Automating last mile with lockers and robots

News Technology

Scaling e-commerce with the tools of the past doesn’t work anymore. Technology needs to be deployed in such a way that consumers and retailers can connect and feel satisfied by it. ‘Because of e-commerce growth the lockers’ market has been growing a lot during the last year,’ says Arti Kütt, COO at Cleveron, a company that produces smart parcel lockers and innovative parcel robots.

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Retailers have struggled a lot and lockers are seen as a way to help them reach their customers better and faster. Lockers can not only make shopping more convenient for consumers but they also speed up operations for retailers. The parcel sector is also benefiting greatly from lockers. The technology helps with deliveries and automates the final mile by putting the consumer in charge of it.

Efficiency Up

According to Kütt there are two types of clients. Some look specifically at cost and how anything they deploy can help them be more cost efficient. For them lockers could really bring cost savings. ‘Lockers save a lot of time and minimise labour costs,’ Kütt explains. The other type are those who want to optimise the whole process both for the company and offer the best customer experience as well, for them top pick is robotical parcel machine.

Usually consumers can wait between 10 to 15 minutes at a post office or other shop to receive their packages. Queueing for so long is an unpleasant experience and lockers remove it all together. Consumers are able to pick up their parcels whenever they want and the operation takes less than a minute. ‘With lockers the pick up time is around 10 to 15 seconds,’ continues Cleveron’s COO and calls it a ‘major win’ for both consumers and logistics operators. For him it is clear that automated services are better suited for modern times and overall have a huge positive impact on revenue.

Successful deliveries

With parcel lockers the successful delivery is almost 100%. Customers are sent reminders through their phones and it is not uncommon for a parcel to spend a long time in the locker. Cleveron is seeing a significant growth in parcel lockers. If before the pandemic retail and logistics were the two biggest segments, now the company is being approached by many different industries. ‘We have been approached by office buildings, apartment complexes, hospitals, as well as car rental companies and more,’ Kütt says. Beauty shops, libraries, and pharmacies are also becoming a big part of the business. For Kütt the reason for that growth is the convenience and the fact that the business can operate 24/7.

Parcel robotics

Cleveron has been in the business for nearly 15 years and a lot has changed. At first the focus was on Click&Collect but as the technology progressed the company is now investing into parcel robotics. The company was the first in Europe to receive authorization to drive its automated delivery robots on public streets in Estonia. Kütt believes that the future of the last mile will be automated and more deliveries will be fulfilled by robots or other automated solutions.✷

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