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Mobile Track and Trace on the road

Large couriers such as UPS and DHL have heavily invested in their own Track & Trace solutions for their transportation networks.  Smaller, often local, players are often unable to invest in similar systems to control their network and offer visibility to their customers. ReturnPool has developed a low-cost mobile solution to bridge this gap and also allow these smaller players to offer a state-of-the-art Track & Trace solution to their customers. The solution enables the courier to obtain full auditability of the end-to-end delivery cycle.

This Mobile Solution is designed for two different types of transportation networks:

Real-time Track & Trace with Route Management

In a transportation network where the courier is predominately using its own trucks, it is feasible for each truck to be equipped with its own mobile device such as an Ipod, Iphone or Ipad.  This allows the transportation network to fully benefit from all features of the ReturnPool road track & trace solution. The following steps are supported by the system:

1. Uploading of the delivery route / “milkrun” details
The route can either be communicated from your back-end system to the ReturnPool solution via webservices or FTP, or can be manually uploaded via the web-interface. Although the first method is obviously more efficient, the second method can be chosen to avoid the costs of system connectivity. Once the route is uploaded to the mobile device it allows the driver to be guided throughout his delivery route.

2. Verification of the loading process
The mobile device guides the loader to verify that the correct cargo is loaded in the correct truck and in the correct delivery sequence. Discrepancies can be registered on the device and communicated to the back-office.

3. Formalizing of the handover process
Once the cargo is loaded, the stakeholders involved give their approval of the handover through a signature on the mobile device.

4. Guiding the delivery route and collection of POD’s
The driver follows the instructions given by the mobile device and delivers the cargo to the appropriate receiving entity. A Proof of Delivery (POD) is captured in the form of a signature of the receiver.

5. Closing of the route
Once the route has been finalized and the driver has returned to the depot, the stakeholders involved close the route in the system by means of their signature on the mobile device. Any rejected, undelivered or returned cargo (including reusable packaging) is registered on the device and captured during the handover/closing process.

By using the built-in barcode scanning capabilities of the mobile device, the driver registers the delivery and pickup of any re-usable packaging material by scanning the barcode on that material. By doing so, full visibility of all reusable packaging in the entire supply chain is obtained.

All the above steps are fully unlocked via a dedicated Track & Trace portal and via automated triggered alert emails to your customers if needed. This solution allows you to offer a professional, yet affordable, track & trace solution to your customers.

Track & Trace via batch upload

Contrary to the real-time Track & Trace solution described above whereby investment in a mobile device per truck is required, it might be more suitable to limit the number of mobile devices to a single device per depot. This scenario is often used by transportation networks that use a lot of third party trucks. Instead of updating the delivery details during the route, the driver delivers the signed delivery documentation to the depot. Here the mobile device is used to scan the barcode on the delivery documentation and to take a picture of the actual document as electronic POD. These data are then unlocked via a dedicated Track & Trace portal and via automated triggered alert emails to your customers if needed.