Delivering in a logistics crisis

The power of good data and deliveries

3 minute read
Now, more and more people are turning to online shopping. The pandemic and resulting lockdowns forced new audiences to embrace online shopping – and many have not looked back.
Man delivering parcel at door

It is expected that, by 2025, an additional £19.6bn will be spent on online home deliveries, as the ‘new normal’ of working from home leads a shift to ecommerce.

Between shopping, gift deliveries, food orders, and takeaways, logistics companies and retailers continue to be stretched, particularly around the festive period, and their challenges are further exacerbated by the current shortage of delivery drivers.

Late gifts lose customer loyalty

As orders surge while driver numbers wane, retailers are at risk of unhappy customers. Consumers may have forgiven slow deliveries during the height of the pandemic in 2020, but their expectations have returned to normal. In 2021, Royal Mail received more than a million complaints from householders due to delayed deliveries. Slow, missed, or late deliveries could easily lead to reputational damage – like a negative review on social media or a lost customer altogether.

To remain competitive, and stay ahead in an increasingly dense market, retailers need to optimise and innovate their delivery cycles, in order to win and retain new customers.

Whatever the organisation, whatever the sector, whatever the product; speed, efficiency, and accuracy are the top priority.

Delivery drivers and the data dilemma

Speed and efficiency are wholly dependent on accuracy. If a driver cannot find the right drop-off point for a parcel, they waste precious minutes, which can lead to further late or failed deliveries.

The reason for this is that underlying location data is often postcode-centric. In the UK, postcodes cover anything from 15 properties to 100 and vary widely in size – the largest postcode is 442km². Any drivers who are unfamiliar with a local area are faced with non-specific location data, which can lead to late or missed deliveries.

Moreover, some logistics companies encourage their delivery teams to use popular, mainstream digital map applications to find delivery addresses. While this works for some locations, these generalise to street ranges at best, leading drivers to entirely inaccurate streets or houses.

As well as harming the end-customer experience, and potentially risking the organisation’s reputation, these inefficiencies also impact the employee experience. Inaccurate data, confusing drop-off points, and time pressures can leave drivers feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.

Improve efficiency and efficacy with accurate data

There is a clear and present need for an addressing solution that provides accurate, local-level insights that can help to underpin decision-making. Certainty in a chosen delivery route is central to unlocking good customer and employee experiences. Customer expectations can still be achieved; drivers can feel more confident that their addressing solution is taking them to the right place via the most efficient route.

This can only be achieved through highly accurate, detailed, and dependable geospatial data.

Solutions underpinned by Ordnance Survey data use Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs) to represent the most up-to-date and accurate property and street location information. Through data matching and cross-referencing, geospatial solutions empower delivery drivers to efficiently plan their logistical decisions and better meet customer expectations, ensuring they find the correct address every time.

We work with several Partners who offer AddressBase solutions to improve logistical efficiency; find out more, and even choose the Partner that’s right for you.

Or if you’d like to learn more about our AddressBase products, and see how you can gain a competitive advantage, read our insight, 'The race to quicker deliveries'.

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By Sadie Harriott