Talking Shop: Dynamic Routing, Driver Retention, AI and ML Solutions Shared at Home Delivery World

Woolpert was honored to sponsor and exhibit at Home Delivery World 2021 in Philadelphia last month. HDW is an industry-defining event for last-mile logistics that is dedicated to uncovering innovative supply chain solutions for retailers, grocers, consumer packaged goods and third-party logistics (3PL), who are facing challenges from warehousing to fulfillment. Companies from Target to XPO Logistics come together at HDW to learn and discuss innovation across home delivery, retail technology and ecommerce.

We had 40-50 companies visit our Woolpert booth over the event's two days and were able to make over 100 connections. Woolpert Senior Account Executive Jeremy Quam presented on GeoAwareness, Woolpert’s customer arrival tracking solution, and shared how Woolpert partners with Google to deliver geospatially advanced location-based solutions to solve daily challenges. 

As a customer success manager, I found the event to be invigorating. It enabled me to connect with clients face to face and hear how Woolpert has contributed to their growth and success, especially over the past 18 months. Five of our top logistics clients attended, two of whom had speaking slots. Hearing from their thought leaders enabled us to further understand and discuss their current and evolving business priorities.

We also got the chance to step back and learn about what everyone was seeing in current and projected trends within the retail logistics industry via multiple speaker sessions and roundtables. Here are a few of our key takeaways:

Many logistics companies are trying to solve for dynamic routing:

  • Target is taking its own approach to dynamic routing by implementing decentralized warehousing. The company’s keynote speaker explained that rather than having one warehouse, Target will utilize its 1,900+ store locations to house products. They found this approach to be more efficient because 75% of America lives within 10 miles of a Target store.
  • Dynamic routing is crucial to companies like Gorilla Logistics who have hopes of cutting delivery times down to 10 minutes.
  • The goal of these solutions is to efficiently run last-mile dispatching processes to decrease labor costs, optimize routes and identify of points of delay in current operations.
  • At Woolpert, we are building solutions that enable companies to dynamically assign several drivers to deliver packages within specified time windows.

Driver retention and satisfaction is a top priority for logistics companies during the pandemic, while retention has been low:

  • The first step in retaining drivers is ensuring they are set up for success with their job. Technology that is easily adoptable and intuitive can play a significant role in this.
  • Ameta Group International stated “40% of transportation and logistics companies are aggressively rolling out mobility and data capture solutions to the frontline workforce.” Data capture provides drivers with key information to drivers, such as real-time traffic and road weather conditions, while relaying information on driver speed and distracted driving to employers.
  • One of our clients, Point Pickup, expressed that “The biggest complaint for drivers is there is no predictability.”
  • We shared how Woolpert is developing machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions that integrate into existing workflows to prepare companies for next-level capabilities.
  • Google is improving optimization processes while developing transportation and logistics-based solutions that have made it the global leader.

The industry has acknowledged how COVID-19’s impact on the industry will continue to set new standards and processes moving forward. Attending events such as HDW enables those of us working throughout the industry to collect and share valuable insights to create and apply retail logistics solutions, which directly help our clients.

We will continue to watch and contribute to these trends and technologies as they expand and improve, and we look forward to sharing and discussing the next wave in 2022.

Sara Muller 

Sara Muller is a customer success manager with Woolpert’s Google team, providing location-based services for Google Maps, Cloud and Workspace. Sara has been with Woolpert for four years and works out of Nashville.