How To Embrace The Final Mile – Post, Parcel & Courier – Part 1

final-mile-postal-parcel

Why is this delivery man in the picture so happy? Is it because it’s sunny outside and he’s wearing a dashing protective cap? Is it because the parcel he tried to deliver for the third time this week has finally been taken in? Or is it because he lives in exciting and transformative times for the postal industry? Perhaps it’s all three of the above.

Disrupting An Old Industry

The postal, parcel and courier sector has seen some dramatic changes in the last few years. The unstoppable ascent of eCommerce has shifted the focus from mail to parcel delivery. Industry disruptors like Amazon have shaped a new generation of consumers to demand free, nearly instant, flexible delivery and returns. Profit margins are getting ever tighter and the market is competitive as never before.

The Final Mile

Caused by a sharp increase in parcel deliveries since the advent of eCommerce, the number of failed home deliveries is growing. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that it costs postal, parcel and courier companies ca. £780m a year for failed deliveries. In North America, there are roughly over one billion re-delivery attempts that occur annually. And there is no end in sight: 80.6% of eCommerce shoppers still prefer home as a preferred delivery location (see IMRG Valuing Home Delivery Bi-Annual Report 2016 and Dude Where is My Package? The Impact of Missed Deliveries)

Unless there is a radical physical redesign of letter boxes to hold the flat screen TV you ordered on Black Friday, this trend will continue. How can CEPs (=Courier, Express and Parcel companies) reduce failed delivery costs? To find out more, subscribe to our blog here. Part 2 of this series is coming soon.

 


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5 Ways To Empower Your Fleet With CoPilot Truck

truck-fleet

Being a fleet manager isn’t the easiest job in the world. Truck fleet managers in particular face challenges every day: Managing drivers and keeping them on track, scheduling and maintaining vehicles, an increase in budget scrutiny, being your company’s crisis manager and – the ultimate goal – making your customers happy. Technology can lend a helping hand in facing these challenges. How can CoPilot Truck help?

1) Optimal Routes

With CoPilot Truck, you receive commercial route planning and route optimisation that takes into account the vehicle’s dimensions, weight and load. Plus, see truck-restricted and prohibited roads to find the optimal route for any itinerary. Reduce the risk of costly bridge strikes and collisions and boost your route compliance.

2) Cost-effective

CoPilot Truck provides a comprehensive, cost-effective fleet solution to maximise fleet-wide productivity, lower costs and help fleets maintain true route compliance. Maximise revenue and your bottom line with overall reduced fuel and operating costs

3) In-Cab Navigation

Trouble keeping your drivers on track, happy and safe? Empower your drivers with highly accurate, safe truck-legal navigation. CoPilot Truck offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names from origin to destination. Reduce driver distraction in the cab with clear 3D and 2D map views plus Driver Safety Views for at-a-glance instructions. Find out more about CoPilot Truck’s in-cab navigation.

4) Post-trip analysis and integration with back-office tools

An efficient fleet management solution doesn’t start or stop in the truck cabin. Send routes to drivers and measure driver performance through post-trip analysis of the planned versus actual route with ALK’s back office and analysis tools. CoPilot Truck integrates with ALK’s PC*MILER and ALK Maps so say goodbye to running dozens of non-integrated systems. We’ve got you covered.

5) Precise, dynamic ETAs

Make your customers happy and provide on-time deliveries with precise, dynamic ETAs based on real-time road conditions.

To find out more, visit our brand new truck website here or speak with us directly by tapping on the green SPEAK WITH SOMEONE button on our truck website.

 


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ALK Company Kickoff Part 2: Let’s Innovate!

What is innovation?

As a technology company in a fast-paced industry, innovation must be at the heart of how we provide the best solutions to our customers. However, innovation doesn’t appear out of thin air. It takes brainstorming, good ideas, and even bad ones, to arrive at that innovative solution. What sets regular solutions apart from great innovative solutions are their usefulness to the industry we are serving. In order to grasp just how important innovation is, we decided to put it into practice.

