Thursday December 09, 2021

Liban Post, Royal Mail, bpost and DPD win PTI awards

Hurricane Commerce wins Supplier of the Year Award
Hurricane Commerce wins Supplier of the Year Award

Three postal operators, one parcel carrier, two international suppliers and two start-ups were the winners at this year’s Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards, held at PARCEL+POST EXPO in Vienna this week.

The Service Provider of the Year was Lebanon’s national postal operator, LibanPost, which had to tackle not only the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but also the country’s economic collapse and the devastating effects of the enormous explosion in Beirut port.

According to PTI, “during these multiple crises, LibanPost stood tall, delivering exceptional levels of customer service, corporate social responsibility, collaboration and genuine acts of human kindness”. The postal operator responded with additional online services, mobile post office support, enhanced final-mile deliveries and new payment methods.

Winner of the New Business Development of the Year award was Royal Mail for its Parcel Collect parcel pickup service. Consumers and home-based online sellers in the UK can now send or return parcels directly from their homes by handing over prepaid items to postmen and postwomen on their delivery rounds.

Ecozone emission-free city deliveries

The Environmental Achievement of the Year award was won by bpost for its comprehensive Ecozone concept, whereby letters and parcels are delivered emission-free in city centres by a 100% green fleet of electric vans and cargo bikes combined with a very dense network of pick-up points, including parcel lockers. The first Ecozone was launched in the city of Mechelen, the second in Mons, the third will be in Leuven, and other Belgian cities will follow.

Dirk Tirez, CEO of bpost group, commented: “Sustainable enterprise and respect for our planet are at the heart of our strategy. That requires us to rethink and adapt how we work. We are showing that change is possible and that it is backed by the municipal authorities and citizens. This Ecozone proves that customer satisfaction, service and innovation can go hand in hand to achieve our shared ambitions in terms of sustainable development.”

Motivating delivery drivers

The two delivery innovation awards went to very different companies. DPD Netherlands came out on top in the Last Mile Delivery Innovation of the Year (The Journey) category for its DPDrivR mobile app. This app enables parcel delivery employees to see directly their individual performance on a daily basis, focusing particularly on delivery performance and customer reviews. Through gamification (e.g. scoring points, winning medals), DPD Netherlands positively motivates the delivery employees to continuously improve their performance at a time when they are handling higher parcel volumes than ever before.

Eric Dietz, CEO DPD Netherlands, commented: ‘We are extremely proud to be awarded this fantastic international award. We have worked extremely hard on developing the app and winning such an award is a crowning achievement. The DPDrivR app helps to motivate our delivery employees in a positive way to keep improving their delivery performance, also by making the positive customer experiences transparent to them.”

Low-cost deliveries in Africa

In contrast, Nundi, a low-cost delivery network for the Ivory Coast, collected the Final Mile Innovation of the Year (The Final Delivery) award, for developing a technology-based delivery network without assets by recruiting pickup points and independent runners, and combining them with local express carriers and logistic players. Despite this complex delivery process, Nundi enables any parcel to be fully tracked all the way to final delivery.

Seamless cross-border deliveries

On the supplier side, cross-border data technology specialists Hurricane Commerce won the coveted Supplier of the Year award for helping clients such as Royal Mail, Emirates Post, An Post and SEKO Logistics cope with the impact of major regulatory changes (such as Brexit, the US STOP Act, EU VAT changes) on their cross-border business and enable seamless e-commerce deliveries.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We were confident when we established the company five years ago that data accuracy was going to become ever more important in cross-border eCommerce. The events of the last year have confirmed beyond all doubt that complete and valid shipment data is non-negotiable for those postal operators, carriers, retailers and marketplaces wanting to drive scale in global eCommerce. Having the right data across the supply chain increases revenues, reduces costs, creates greater operational efficiency and enhances customer experience.”

AI for customs clearance

The Sorting and Fulfilment Technology of the Year award went to Dutch company Prime Vision for its new AI-based Customs Vision solution. This automates the processing of international packets and parcels bearing CN22 and CN23 labels, and which allows for the easy acquisition of all required customs data for postal items not pre-declared digitally.

Finally, in the Retail/Customer Service Innovation of the Year category, British start-up Stamp Free was recognized for its digital postage solutions which offer the customer the ability to send or return mail items by using a smartphone app. No stamps or printed postage labels are required, just handwritten six-digit codes which are scanned and validated at source before the mail item is sent or returned. 

SourcePTI, bpost, DPD, Hurricane Commerce, CEP-Research

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