Last-mile innovation is necessary. E-commerce continues to grow rapidly, technological innovation is enabling new solutions, and consumers are getting used to all sorts of high-tech delivery methods. So, what are the innovations in last-mile in 2020 according to Fleet Europe? Here are a few of the US pilots, products, and services that are being piloted already, or will be introduced later this year.
1. Nokia delivery robot
At the end of 2019, Nokia started a pilot project using an autonomous delivery robot at its Paris-Sarclay campus. Through the first quarter of 2020, the robot, developed by the Last Mile Autonomous Delivery (LMAD) project, will test a software platform for delivery robots. The aim is to serve the entire campus, which is managed by Sodexo. Campus employees can use the robot to have parcels delivered, sparing them a trip to the central warehouse.
2. Dolly handles one order at a time
US-based chain Container Store is rolling out Dolly across the country. Dolly is a last-mile delivery service aimed at shoppers buying expensive items that are difficult to deliver, such as furniture.
3. Partnerships between delivery specialists
Convey, a provider of delivery experience management has launched ConveyPLUS, a network of partners offering last-mile delivery services. The network aims to help retailers who look for fast and efficient deliveries. Partnerships between companies in last-mile delivery will become increasingly prevalent, as they facilitate stability, quality, and predictability of service.
4. SaaS model for scalability and replicability
Foodkart, the largest food-delivery network in various Gulf countries, is working with GetSwift for a last-mile logistics platform that is offered as a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) model that promises to make last-mile logistics easily scalable and replicable, enabling further growth.
5. NextNav’s no-GPS solution for vertical localization
NextNav has developed the Metropolitan Beacon System, an indoor localization system that doesn’t require GPS to pinpoint smart devices (phones, drones, cars, etc.) to their exact location (including the right floor). Using cellular technology, the Metropolitan Beacon System is particularly useful for emergency services to figure out how many people are located on a given building floor, but the system also has commercial potential. The added vertical localization makes it an ideal tool for locating drones in last-mile deliveries.