SMS alerts 30 mins before SingPost parcels arrive

SingPost is working with San Francisco-based logistics optimisation company LogiNext to tap machine learning and AI route-planning software in its new LastMile Platform, which will serve South-east Asia.
SingPost is working with San Francisco-based logistics optimisation company LogiNext to tap machine learning and AI route-planning software in its new LastMile Platform, which will serve South-east Asia.ST FILE PHOTO

To be rolled out next year, platform will tap AI to inform customers of courier movements

People waiting for parcels to be delivered to their homes will be able to receive an SMS alert 30 minutes before the courier arrives when Singapore Post rolls out its last-mile platform with artificial intelligence (AI) features next year.

SingPost announced yesterday it is working with San Francisco-based logistics optimisation company LogiNext to tap machine learning and AI route-planning software in its new LastMile Platform (LaMP), which will serve South-east Asia.

LogiNext's software can analyse and proactively alert stakeholders, including customers, of courier movements, SingPost said in a statement.

Sending such alerts will bring about greater convenience to customers, especially in denser cities in the region, such as Bangkok and Jakarta, it added.

Currently, customers are not given precise parcel arrival times due to a variety of factors, including traffic and weather conditions.

With LogiNext's capabilities, multiple GPS tracking systems and APIs (application programming interface) can be connected and accessed on a single screen called the control tower.

Another key feature of LaMP would be its ability to autonomously plot the best courier delivery routes, based on factors such as parcel destinations, customer preferences and real-time traffic and weather data.

TIME-SAVER

It doesn't make sense for me to wait at home all day if I don't know when my delivery will arrive... With the SMS alerts, I can at least go for a meal or run an errand before coming home to receive the parcel.

MR DAVE QUEK, a 26-year-old engineer.

Customer preferences would include preferred times for delivery and "blackout" periods.

SingPost group chief digital and technology officer Alex Tan said that introducing AI to its platform will translate into convenience for customers.

LogiNext chief executive officer Dhruvil Sanghvi said: "Couriers will have much better-planned routes so they can handle more parcels.

"It's win-win for everyone - SingPost raises its already-high delivery agility and the customer gets a much better experience with it."

 
 
 

SingPost customers told The Straits Times that the SMS alerts would allow them to better anticipate when their parcels would arrive and make plans in advance, instead of having to wait at home.

Mr Dave Quek, a 26-year-old engineer, said: "It doesn't make sense for me to wait at home all day if I don't know when my delivery will arrive. I usually give up waiting and end up going to the post office to pick it up, but it can be quite inconvenient."

"With the SMS alerts, I can at least go for a meal or run an errand before coming home to receive the parcel," added Mr Quek, who has had parcels from the United States delivered by SingPost in the last two months.

SingPost said it is in the midst of integrating LogiNext's route-planning AI software into LaMP, and the process is expected to be completed next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'SMS alerts 30 mins before SingPost parcels arrive'. Print Edition | Subscribe