Driving logistics business to success: Route optimization & other factors

Team Shadowfax

Did you know that the e-commerce retail logistics market is valued at $35 billion presently, and is projected to witness a growth of 36 percent in the coming five years?

The retail e-commerce industry in India has grown significantly over the past few years, driven by factors such as increasing internet penetration and wider acceptance of digital payments. Consequently, the e-commerce retail logistics industry has also grown over the years. However, there remain serious challenges that the industry is trying to overcome. Some of the main problems faced by the logistics sector include:

  • High cost of deliveries
  • High return rate
  • Lack of physical infrastructure such as warehouses for storage

Besides, rising customer expectations fuelled by initiatives such as Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now (delivery within an hour) have further amplified the pressure on the logistics sector to make super-fast deliveries across India, while keeping the costs low. In such a competitive environment, giant e-tailers such as Amazon have a clear advantage over smaller or new businesses due to deeper pockets and well-developed logistics. So, at Shadowfax, we decided to take the bull by its horns and delved deeper into the complex and fragmented logistics ecosystem in India to provide smaller e-tailers with a level playing ground through cost-effective, efficient, and fast deliveries enabled by our progressive technology.

Here’s what we are doing differently to achieve 4-hour deliveries, and solve other issues that have long plagued the logistics sector in India:

An On-Demand Logistics Ecosystem

Shadowfax offers a plug n play platform for businesses to make immediate deliveries with an on-demand service to rent warehouses, enabling small businesses to offer same day deliveries cost-effectively. Instead of renting large warehouses, Shadowfax uses the surplus shelf space in friendly Kirana stores — creating a sort of Airbnb for warehouses. The on-demand model also reduces the fixed costs associated with warehousing, bringing down the overall delivery costs.

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Shadowfax Hulk — Technology enabled LCV services for efficient deliveries

India’s $90 billion transportation logistics market is highly fragmented with over a hundred thousand driver-cum-owners and small vendors plagued by an inefficient supply chain riddled with ineffective route planning, improper space utilisation, and other issues. To solve this, we introduced Shadowfax Hulk, a tech-enabled mini truck that has improved vehicle utilisation considerably. To achieve greater efficiency, we implemented simple changes such as clubbing together orders on the same route, cross utilising vehicles across segments, and real-time traffic prediction for dynamic route planning.

The result? Consumers receive their orders on time while drivers earn more by participating in more transactions! Thanks to our well-developed technology, our customers can also track their delivery trucks in real-time and chat with the driver through the Shadowfax app, making the supply chain much more transparent.

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Route Planning

Time is money! Therefore, Shadowfax uses a cost-effective open source routing engine to compute the shortest path between points, getting rid of tedious manual planning to ensure faster deliveries for end-clients. Using technology, we have developed procedures to not only recommend the shortest routes for deliveries but also the fastest — through real-time traffic prediction that helps in robust route planning.

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The Bottom-Line

Given the changing customer expectations and the burgeoning growth in the e-commerce industry, the logistics sector has emerged as a key enabler for e-tailers who want to deliver a delightful experience to their customers. At Shadowfax, we are committed to creating a seamless, quick, and cost-effective supply chain for our customers through innovative tech solutions, delivering customer delight with every order!

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