Optimizing the Last Mile: An App for More Efficient and Sustainable Delivery

SENATOR is introducing the initial release of a mobile application exclusively tailored for affiliated agents and logistics operators involved in the project. This application is specifically intended for those participating in the project, ensuring access to the cutting-edge technology developed within the scope of this European project, which aims to enable a more efficient and sustainable urban delivery solution.

This app development is underway at the Technological Research Institute of the University of Deusto (DeustoTech) and represents a significant step toward the project’s objective of introducing an intelligent solution to urban logistic management. The solution has the potential to transform last-mile operations and urban goods delivery.

Simultaneously, pilot tests will be conducted in the European cities of Dublin and Zaragoza to evaluate the functionality of the SENATOR platform in real-life situations. These tests will be conducted in multiple phases starting from the beginning of January 2024: following the successful implementation of technological advancements, operational pilots will be initiated.

SENATOR App: Redefining the Last Mile

 

SENATOR App is an initial tool in the form of a mobile application that allows users to test certain functionalities of SENATOR, with the potential to become a regular working tool for carriers and managers of delivery units. The application heavily relies on the software platform developed for this project, utilizing anonymized information and ensuring strict adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at all times.

As a result of the research conducted at SENATOR, “this platform provides multi-objective optimization services and dynamic route management using advanced artificial intelligence techniques, such as machine learning and hybrid search algorithms,” explains María Pilar Elejoste, technical director at DeustoTech.

The current version of the app focuses on delivery logistic operations, including aspects such as package admission and classification, visualization of optimized delivery routes, real-time tracking and modification of delivery statuses, as well as the incorporation of alerts and notification messages.

The goal is to provide technological resources to last-mile agents and logistics operators to achieve a more efficient urban delivery system, contributing to optimal fuel usage, reduced traffic congestion, lower emissions, and the utilization of intermodality, among other benefits.

Package Reception and Logging

 

Thanks to the “Package Reception and Logging” functionality available in the SENATOR App, a delivery unit manager can confirm within seconds and with just a mobile device that a package has arrived correctly at the desired delivery unit or UCC.

To log the package reception, it will only be necessary to activate the function in the application that uses the mobile device’s camera. The application will perform an immediate check against the SENATOR database, where the package must be previously registered. If affirmative, the package and its information will be displayed in a list along with other registered packages awaiting delivery.

Optimized Route Visualization and Alert Management

 

The “View Routes” functionality of the app allows the manager to consult and select routes considered most suitable for the distribution of registered packages. On the screen, all available routes for the current shift will be displayed, either in a list or on a map, sorted according to desired criteria: from the number of stops and the total distance of the route to the estimated time or mode of transportation.

The ability to customize the delivery route based on different parameters is one of the highlighted aspects of the advanced technology implemented by SENATOR. “This feature allows for a more efficient and sustainable distribution management, facilitating the choice of the option that effectively minimizes the environmental, urban, and social impact of each delivery,” explains Ángela Núñez, European sustainability project manager at Correos and project coordinator.

Once the optimal routes suggested by SENATOR are initiated, it will be possible to track deliveries in real-time through the application. The SENATOR App will serve as a guide for the carrier, providing support during route tracking and helping them manage any incidents. Additionally, it will enable instant confirmation of successful deliveries and real-time notification of unsuccessful ones.

Another noteworthy aspect is the ability to input alerts and notifications, serving as a warning for common unforeseen events during delivery operations. From the application itself, the delivery person can generate alerts about situations such as closed streets, flat tires, or cargo transfers, thereby improving responsiveness to unexpected events.

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