Flexible Delivery gains momentum in logistics

Online shopping makes shopping more relaxed – it can be done from the com-fort of your sofa and without the stress of going into town. It only becomes more complicated when the goods are delivered and this is often the case. If you are not at home, will your “favourite neighbour” accept the delivery? Or will you have to make your way to the local branch of the delivery service?


However, apart from the inconvenience for online purchasers, abortive deliveries also signify real costs for logistics services providers and clog up city streets. Online retailers and logistics companies are therefore experimenting with options for making delivery over the “last mile” more flexible.

Last year, the cooperation between Deutsche Post DHL, Amazon and Audi, which tested deliveries being placed in the boot of the recipient’s car, caused a stir. The campaign by the Swedish food retailer in collaboration with the logistics company PostNord and the smart lock manufacturer Glue also focuses on an electronic lock. Customers can open the door to their house or apartment for the person making the delivery using the Glue app. The groceries ordered are therefore delivered more or less directly to the fridge. In England, Barclay’s Bank is currently testing deliveries to packing-station-type systems in their branches in London. Should the test be successful, 1,500 branches in London could be equipped with the system in future. And in New Delhi, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is experimenting with deliveries to ten of its metro stations, allowing commuters to collect deliveries en route to and from work.

The various experiments show how rapidly solutions for the last mile of delivery are evolving at present. Given the particular challenges in cities, innovations in the area of city logistics are a matter of particular urgency for logistics service providers. Flexible solutions for deliveries in cities will become ever more important in future.

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