Google launches last-mile delivery optimisation solutions
Google has launched two new delivery solutions to help last-mile operators optimize fleet performance and improve sustainability while tackling the increased strain on delivery networks due to booming e-commerce volumes.
The Last Mile Fleet Solution from Google Maps Platform and Could Fleet Routing API from Google Cloud combine hyperlocal insights from Google Maps with the analytics and scale of Google Cloud to enable logistics companies and retailers to “create exception delivery experiences” for consumers, drivers, and fleet managers.
According to Google, the two new solutions were developed to help fleet operators overcome the challenges faced in last mile delivery, including booming volumes, shipping costs and driver shortages, while meeting rising consumer expectations around delivery speed and visibility.
According to McKinsey & Company’s report, “Retail's need for unlocking value in omnichannel delivery”, more than 90% of consumers see 2- to 3-day delivery as the baseline, and 30% expect same-day delivery.
The Last Mile Fleet Solution and Cloud Fleet Routing API technologies help fleet operators address these challenges through an integrated suite of mapping, routing, and analytics capabilities.
According to Google, when implemented together, the two solutions allow businesses to optimize across every stage of the last-mile delivery journey, with features such as address capture, route optimization, driver routing and navigation, shipment tracking, and fleet performance insights.
Cloud Fleet Routing API focuses on the route planning phase of delivery and allows operators to perform fleet-wide optimization, enabling them to determine the allocation of packages to delivery vans and the sequencing of the delivery tasks.
Natively integrated with Google Maps routes data, Cloud Fleet Routing API can solve route planning requests in near-real-time, and scale to the most demanding of workloads with parallelized request batching. Across this spectrum, customers can specify a variety of constraints, such as time windows, package weights, and vehicle capacities.
Google also revealed that Cloud Fleet Routing runs on “the cleanest cloud in the industry” and can help carriers meet sustainability targets by reducing distance travelled, the number of delivery vans, and CO2 output from computing. Since 2017 Google has matched 100% of its global electricity use with purchases of renewable energy.
Meanwhile, its Last Mile Fleet Solution focuses on delivery execution and supports fleet operators to optimize across every stage of the last-mile delivery journey, from e-commerce order to doorstep delivery.
It builds on Google’s On-demand Rides & Deliveries mobility solution from Google Maps Platform, which was launched in October 2020 and is already used by leading ride-hailing and on-demand delivery operators around the world.
Fast, seamless deliveries
“The pandemic further accelerated both e-commerce and the number of deliveries, which were already growing rapidly. The increased strain on delivery networks, plus many other factors like driver shortages, poor address data, factory closures, and an increase in fuel prices have impacted delivery time and success,” said Hans Thalbauer, Managing Director, Global Supply Chain & Logistics Industries, Google Cloud. “With Google Maps Platform’s Last Mile Fleet Solution and Cloud Fleet Routing API, we’re making it easier for delivery fleet operators to address these issues and create seamless experiences for consumers, drivers, and fleet managers.”
“Our promise to customers is that we’ll deliver their goods within 120 minutes of receiving their order, and efficient route planning and navigation is indispensable in helping us achieve that. We chose Google Maps Platform because no other provider supports us so well with data—from distance and travel time data for planning to real-time data while driving,” added Thomas Manthey, Head of Engineering, Warehouse and Logistics, flaschenpost SE.
Last Mile Fleet Solution is now in Public Preview for companies that directly manage or own their delivery fleet, while Cloud Fleet Routing API will be Generally Available in Q2.