Dublin-based parcel firm Nightline is to unveil its new Parcel Pilot service tomorrow at MetaPack’s Delivery Conference in London.
Following an investment of €1 million, the new service is intended to cut the number of failed first-time drops, and offer greater flexibility for shoppers and retailers alike when it comes to the last mile of the delivery process. The Parcel Pilot project was 12 months in development, and was built by Irish software company Xpresso.
Parcel Pilot has already undergone extensive trials and will be rolled out to Nightline’s 450 drivers and across the firm’s 11-strong depot estate over the course of the next six months. The company says it is in discussion with “several major UK retailers” about Parcel Pilot.
Using route optimisation data, produced for all of Nightline’s drivers, shoppers are given detailed information about when their parcels will arrive – even allowing them to follow the van carrying their purchases turn by turn.
If drivers are delayed, the Parcel Pilot app means that they can contact recipients directly. Likewise, if consumers have to change their plans, they can give fresh instructions even when items are ‘in-flight’ about leaving parcels elsewhere.
Nighline’s CEO John Tuohy, said: “Until now, most (shoppers) have had little or no involvement once they have paid for their purchases at the online checkout.
“They may have nominated a home delivery slot but only have fairly broad information about when goods will arrive. If circumstances change on the scheduled day of receipt, there has been no way of contacting a courier in real time to redirect parcels.
“That, of course, results in the hassle of their organising another delivery or going to a depot to collect items. That is bad for shoppers but retailers and carriers too not only because it can mean making another delivery but there is the potential for unhappy consumers to take their custom elsewhere next time.”