Editor's Comment

Editorial: Streamlining logistics through AI and new models

With the number of ecommerce deliveries rising so sharply, it’s no surprise that retailers are looking to cut costs wherever they can. With fierce competition on the supplier technology side, logistics is fast emerging as one of the best places to find efficiencies.

One solution is new delivery models, with Zalando recently trialling in-home delivery in Belgium along with Belgian postal service bpost. The trial saw participating homes equipped with a “smart” doorlock and doorbell, which would send a notification to the customer’s smartphone.

Another appealing model is collaboration. Dutch grocer Albert Heijn has teamed up with a local food delivery app to get its products out to customers cheaper and quicker, using electric bikes. This also has the benefit of cutting emissions, as Galeries Lafayette is planning to do by deploying hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in France.

Meanwhile, a report by Capgemini claims this week that retailers could save over $40 billion per year through introducing AI into their logistics operations.

The report came out shortly after the UK’s Ocado announced its revenues had risen 12% in its fourth quarter results, with the company’s CEO attributing the success to the extra capacity provided by its use of automation.

Finally, with Christmas just round the corner, we have the festive story of Needlefresh, which amongst other tools uses AI to help it more efficiently ship Christmas trees around the UK.

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