This Is No Time For Delivery Address MistakesMay 13th, 2020
With Demand for Home and B2B Delivery Through the Roof, Getting it Right First Time is Critical for Couriers and Drivers to Keep up With Customer Needs
Amazon hasn’t released any figures describing the peak in demand for direct deliveries as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, but some sources are saying it’s as much as 50 times the usual level in categories like grocery. Supply chain operations, both in-house and specialist, are under enormous pressure as consumers look for ways to have goods delivered that they would once have gone out to choose and transport themselves.
Warehouse and delivery drivers are designated as key workers, but they’re still vulnerable to going off sick or self-isolating. This inevitably reduces capacity in transport operations, however fast companies seek to recruit extra staff.
Route Planning Accuracy is Vital
In times of exceptional demand, logistics operators need to squeeze every ounce of efficiency and accuracy from their route planning systems. One area of focus is making sure that drivers and couriers don’t have to waste time hunting for the right doorway in multi-occupation buildings or struggling to gain access to delivery addresses because of route restrictions.
Today, most operators can make sure they have complete and verified postal addresses for each delivery. Ordering platforms don’t allow customers or clerks to leave mandatory address fields blank. Immediate, online postcode verification flags up incorrect details and requires them to be corrected before the order can go through.
On the road, postcode centroid points on digital maps show the centre point of a polygon that contains all the addresses within that postcode. This works fine for most standard residential and commercial addresses where there’s a single, clearly visible point of access per address from an unrestricted roadway.
Granular, Premises-Level Data Saves Frustration and Time
Experienced drivers are of course accustomed to using their initiative to locate an obscure delivery point or address if necessary. But it can take time and cause delays to planned schedules. That causes frustration to drivers as well as customer recipients.
Routing software needs to be more accurate behind the scenes to produce an exact front door co-ordinate when the topography is more complex. For example, residential flats or housing complexes, multi-occupation office buildings, small business parks, industrial estates or densely arranged addresses within pedestrian areas or with restricted vehicle access. That’s where premise-level geocoding comes in, showing the precise physical location of the entry point for delivery.
There’s a further level of detail which is incredibly useful at premises level. AddressAnalytix data can provide details about the type of building and the route it’s on, including relevant information such as red routes or parking restrictions. Applied to routing software, drivers will receive more accurate instructions about how to navigate their vehicle to the nearest and most suitable point to make the drop.
With this level of information, transport planners can refine their time estimates for each delivery, helping to keep rounds on track. It’s even possible to analyse historic drop data from telematics tracking or PoD software, building up an even more precise model of the actual time required for different types of delivery in different areas, to different categories of address.
The Time Saved Could Free Up Meaningful Capacity to Meet Delivery Demand
Depending on the size and type of goods transported and the kinds of addresses most often taking delivery, sending drivers accurately to the correct drop point can save substantial time on a round. One of our retail clients calculates that getting it right first time with premise-level address data has saved them an average of 30 seconds per drop. Factoring that up – across more than 2,000 vans operating between 7am and 11pm on multiple shifts – our client has released 50 extra hours of capacity per week. This kind of efficiency gain means being able to deliver to many more households or organisations in a day or week as well as helping to strengthen profit margins on delivery services.
In these pressured times for delivery and supply chain, such an increase in capacity would be of immense value to beleaguered consumers and business customers as well as organisations trying to get their goods out to where they’re most wanted and needed. It would also help delivery operations optimise the capability of the drivers they have available while decreasing their frustrations on the road. For the logistics sector, these are welcome and commercially beneficial outcomes in more normal times as well as in this period of unprecedented demand.
If our logistics data team’s knowledge could help you improve delivery efficiency with route optimisation or enhanced address data at this pressured time, we would be glad to offer any immediate advice and support we can. Please get in touch with one of our specialists. They can also help with specific enquiries about Truckstops routing software or using premises level geocoding and AddressAnalytix.