DTDC’s last-mile transformation through AI

In the courier business, speed, accuracy, and efficiency are core principles to live by. With multiple competitors fighting over a single market, like India, for example, innovation is key to survival.

For Bengaluru-based global courier DTDC, which operates in 14 countries, its last-mile component is a crucial area for tech investment.

“DTDC aimed to further make its delivery process more visible to the end customer, digitise the package handling processes, and ensure efficient partner management,” said Abhishek Chakraborty, Executive Director, DTDC Express Ltd.

Knowing that in this age of smartphones and mobile apps where a quick negative review can hurt a business, the logistics firm quickly looked for a tech partner that can help improve their customer experience.

Powered by AI

After an extensive search, DTDC onboarded logistics software solutions provider Shipsy to transform its last-mile operations.

Abhishek Chakraborty, Executive Director, DTDC Express Ltd. Image courtesy of DTDC.

“DTDC was looking for a future-ready, plug-and-play cloud-based solution to help them in their digital transformation journey as a partner,” said Soham Chokshi, CEO, Shipsy. “Scalability, mobile-friendliness, and platform independence were three other key elements that DTDC was focused on.”

“Shipsy’s AI-powered platform helps global businesses optimise, automate, track and simplify their end-to-end logistics and supply chain operations,” he added.

Following the partnership, Shipsy migrated DTDC’s manual and PC-based last-mile execution into a responsive, cloud-based lT architecture.

Further, the courier leveraged Shipsy’s platform to build a user-friendly and intuitive app, which will allow them to make logistics operations customer-centric, as well as significantly scale pickups.

“DTDC developed the MyDTDC App on Shipsy’s platform. It is an iOS- and Android-based application for C2C (customer to customer) deliveries. End customers simply need to download the application, log in with their mobile (device), book a doorstep pickup, pay online, and get the delivery done. This has improved customer experience and enabled (us to) further scale pickup operations,” said Chakraborty.

DTDC also made use of Shipsy’s iOS- and Android-based Rider app to simplify the performance and task management of delivery and pickup personnel.

“The app is handy and can be used on the go, to accept pickups or deliveries. and successfully carry them all out in a few steps,” Chakraborty remarked.

Likewise, DTDC’s SmartApp allowed channel partners of DTDC to digitally order and maintain waybill inventory without the need to physically visit any office.

Digging deep into their technology, Chokshi outlined some of the key areas where their AI-powered platform is said to help improve the operations of their customers, such as DTDC.

Under retail:

  • Reduces customer complaints and RTO (return to origin) processes through its unified interface across multiple third-party logistics companies with automated 3PL selections to reduce manual interventions.
  • Gains real-time visibility into SKU (stock-keeping unit) movements and inventory levels using predictive control towers.
  • Ensures on-time deliveries at lower costs with intelligent route planning and optimisation algorithms.
Soham Chokshi, CEO, Shipsy. Image courtesy of Shipsy.

Under express logistics:

  • Maximises first-attempt delivery success using mobile-based Shipsy Field Ops app, multi-channel communication, and driver app.
  • Maximises business performance with complete digitisation from the first mile to the last mile.

Under on-demand:

  • Scales on-demand deliveries with automated delivery orchestration.
  • Ensures SLA adherence with on-time deliveries.
  • Manages multiple payment modes and reconciles cash-on-delivery payments.

Under international logistics management:

  • Drives “seamless” collaboration with freight forwarders and customs house agents to manage details such as freight procurement (e.g. rates, vendor negotiations), shipment documentation, shipment tracking, and invoice reconciliations on a single platform.
  • Gains real-time insights into shipment progress and ETA adherence across multiple logistics partners.
  • Improves logistics planning with intelligent analytics around detention and demurrage, transshipment ageing, carrier volume analysis, and other business metrics for operational excellence.

Revolutionising logistics

As more and more businesses demand tech solutions for their supply chain and logistics, Shipsy has set its sights on international expansion and new use cases.

“We are planning to leverage our product-led growth approach to grow our geographical expansion. We will keep expanding our operations in new markets and establish regional HQs in the US and UK,” shared Chokshi.

“We are driving a greater focus on ensuring our technology can help businesses across the globe build sustainable logistics operations. For instance, we recently enabled businesses to track carbon emissions across multimodal shipments even before shipping actually starts. We are also building capabilities to integrate blockchain technologies into everyday logistics operations,” he added.

Meanwhile, DTDC is looking at the potential of new and emerging enterprise tech to scale their business, recognising the global need for modern logistical solutions.

“Technologies like data analytics, predictive intelligence, AI, and machine learning are playing a significant role in enhancing express logistics management, and will indeed become a more integral part in the years to come. We believe that the solutions powered by these technologies will enable DTDC to improve customer experience, reduce last-mile delivery costs, optimise capacity planning, drive agile hub operations, boost logistics productivity and mitigate unprecedented transportation risks,” Chakraborty concluded.