the supply chain. If you need assistance with any part of your supply chain including the first mile, contact us at 786-380-6277.