Home : There’s this thing called The Last Mile. – Robert Boyle – Medium

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There’s this thing called The Last Mile.

It’s the last leg of the journey from an online marketplace to your front door. It starts at a local distribution center, and ends when a human (or drone) drops off a package. It’s the most time-consuming and expensive part of the delivery process, and because we all expect same-day delivery nowadays, it’s a big concern for the tech and retail industries.

All of the players in this space are crowdsourcing their deliveries by connecting purchasers with local couriers. Amazon allows people with cars to sign up and deliver packages. Hitch connects purchasers with people willing to deliver packages on their morning commute. Walmart pays their employees extra to deliver orders on their way home from work. Postmates, Target, DoorDash, InstaCart and Uber are all players in this space.

The way I see it, the company that consistently treats their drivers the best will dominate the last mile. That is until they are put out of business by the company that figures out how to deliver packages via autonomous vehicles (or drones) at scale, first.

There’s another side to this story ; we aren’t going to leave our homes anymore.

I remember very well spending multiple hours on a Sunday afternoon going with my Mom to get groceries. There was always traffic, and it was far, and you had to wait in line, and there was more traffic on the way back. For better or for worse that’s an experience that I’ll never share with my kids. We will only ever leave our home for events. The days of going somewhere, simply to pick up physical objects, will be a distant memory.

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