What does “last mile” mean in supply chain?

“Last mile” is a widely used phrase denoting the final step in the context of supply chain: the delivery of a product or service to the destination or end user. The term originated in the telecommunications industry, where connecting the last consumer or subscriber to the network posed an installation and infrastructure maintenance challenge.

In terms of business to consumer (B2C), last-mile delivery has been a topic of interest, especially regarding improved infrastructure and reduced costs. The pressure to fulfill last-mile delivery has increased over the years in global supply chains, which have started leveraging technology of supply chain platforms to gain competitive advantage.