 

Innovation Lab Day

During the ALK Kickoff, Michael Kornhauser, ALK’s Executive Vice President & General Manager, showed us how innovation was especially important for companies like ALK. We work within the very competitive industry of transportation technology so it’s important that everyone at ALK understands the gravity of being innovative. To get every person from every department involved at ALK, we decided to make innovation part of the kickoff, literally!

 

The Breakdown

We split the company up into 16 Innovation Lab teams and gave them topics that are both relative to our industry needs and our company as a whole. Topics included crowdsourcing, driver safety, mentoring programs at ALK, and autonomous vehicles, to name a few.

 

Each team was given 90 minutes, a topic definition, and tons of helpful material and got right to work!

 

The Next Big Thing

After listing countless points, crossing them off, brainstorming on post-it notes, and snacking on some candy, our ALKers submitted some great ideas.

 

All ideas are now being reviewed by our Innovation Committee, which includes employees nominated from various departments for their passion for innovation.  Three teams will be selected to present their ideas but only one will be chosen, and who knows, maybe it will be ALKs “next big thing”!


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ALK Company Kickoff Part 1:  Full speed ahead in 2018!

Over two event-packed days at the 2018 ALK Company Kickoff, employees took part in knowledge sessions, innovation labs and were motivated by learning first hand about our company’s strategic objectives and goals. Our Executive Vice President and General Manager, Michael Kornhauser, kicked off the event with a look back at a fantastic 2017 and highlighted how each department “raised the bar” in both quality and team accomplishments.

 

 

How GIS is Hard at Work Building the Map You Traverse Everyday

Next up we heard from Mark Hornung, Senior Vice President, Data & GIS (Geographic Information System), who spoke about how our North American maps are created, updated and continuously improved. One thing is clear, map quality is one of the backbones to our business. Every day, our GIS team is hard at work ensuring that we have the best possible data available. New roads, commercial vehicle attributes, and POIs are added every second of the day. This helps ensure our users are arriving to their destinations safely and in a timely manner.

 

gis-truck-attribution

 

How ALK Helps the Postal, Parcel and Courier Market Overcome Final Mile Issues

 

Jon Suddards, Director of Business Development, gave us valuable insight into the postal, parcel and courier market. Due to the growth of e-Commerce in the last few years, the CEP (Courier, Express, Parcel) industry has grown noticeably. It was predicted that between 2016-2020, the market would grow at a staggering rate of 11%!  With 80.6% of consumers marking “home” as their preferred delivery location, this market is one we definitely want to jump into. ALK has already begun to take action and plans on growing our name in the CEP industry in the upcoming months at tradeshows across the globe.

 

Our First Innovation Lab

 

Princeton - RTB - Company Kickoff 2018 - Collage

Innovation is at the heart of our business and has always played an essential part in ALK’s success. What better way to explore innovation than with our very own innovation labs! Employees were split into teams and challenged to brainstorm a new innovation for the company, based on a topic that was dedicated to their team. Ending the kickoff with cross-team collaboration was a great way to start our year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want a glimpse into our innovation conversations? Check out Part 2 of our ALK Company Kickoff coverage!  

 


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ALK January Round-Up

How was your January? Were you huddled up inside or out and about? January is a time for new resolutions and planning. ALKers around the globe have been busy braving the winter storms to plan ahead and prepare for the new year. We know one thing for sure: 2018 won’t be boring! Here are a couple of highlights from the past month and a look ahead:

A New Addition To The Family

Good news for fleet managers, integrators and truck drivers across the pond. After successfully launching our new CoPilot Truck website in the US last year, the site is now also available in the UK. You’re in Germany or France? Stay tuned, there will be news for you soon…

We’ve Been Busy

ALK-BlueJay

So what has been going outside our offices? The ALK business development team introduced our PLAN. DRIVE. ANALYZE campaign and talked through our navigation solutions at BluJay’s SOAR2018 conference in London.

