Last Mile Logistics – Reinvented

Nov 6, 2018

During the NMW 18, the audience was able to gain insights into how to benefit from open platforms for the last mile, create more sustainable TCO optimised last-mile delivery experiences and learnt how to close the gap to fully driverless delivery applications.

Connecting the last mile through digitisation

Gunnar Gburek of TimoCom spoke about how to connect all supply-chain participants by making optimum use of the constant wave of digitalisation. Traditionally, the last mile would focus on transport from the retailer’s warehouse to the private customer, to the business customer, or to their own warehouse. Additionally, the last mile would include the transport directly to the B2C customer, such as cargo or deliveries to retail stores 

Consequences of this have been that producers now have to juggle service providers and connect more with every station along the supply chain. The better solution is to have a system with a direct interface for select contacts, and a web interface for the rest. This makes communication low-cost, flexible and convenient. 

Cost-effective Newspaper Delivery

Dr Harald Hempel of SMART DISTRIBUTION LOGISTIK presented their work with Praxter, a light EV that is being used for efficient deliveries (find out more in a previous blog post here). Initially, the focus was on newspapers and changing delivery methods in cities, making optimal use of space and delivery routes, as well as considering the time it takes to get out of a car and restart. By considering the time this takes and the parking issues delivery vehicles have, Dr Hempel estimated that there was room for a potential saving of €676.000.

They experimented with the amount and weight of newspapers going out on different days (eg. 170 on a Monday vs 381 on a Wednesday) to calculate the most efficient way of delivery, all in order to develop these small light electric vehicles, designed for a specific use that can go beyond the mere delivery of newspapers. 

Integrated Multifunctional Logistics Solution

Rytle’s MD Ingo Lübs kicked off his presentation with an overview of how the booming e-commerce market is at the heart of last mile problematics:

To quote Lübs, “every time you say the word “load”, it costs money”. Therefore Rytle is betting on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), where a combination of hardware and software solution can increase efficiency by up to 50%. Rytle provides such a solution as they combine customer and driver management with charging/service/maintenance, the handling of payment and billing, asset management, order management, IoT and fleet telematics, as well as route management. 

As Lübs said, “the enemy of transport is downtime”, so an integrated solution covers all possible aspects for the most effective use of transportation solutions. They are now working with UPS to aid in city logistics

Rytle is also a great example of accelerated growth: they needed only 18 months from idea to a fully integrated solution: 

e-commerce Rytle
e-commerce Rytle
Ingo Lübs of Rytle

Sustainable Last Mile Challenge

Connecting e-commerce Warehouses to Europe’s professional Bike Messengers

Imagine Cargo’s Mika Koopmann was on hand to present their alternative with cargo biked. Find out more in an interview we did with him here on the blog

Image Cargo targets the B2C package market in Germany and Switzerland (with a Total Available Market of €11.7B). As they are servicing all major urban areas resulting in a Serviceable Available Market of more than €1.5B. This is significant as the desire for same day and instant delivery are expected to reach a market share of 20-25% by 2025. Considering that there are 415.000 deliveries by fossil-fueled delivery vans in Berlin alone every single day, their solution with cargo bikes can’t be implemented far and wide soon enough. 

Digitising the Last Mile for Logistics

Maximilian Mayer of ParkBob explained how the smart parking market is also expected to reach $43B by 2025, with customers growing increasingly frustrated by lack of space, fines and fees, as well as congestion in cities where the average driver spends 43 hours looking for parking while emitting 338kg of CO2. 

Parkbob eliminated this with an on-street solution:

By reducing the parking search time through routing and planning the trip, they have had success in Vienna, Moskow, Berlin, New York and San Fransisco, and plan on being in 70 cities by the end of the year.  

On-Street Rytle
On-Street Rytle

Photo by Nabil Aiman on Unsplash