Unlocking the power of data to deliver Christmas 2021 in a logistics crisis

Unlocking the power of data to deliver Christmas 2021 in a logistics crisis

John Kimmance, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey  National Mapping Services, explains why geospatial data is set to be a competitive differentiator for delivery and logistics firm this Christmas.

“In the Christmas rush, with demand for fast deliveries growing, logistics companies and retailers will be stretched – particularly when we bear in mind the current shortage of delivery drivers.

To remain competitive, organisations need to focus on satisfying customers and driving profitability by making deliveries quick, and on time. This requires access to advanced data so that they know the precise locations they are delivering ahead of schedule, rather than after a package is expected.

Intuitive, accurate addressing is vital for companies to survive – there is no room for missed deliveries, vague addresses, or dissatisfied customers. In such a competitive and time sensitive environment, drivers need to ensure that every second counts.

Limitations of standard addressing

The underlying location data that some delivery drivers use is postcode centric. In the UK, postcodes cover anything from 15 properties to 100. They also vary widely in size; the largest postcode is 442km². For drivers who are not familiar with a local area, this non-specific location data can lead to late or missed deliveries.

Moreover, some logistics companies encourage their delivery teams to use well-known digital map applications to find delivery addresses. While this works for some locations, these generalise to street ranges at best, leading drivers to entirely inaccurate streets or houses. Drivers are not always routed to the right place straight away and don’t have access to the precise detail required such as the exact address in a block of flats they are delivering to, or which is the quickest access point, correct entrance, if there are road issues on route, etc.

Ordnance Survey Addressing Data

Data is the lifeblood of the modern-day enterprise and firms can no longer afford to ignore the transformative potential of authoritative data. At OS we combine our geospatial data with regularly updated data from authoritative sources, including Local Authorities, Royal Mail, GeoPlace and Valuation Office Agency – into a single dataset to deliver a ‘best-of-breed’ address data product.

This creates a powerful national addressing dataset, AddressBase, supported by data identifiers such as the Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) which enable multiple data sources to be connected, without any duplication or ambiguity, ensuring the drivers find the correct address every time.

Authoritative and up to date address data has become an effective and trusted way to connect and exchange precise data about people, places and properties. Across Great Britain OS’ addressing data is supporting a wide range of vital services such as emergency responders, utility companies, food and parcel deliveries. Today, accurate and trusted addressing is essential helping to save lives, money, time and resources.

Benefits to transport & logistics sector

For food deliveries, having access to intelligent address data helps to avoid penalties. For courier firms, ‘drops per run’ is even more prevalent – 60-80 per day – so the level of efficiency is vital.

OS’s addressing data is used by many of the market leading food and parcel delivery companies, with many relying on OS’s data via the services supplied though OS’s Licensed Partner Network.

 Case study: Riverford Organic – Addresscloud’s work with Riverford – YouTube

 Before adopting AddressCloud’s location data, Riverford’s delivery drivers often found that the nearest road to an address was not always the one used for property access. And with orders doubling to over 80,000 a week during lockdown, precision was even more important than ever. Their map solution did not always provide accurate delivery points, leading to logistical inefficiencies.

Through their work with AdddressCloud, an OS Licensed Partner, they adopted AddressBase to enhance their geocoding service by adding a kerbside location for every property. Riverford delivery drivers last-mile logistics have since drastically improved – driving up the rate of deliveries per driver per hour and significantly improving their routing.

How addressing data can improve your deliveries

Any transport and logistics companies interested in finding out how addressing data can help them remain competitive, achieve customer satisfaction, and drive profitability in the competitive last mile sector should contact OS. We have a team of experts on hand to help customers solve challenges with location data.”

For more information about OS’s addressing data email [email protected] or visit  Win the race to quicker deliveries | Addressing Certainty (ordnancesurvey.co.uk)

The report – New OS transport and logistics report ‘Certainty to deliver on your promise’ is available to download here.

* Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG, during February 2021, 82.2%, against a growth of 3.6% in February 2020

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