At the end of the month, the North America business team attended the NITL (National Industrial Transportation League) Transportation Summit in Dallas, Texas to show how ALK Technologies helps move your goods swiftly, safely, and timely

Looking Forward

In 2017, ALK hired 50 new employees! Seven more employees were hired in January which is a great start for 2018. We are looking forward to welcoming more to our team in the months ahead. Read more about our opening positions on our careers page.

Come Visit

You’re looking for a chance to meet one of us in person to discuss how ALK can help your business with innovative transportation solutions? Here are some events we will attend in the next couple of weeks:


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Trusted Solutions for Shippers

With their position in the supply chain, shippers have a unique set of needs.

Goods need to be moved swiftly, safely, and timely. Whether a shipper needs a carrier to help accomplish their goals, or if they have a private fleet, utilizing rating, scheduling, and routing tools for business operations is vital.

With this information, shippers can:

  • Verify miles quoted by carriers
  • Understand comprehensive trip costs, including toll fees, to set a baseline for carrier bid analysis
  • Capture exact vehicle locations and precise ETAs
  • Create and share geofenced locations with specific entry and exit points
  • Receive notifications when vehicles enter and/or exit a facility

 

Want to learn more? Come visit ALK at some upcoming trade shows!

*NIT League Transportation Summit: January 29th- 31st, 2018

*TIA 2018 Capital Ideas Conference & Exhibition: April 8th- 11th, 2018

*JDA Focus: May 6th- 9th, 2018


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December & 2017 Round-up

EUROPE

Whole year

2017 has gone very fast for the ALK team in the UK and in Europe with a lot of changes in the way we operate, many partner events & trade shows, and a better than ever team spirit across Europe. Last year, we have also made our big come back on the trade show scene in Europe and worked really hard to improve our partner relationships even more over here.

Overall, we took part in 21 partner events and trade shows across the European region, in England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

 

December

 

December has been quiet in London, with the usual industry slowdown around the festive season. However, all of us had a final chance to gather one last time before the new year for the annual Christmas party.

This time our German and French teams flew in and we all went to play ping-pong before heading to a traditional pub in London to enjoy our Christmas meal.

 

 

Finally, as part of a national initiative, we all wore our best Christmas jumpers as part of Christmas Jumper Day on December 15th, an initiative aimed at raising funds and awareness around the Save the Children charity.

On that same day, we also donated a bag of presents to the GOSH charity to brighten up Christmas time for the children of the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. 

 

 

UNITED STATES

Whole year

Like always, it was a very busy year for the North America team with trade shows and other events across the country. Partnerships definitely grew stronger this year which helped us get a better understanding of what is needed in the industry. We participated in 40 trade shows and conferences in 2017, even crossing over to Canada for one. We are all looking forward to an even better 2018!

December

Partner events and Trade Shows came to a complete stop once December came around. This gave the ALK team time to celebrate the successful year and begin planning for the year ahead. The Princeton team celebrated a festive holiday party at the Nassau Inn. There was also gift giving for lucky ALK raffle winners which everyone always enjoys watching just as much as winning!

 

 

For the first time, the Princeton office took part in office celebration “Ugly Holiday Sweater Day” for a good cause. For every ALKer that participated, a donation was made to a Women’s Space Inc., a local shelter for women and families that are impacted by domestic violence. The Princeton office also participated in donating charitable items to Women Aware.  December was definitely the season of giving for ALK as a whole.

 

 

 

WORLDWIDE

As the one year anniversary of our internal Raise the Bar initiative is getting closer, we are happy to look back at the 11 events and initiatives organized over 2017, which have helped us to enhance communication between our teams and to participate in more charitable events than we ever did before.

Towards the end of the year, we launched a new CoPilot Truck website that now encompasses the CoPilot Professional and Consumer versions of the product all in one location.

As 2017 comes to an end, we thanked our customers and partners globally for another great year. This year we donated to several charitable organizations including nonprofits focused on helping those who serve the transportation industry.

Our customers and partners in the US received the holiday ecard below, which mentions our donation to St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund. For our London customers and partners, the holiday e-card mentions a donation made to the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport.

