Three little words to speed up city deliveries
AN INNOVATIVE ADDRESS APP THAT DIVIDES THE world into three-metre squares has been found to improve package delivery efficiency by 15%.
The what3words system, integrated into the onboard navigation system of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter operated by global logistics giant DPD, was put on a city delivery run in Nagold, Germany…
For comparison with a near-identical DPD Sprinter, doing the same run, using a traditional street address-based navigation system.
The test, which covered a city-wide route and involved around 50 deliveries, showed that the what3words system delivered a substantial improvement, thanks to its ability to provide more precise information….. on possible parking, for instance, and simply by detailing which building entrance to use.
The what3words system gives each 3m square in its global mapping tools a simple and unique address, comprising three dictionary words. This includes places where no regular street addresses exist, such as large industrial estates.
Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of what3words explains: “Street addresses for large sites like factories or exhibition halls rarely point to the delivery entrance, so drivers waste time looking for the right dropoff locations.
“This is frustrating for drivers and adds up to time and fuel inefficiencies for the company, as well as a poor experience for customers who might have late or missed deliveries.
“what3words’ precise addressing system helps logistics drivers who are unfamiliar with their delivery area to reduce time spent looking for exact delivery points and, with this particular test, it also gave them the exact parking spot closest to the delivery entrance as well, which is really crucial for last-mile deliveries that are completed on foot.”
The driver of the van using what3words showed an efficiency gain of around 15% - completing the deliveries over 30 minutes ahead of the van with the traditional addresses in its navigation system.
Eighty percent of its efficiency gain resulted from providing the what3words address for the optimal parking spot – reducing driving time and time spent searching for the parking spot. The remaining 20% of the gain came from having a what3words address for the precise handover point, reducing the driver’s time on foot.
The innovative navigation system provides more precise information