At a conference in Brussels, Thomas Stroo, the head of logistics at delivery startup HelloFresh, highlighted the company’s success in creating a lean and centralized supply chain that can be micro-controlled from the farmer to the consumer’s kitchen. HelloFresh delivers over 80 million meals each month. In the Benelux region, HelloFresh runs 600 refrigerated delivery vans.
Cyclical supply chain
With HelloFresh, the supply chain is cyclical as it starts and ends with the customer. Customers go to the app or the website and choose the dishes they want to cook for the week, after which the company moves to source ingredients from its producers. “We source the exact quantity that we need to fulfill our customer’s orders, we put them in boxes, and we deliver it. It’s a faster and fresher supply chain, and there is little to no food waste in the entire supply chain,” said Stroo. “We remove all barriers to eating fresh and high-quality meals at home. People don’t need to worry about what to eat on their way home, don’t need to do grocery shopping, but still can make great meals from scratch themselves.”
HelloFresh uses connected fleets for last-mile delivery, which have to be expedited and delivered across precise time windows. Connected fleets provide HelloFresh with full visibility into last-mile movement, which can be relayed to the customers via track-and-trace notifications.
Gathering last-mile data from hundreds of thousands of deliveries has helped HelloFresh fine-tune its routing algorithms to even reflect on the time needed for a delivery stop, based on several parameters like traffic conditions, locality, and availability of parking spots. “For instance, if you have a big house where parking is easy, then the driver needs less stop time. But if it’s in the center of Brussels, the driver will need to find parking spots,” said Stroo to FreightWaves.
The in-route visibility helps HelloFresh to check on driving behavior like speeding, idling and even instances when drivers maneuver backward every time they turn on the engine. The temperature is monitored to make sure it sustains a steady temperature of 0 to 4 degrees Celsius as it is critical to food safety standards.
HelloFresh analyses the delivery time windows it offers, which are set in place based on inputs from its customers. For instance, a 6:00 pm delivery slot was introduced recently after HelloFresh understood that a certain percentage of its customer base was hoping to cook dinner on the same day they receive their box.