Anthony Viaene, who previously founded the bicycle courier company Bubble Post, has launched a new platform that makes home deliveries of packages and goods more efficient. Dropon is said to achieve time savings of up to 40%.
“The number of e-commerce deliveries will continue to boom in the coming years. To reduce the pressure on mobility and the environment, we have to save time and reduce the number of kilometres driven,” says Viaene, who developed the Dropon platform together with Jonathan Carette (left on the picture).
Viaene was CTO at Bubble Post. When bpost acquired the bicycle courier company in 2017, he negotiated the right to buy back the IP and software. Dropon is built on the platform that Bubble Post used to plot its last-mile deliveries. That has now been expanded and adapted to the transportation needs of the broader parcel delivery market. It is ready for commercialization.
“Transport companies, retailers, but also meal package suppliers – basically all companies that make dynamic deliveries on a daily basis – can plan delivery rounds through the platform,” he explains. “This can be done fully automatically: the algorithm determines the fastest route. We use both historical traffic data and real-time data in our calculations. The customers can also adjust the algorithm manually if one delivery is more urgent than another or if recipients provide special requests.”
“After scheduling the delivery rounds, the platform dispatches them to the drivers’ smartphones. They receive step-by-step instructions to deliver their packages. The rounds are monitored and followed up in real-time. This allows our customers to make immediate adjustments, and the drivers can adjust their route in case of traffic jams, accidents or other unexpected obstacles,” says Viaene.
He emphasizes that the recipients of the packages can also follow their shipment closely. They also know the name of the driver and the route he is following. “In addition, they receive updates if the expected delivery time changes. This way we avoid missed deliveries. Up-to-date and transparent communication is crucial for a good ‘customer experience’,” he adds.
Economic and ecological
With Dropon, he says, companies who make home deliveries can save up to 40% in time. “The fewer miles the drivers have to travel, the lower the costs for the companies. They are under enormous pressure and the Amazons and Alibabas of this sector still have to arrive, with the margins already being so small. Every minute counts. And every mile saved reduces CO2 emissions. Efficient deliveries provide economic and environmental gains.”
Article written by Philippe Van Dooren