These Location Intelligence Solutions Are Optimizing Last-Mile Delivery
Reliably delivering a restaurant order to a customer’s doorstep in 15 minutes or less takes more than dedicated couriers and a speedy fleet of electric bikes. As the ultrafast delivery craze heats up and consumer expectations continue to rise, delivery startups are leaning into sophisticated location intelligence software to help optimize operations and enhance customer experiences.
Online food delivery is a $26.2 billion market with an anticipated 12.5% annual growth rate between 2022 and 2027. Key players like DoorDash, Delivery Hero, Postmates, and Deliveroo are competing on price point and speed. But with signs of an industry correction looming and price points beginning to rise, delivery startups are shifting their focus from rock-bottom prices to lightning-fast speed.
Advanced location intelligence software combines artificial intelligence and street-level mapping data to help startups predict customer buying patterns and stage inventories in the right locations — e.g. ghost kitchens — using prediction algorithms and real-time sales metrics. Location intelligence software firms are also taking advantage of traffic data, weather information, and consumer behavioral data to help last-mile delivery companies streamline operations in today’s tough business environment.
Here are five location intelligence firms to watch in 2022.
5 Location Intelligence Solutions for Last-Mile Delivery
Transerve has developed location intelligence software that optimizes delivery operations for food-tech companies, with an emphasis on enhancing customer experiences. The company provides access to cloud-based tools that delivery firms can use to track real-time traffic, order prep times, and delivery efficiency within their own organizations. In major cities, grids can also be setup through Transerve to track buyer categories like affluence, buyer personas, food preferences, and risk levels. By coupling location intelligence with artificial intelligence algorithms, Transerve is able to predict customer buying patterns and stage inventories in the ghost kitchens nearest to where demand is likely to be highest at any given time.
Mapbox offers a straightforward location solution for delivery startups that need help designing distribution networks and dispatching couriers efficiently to maximize fleet utilization. A mapping and location technology provider above all else, Mapbox works with clients like Instacart, Delivery Hero, and Cornershop by Uber. It provides movement data that delivery firms can integrate with their own proprietary data to create map-based market insights and identify optimal locations for physical build outs, like ghost kitchens. Once orders start coming in, an API is used to optimize the matching of delivery resources with actual locations at scale. Mapbox’s optimization algorithm is unique in its ability to identify the best route, sequence, and boundary conditions for any given set of deliveries.
Esri is one of the most well-known providers of GIS mapping software on the market. The company’s location intelligence solution is powered by GIS technology, with tools like asset tracking and the ability to monitor resources and operations in real-time. Analysts can use Esri’s software to combine different types of data, including demographic data, customer relationship management data, and supply chain information. Esri provides delivery and logistics startups with digital dashboards that combine location intelligence and all operational data for real-time insights that minimize delays and keep couriers on schedule.
LogiNext‘s logistics and field workforce management solutions are automated and secure, so on-demand delivery companies can track couriers and transportation fleets (like e-bikes and vehicles) through a single map interface. LogiNext’s’s software can also be setup to plan schedules, delivery routes, and capacity. Algorithm-enabled location intelligence tools automate delivery route optimization with predictive ETA calculations and real-time change consideration for drivers. A connected delivery associate planning app can also be integrated to match courier location movements with tasks, like pay-outs based on miles traveled or time taken for a delivery to be achieved.
CARTO’s cloud native location intelligence platform finds “spatially optimized supply chain solutions” for on-demand delivery startups like Postmates and delivery.com. CARTO identifies optimal routes for drivers that take variables like road conditions and driver profiles into account. The approach reduces delivery times and carbon footprints for delivery companies. Advanced visualization tools allow users to see fleet assets — like bikes or vehicles— and optimize their couriers’ activities using data streams like traffic and weather. CARTO has compiled an enormous library of datasets across categories, which delivery and logistics startups can license and use as they develop their own business growth strategies.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.