Discover how Google Maps Platform is revolutionizing route planning and enabling sustainable logistics for the last mile (Includes industry white paper link)

In the face of rapidly changing consumer demand, delivery services are becoming more important and efficient. Through the "smart logistics" transformation, companies will be able to improve delivery efficiency and meet the customer experience of digital touchpoints and transparency. Learn about the issues facing home delivery today in this article and how fleet management can be improved through automated scheduling, route planning, and Google Maps Platform.

With the rapid evolution of consumer demand, home delivery services have become increasingly vital By means of implementing ‘intelligent logistics’ strategies, businesses can employ tools such as big data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize their delivery efficiency and satisfy the customers’ experience of digital touchpoints and information transparency. Comprehending the challenges confronting home delivery service today, this article delves into the ways in which automated dispatching, route planning, and the integration of Google Maps Platform can improve both customer experience and fleet management.

The global logistics and transportation industry, particularly the “last mile delivery” which involves delivery to dispersed locations, is facing an increasing cost trend. The main reasons for this current state of affairs are not only the continuous rise in oil prices but also the aging and shrinking of the driver market, leading to insufficient human resources, rising labor costs, and limited transport efficiency. Although an increasing number of e-commerce platforms such as Momo Shopping, PChome, and Shopee have begun to establish their own fleets, and new logistics technologies have emerged to facilitate industry transformation, finding the most suitable solution is not easy when considering cost and implementation.

Logistics management is gradually transitioning towards environmentally sustainable digitization

Businesses are increasingly embracing the transformation towards “smart logistics” to enhance the efficiency of their logistics and delivery processes while meeting the expectations of consumers for digital touchpoints and transparent information. By leveraging tools such as big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to fully integrate all relevant data, companies aim to ensure smoother delivery operations and better fleet management.

For instance, utilizing data-driven decision making empowers fleet managers to achieve “Automated Dispatch” through algorithms that automatically analyze complex data points such as driver location, vehicle type, and package size. Orders can then be matched with the most suitable driver and updated in real-time via a mobile application. Once the dispatch of the driver and vehicle type are confirmed, drivers can utilize the function of “Route Optimization” to plan the most economical and efficient delivery route. By considering multiple parameters such as weather, local traffic conditions, and delivery address density in real-time, drivers can stay up-to-date on the latest information and avoid congested routes.

In response to the recent ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues, businesses have begun to set ESG goals, including those that heavily rely on energy and carbon usage, such as logistics companies. As such, modern logistics fleets are no longer solely focused on economic efficiency and speed, but rather on identifying the most fuel-efficient and carbon-friendly routes.

Google Maps launched flexible and eco-friendly route planning

In recent years, Google Maps Platform has closely collaborated with fleet operators in the global transportation and logistics industry to enhance customer experience and delivery services. Through analyzing the pain points and needs of various industries, Google Maps Platform has integrated new APIs to break through the limitations of previous route planning, enabling developers to use a wider range of path choices to calculate the shortest and fastest delivery routes. Specifically, based on real-time traffic conditions, the platform can detour around traffic congestion or avoid specific locations to reduce delivery delays, errors, transportation time, and costs. In addition, Google Maps Platform has responded to the current trend of sustainable logistics by developing an eco-friendly route function, allowing businesses to calculate the most energy-efficient route options. By reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs, they can demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection to consumers.

Overall, the new API from Google Maps Platform is set to have a profound impact on smart logistics, enabling businesses to achieve more efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly fleet management and operations in the last mile delivery, while also providing an enhanced customer experience. With continuous technological advancements, it is believed that Google Maps Platform will continue to bring innovation and progress to the logistics industry.

Google Maps’ new Routes API offers enhanced route information and flexibility

Additionally, Google Maps Platform has announced the preview version of its new Routes API. This optimized version of the Directions and Distance Matrix APIs offers more information and greater route flexibility for users.

The new Routes API will build upon the basic functionality of the direction and distance matrix APIs that businesses rely on, such as real-time traffic directions and distance and estimated arrival time calculations for complex combinations of starting points and destinations. Besides, it also offers more versatile advanced features, allowing you to provide information-rich, flexible route planning and higher ETA accuracy, including:

  • Two-wheeler route options

  • Accurate pricing of route costs based on toll data

  • Real-time traffic visualization along the route

  • Specify whether waypoints are passing locations or stopping points

  • Fine-grained control to reduce latency

  • Eco-friendly route options

Google Maps Platform, An illustrated map of motorcycle routes that includes toll data

Google Maps optimizes fuel efficiency to maintain the most environmental friendly routes

Google Maps leverages insightful reports from the US Department of Energy and vast environmental data from European sources to accurately identify the most eco-friendly and fuel-efficient routes for drivers. This feature has reportedly helped reduce carbon emissions by over 500,000 metric tons, equivalent to taking 100,000 fuel-powered cars off the road. Users can select their mode of transportation and enable real-time traffic updates to obtain the most accurate fuel or energy efficiency assessments when using eco-friendly routes. For example, delivery companies or ride-sharing platforms can measure single or multiple trips or even their entire fleet’s fuel consumption and savings to better achieve their ESG goals, not only contributing to environmental protection but also saving a significant amount of costs and ultimately achieving sustainable logistics.

Google Maps Platform, Environmental-friendly route and estimated fuel savings diagram

Enhancing account registration, checkout, and delivery through address validation

Accurate addresses are crucial for locating individuals and places, delivering goods, and even opening bank accounts, especially since invalid address data can result in wasted time and money. A recent study suggests that an address verification system can eliminate most orders with address spelling errors. Google Maps Platform’s address verification API is designed to address this issue and reduce the likelihood of consumer order cancellations and refunds. The API can identify and address components, correct errors, and improve delivery efficiency and accuracy. This feature is an essential part of achieving smart logistics and optimizing route planning.

Google Maps Platform, The address verification system identifies address components and validates their existence

Discover Google Maps’ latest intelligent logistics solutions and industry use cases!

The “Smart Mobility Solution” offered by Google Maps Platform can effectively assist drivers to quickly familiarize themselves with the last-mile delivery process, reduce the turnover rate, and help businesses in fleet management and operations. During the final stage of transformation, the most common obstacles encountered include a lack of determination by management to transition, uncertainty about selecting geospatial information systems, and cost considerations. With Google Maps Platform, new drivers are no longer limited by their lack of experience, as they can benefit from the platform’s detailed map information to optimize delivery efficiency and reduce the learning curve through features such as “optimal delivery routes” and “pick-up and drop-off locations”.

As a trusted partner of Google Maps Platform for over a decade, Master Concept possesses extensive expertise and practical experience in this field. Our deep understanding of the industry has enabled numerous transportation operators in the APAC region to achieve smart logistics through Google Maps Platform and a variety of GIS services.

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