The challenges of Technology in last mile deliveries

Antonio Mendez, Chief Technology Officer at Grupo Mox

It is nothing new to say that last mile delivery is experiencing exponential growth in recent years, boosted by the arrival of the pandemic and the rapid incorporation and adaptation of companies and new customers.

The role of technology in this context is fundamental. On the one hand, companies need platforms that can scale very quickly. On the other hand, these companies need to be capable of withstanding high peaks of work while adapt their capabilities to be used by a larger number of employees, both in the warehouse and couriers.

But once the scalability hurdle is overcome, the key factors that will make the difference for last-mile companies will be the quality of their deliveries and end[1]customer satisfaction.

With the incorporation of more customer typologies and the increase of purchases requiring last mile deliveries, the demand is growing, with waiting times that have to be shortened, but also looking for a factor of quality and peace of mind that allows the customer to know when and how her acquisition will be delivered by tracking the entire process.

In fact, it is becoming common practice for e-commerces to offer customers the possibility of choosing who will deliver their shipments based on their previous experiences, which means that efforts must be made to achieve the most satisfactory user experience possible. It is not enough to just deliver the order, we have to provide a service that satisfies the recipient.

In this process, technology plays a fundamental role to use all the resources available to improve the customer experience: proposing solutions to optimize the creation of routes, reduce waiting times, adapting routing options to the characteristics of the goods or the destination, and even the characteristics of the delivery vehicle. Optimizing algorithms and fine-tuning the geolocation system for shipments and delivery drivers is essential to achieve these objectives.

The implementation of urban hubs in the centers of large, dense cities is becoming increasingly important for last-yard deliveries, allowing goods to arrive more quickly and efficiently. Also the integration with the different smart mailboxes and convenience points where a customer can pick up or return packages closer to their usual home or workplace.

Having said that, we should not lose focus when it comes to environmental sustainability of our cities. Technology can offer solutions to reduce the impact of emissions from vehicles, not only by introducing new delivery models, through by-foot deliveries, assisted traction vehicles, or non-polluting vehicles, also by providing better routes and adapting the vehicle to the route type.

We are not only talking about reducing delivery time, we are also talking about helping to reduce traffic in the city, bad parking and accidents. Telemetry and the incorporation of new means of transportation such as drones, electric scooters or autonomous cars will be a technological challenge in the coming years.

This growth has caught many delivery companies with a technology deficit that has forced them to outsource solutions that do not fit their needs, but rather they have had to adapt to the requirements of the software.

This is something that at Grupo Mox has followed from the beginning: if we wanted to create one of the most important companies in last mile deliveries, with the capacity to scale exponentially in a short time and with the intention of continuing to grow in the medium and long term, the only alternative was to build our own software that would adapt to the day-to-day needs, built on the experience of our operations and in constant revision based on the contributions of our employees and customers. To sum up, we have developed an All-in-One (AIO) for all warehouse, delivery and customer service processes.

Thus, when we talk about growth, we are referring to both vertical growth in the number of orders and horizontal growth with the incorporation of other external carriers into our operations.

Being able to develop our own platform is a great experience as we incorporate on a weekly basis developments that make from our technology a better asset. To the date we have delivered tens of thousands of packages while testing the functionalities that our Product team has proposed. For that reason it soon came clear to us that our software ecosystem was powerful enough to be used by any company with the same needs as we have.

We are currently focused on expanding our communication channels with customers, moving from more outdated methods such as SMS and email, to much more immediate options such as instant messaging or direct communication with the incorporation of bots and automations that allow us to optimize the resources of customer service agents and reduce the number of interactions with customers, while improving the user experience.

We also aim to provide our hubs with the appropriate technology to be able to perform sorting tasks, incorporating sorters fully integrated with our system with dynamic capacity according to the volume and time of work.

Our turning point will happen once we have the software we need, extended fully integrated communication and user interaction solutions, and we have achieved high scalability, both vertically and horizontally, the next challenge is to use all the data we generate, applying Machine LearningL algorithms, to increase our quality and effectiveness to the maximum.

Creating even smarter routes and incorporating IoT into last mile delivery are also on our roadmap for the coming months.

Any large delivery company that intends to compete in the upcoming years must necessarily include technology as one of the fundamental pillars of its operations. This will be the difference between being able to compete in a market that is increasingly demanding and open to more possibilities.

Weekly Brief

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