CoPilot Truck Has a New Home

We’re proud to announce the launch of www.copilottruck.com – our brand new North American website completely dedicated to everything CoPilot Truck!

 

 

 

Here you’ll find how CoPilot Truck navigation works for fleets of all sizes, integration partners, and individual drivers.  Gain insight into our back-office enterprise fleet management tools, read up on commercial navigation best practices, and dive into our in-cab navigation features. Don’t forget to check out the resource library that includes training videos and in-depth feature sheets.

 

Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected to the latest CoPilot Truck news and updates at www.copilottruck.com

ALK November Round-Up

As always, November has also gone by very quickly in Europe, with our participation in several shows and events throughout the month.

From a business point of view, we have taken part in two events across the continent: Trimble ITT  in Germany and the SOLUTRANS trade show in France.

 

We’ve also kept everyone cheered up during this cold period thanks to a Bowling night in London at the beginning of the month.

 

 

Last but not least, we carry on doing our best to give back to the community and undertake charitable activities.

 

 

The London team after planting trees at Horsenden Farm.

 

 

For this occasion, we organized our very first ALK Day of Service in London with the Trees for Cities charity.

 

On that day, the entire team went tree planting at the Horsenden Farm, in the outskirts of the city, in an effort to help creating greener cities and regrow urban forests. We planted around 300 small trees in total and had a lot of fun spending the day outside together!

 

 

 

 

As the year begins to come to an end, our ALKers still found themselves busy in Princeton!

North America wrapped up the year with two shows: NAPT Annual Conference and ISAAC Conference.

 

Our London Marketing team flew over to the states for a week visit in Princeton this month. The team enjoyed sight-seeing in New York City and evenings out to dinner with the team. The Marketing Teams also experienced The Amazing Escape Room! Though the mission was not accomplished, there were still lots of laughs.

 

 

The Princeton Fall Festival also took place this month. This year, the Princeton ALKers got to enjoy different types of mac and cheese, tater-tots, and pie!    

 

 

 

Throughout the month the Princeton office also had their 11th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to help those locally in need. There was a huge showing this year for everyone, however, group 4 came out on top with a total of 425 items! What’s even better? The Princeton office collected 1,611 altogether, surpassing the total of 1,567 items from last year! Great job everyone!

 

 

Van Growth Drives Home Delivery

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive season coming closer, today we look at the way in which those on-screen clicks have fundamentally changed the traffic on our roads.

In the UK, a steady decline in heavy goods vehicles has led to the rise of the van. Smaller, more agile and capable of carrying a significant load in dense urban areas, the small to medium van is the largest sector of UK vehicle growth, lending itself perfectly for routes with regular stops such as parcel and grocery delivery. Such is their popularity, the number of vans on UK roads grew 33% between 2000 and 2014*, with van miles driven reaching 45 billion.

In the US, the size of geography means that heavy truck numbers have remained steady while vehicles for light loads split between vans and pickup trucks. Nevertheless the trend for van sales is still upwards with 17.4 million new vehicles set to hit the road this year, rising to 17.6 million by 2020.**

More vans = more emissions? Not necessarily…

With the introduction of city low emission zones and recent controversy relating to diesel engine calibration, there has been a very real move towards companies embracing electric powered vans, especially within towns. In the vanguard of this move is the postal, parcel and delivery sector, with operators such as the Royal Mail in the UK with 100 electric vans hitting the road in December 2017 and UPS in the US, who are looking to convert 1500 of its vehicles to electric serving New York City by 2020.

So what about navigation?

With electric vans still facing some limitations on battery range, using the optimal route has never been more important. With its portfolio of navigation and routing optimization options, ALK can provide vehicle specific solutions for vehicles of all sizes, thereby helping to turn those clicks to a delivery at your door.

Sources:
*UK Department of Transport – Road Use Statistics 2016
**www.statista.com

UPS Wants to Convert 1,500 Delivery Trucks in NYC to Electric by 2020

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/news/royal-mail-buys-100-electric-van