GHENT – The brand new platform Dropon makes the deliveries of packages and goods a whole lot more efficient. Companies use it to plan their delivery rounds, drivers are guided along the ideal route in real-time, recipients track their package up to the minute and up to their front door. “The number of deliveries will continue to boom in the coming years. In order to reduce the pressure on mobility and the environment, we need to save time and reduce the number of kilometres driven,” says Dropon founder Anthony Viaene, who also previously founded the courier company Bubble Post.
E-commerce is all the rage, but this is just the beginning. Research shows that the number of parcel deliveries will double by 2030. The brand new platform Dropon from founders Anthony Viaene and Jonathan Carette wants to manage that growth, by making deliveries much more efficient.
Dropon relies on the technology Anthony Viaene developed for Bubble Post. When Bpost took over the (bicycle) courier company, the ex-CTO stipulated 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. Its features have now been greatly expanded and adapted by the Dropon team to meet the transportation needs of the broader parcel delivery market.
Efficient delivery rounds
“Transport companies, retailers, but also meal package suppliers – basically all companies that make dynamic deliveries on a daily basis – can plan delivery rounds via the platform,” Anthony Viaene explains. “This can be done fully automatically; the algorithm determines the fastest route. We use both historical traffic data and real-time data for this. But, our customers do get the option to manually adjust a route when a certain delivery is more urgent than another or when recipients have given special requests for example.”
“Subsequently the platform dispatches the mapped out delivery rounds 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 to adjust their route in case of traffic jams, accidents or other unexpected obstacles.”
“Recipients can follow their package closely, including the name of the driver and the route he takes on his way to their home. The recipient is also updated when the expected delivery time changes. This way, we avoid missed deliveries. Those are not only frustrating for the recipient, they also cost extra to the company because they have to go back a second time. Up-to-date and transparent communication is crucial for a pristine customer experience.”
Economic and environmental benefits
By giving all players who make home deliveries access to advanced technology, Dropon makes the case that they can achieve time savings of up to 40 per cent. “The fewer miles drivers have to travel, the lower the costs companies have. They are under enormous pressure and their margins are extremely small, every minute counts. Besides, each mile saved also reduces CO2 emissions. Efficient deliveries create economic ánd environmental gains.”