While a number of technologies promise to disrupt retail logistics, there are only a handful of companies that are actually putting them to practical use. In this article eDelivery looks into some of the innovative new European start-ups that are already working to transform the sector.
Vekia – predictive analytics for the supply chain
Where: London, UK
What: Vekia claims to bring the power of artificial intelligence to retailers’ supply chains. Their software helps retailers to ensure the right stock is in the right place at the right time.
The software can provide daily forecasts of potential sales, combined with calculations of what level of stock is required to cover these. The tool is also able to automatically calculate the most profitable orders to number of orders to make from suppliers dependent on factors such as discounted delivery for bulk orders.
Who they work with: Retailer customers include Leroy Merlin, Mr. Bricolage and Eugene Perma.
Magazino – robotics for the warehouse
Where: Munich, Germany
What: Magazino offers the plug-in warehouse robot TORU (pictured), which is designed to fit into existing warehouse systems.
Equipped with cameras, the robots are able to stow and pick up individual items as well as pallets or crates. They are designed to be used alongside existing human workers, with the ability to sense when humans want to cross their path.
Who they work with: German fashion retailer Zalando, a shareholder since February 2018, began a pilot of two Magazino robots in October of the same year. The trial will run until May 2019.
Glovo – last mile with a twist
Where: Barcelona, Spain
What: Built around the Glovo app, the company consists of a network of independent couriers called Glovers. The customer orders a product from any shop or restaurant, with the Glover travelling to the store, purchasing the goods and then shipping them to the customer.
It was founded in 2015 and is now available in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Peru, Romania, Ecuador, Argentina and Ukraine.
Who they work with: Working with grocer Franprix, a subsidiary of Casino, Glovo offers half an hour deliveries in France.
Scandit – using the power of mobile
Where: Zurich, Switzerland
What: Scandit’s software-based technology allows any mobile phone to become a barcode scanner, making it easier to scan and process items quickly.
The technology can be integrated with existing IT systems in a number of ways, including through being added into a company’s mobile app through an SDK.
Who they work with: German retail chain dm-drogerie markt used the technology to provide 25000 of its customer-facing employees with scanners.
Cleveron – collection and returns
Where: Tallinn. Estonia
What: Estonia’s Cleveron aims to fully automate fulfilment. Its flagship solution, the Cleveron 401, allows customers to both collect and return parcels. In 2018 it launched a pilot with UK retailer Asda in Manchester.
It also offers a self-driving robot, currently in prototype stage, will be able to ferry a package from a local distribution centre and place them in a personal parcel locker at a customer’s home.
Who they work with: Walmart and Inditex as clients, plans to begin pilots of the courier in Estonia in 2020.
Quicargo –an Airbnb sharing model for logistics
Where: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
What: Quicargo’s software application allows businesses moving goods to search in real time for empty lorries, promising up to 30 percent reductions in freight costs.
It includes a matching and pricing algorithm, track and trace options and payment solutions.
Image credit: Magazino