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Smart parcel lockers are fast-becoming a ubiquitous staple across multiple sectors – most notably in multi-residential buildings, retail outlets offering click-and-collect, and educational institutions replacing antiquated single-user lockers. However, the possibilities for smart locker technology are seemingly endless and, more and more, they are being used to meet the emerging needs of new industrial and commercial applications. With this in mind, Snaile Canada, an industry leader in smart locker solutions, has partnered with Caravan to streamline the transportation company’s supply chain logistics, particularly for shipments assigned to more than one driver.
How Smart Lockers Work
Snaile smart lockers offer a fully automated delivery solution across multiple sectors. The company’s modular and entirely customizable stainless-steel lockers offer endless compartment configurations – from small to extra-large, and even temperature-controlled – depending on the respective application’s requirements. Each unit is powered by robust cloud-based software and equipped with a digital ATM-style terminal, which is used to facilitate the deposit and collection processes.
A deposit occurs by selecting the appropriate compartment size and type, then selecting the recipient from a pre-programmed roster or entering the mobile number of the deposit’s intended recipient. The instant the compartment door closes, a delivery alert containing a secure, single-use PIN is sent to the recipient by SMS or email. The recipient then goes to the locker’s terminal, enters the unique access code (or scans a QR code for a completely contactless experience) and the compartment containing the parcel springs open and the delivery and collection are complete.
This technology is of course invaluable as far as traditional parcel deliveries are concerned; however, it can also be used to streamline and simplify several other processes for multiple industries.
The Caravan Case Study
The Caravan Group offers coast to coast transportation and supply chain solutions, including cross border shipping. Often, shipments – whether domestic or international, local or long-haul – require the exchange of documents between one party and another. For instance, a given trip may be shared between two drivers: Driver A and Driver B. In these instances, the smart locker can serve as the point of exchange between the two. This eliminates the need to coordinate an in-person exchange, thereby maximizing efficiencies and preventing costly delays.
The Snaile-Driven Solution
Here is how Snaile smart parcel lockers are working for Caravan: A dispatcher coordinates the drop-off and pick-up and is responsible for managing driver access to the lockers. A trip number is issued to co-ordinate the drop-off from Driver A and the pickup by Driver B. All parties – both drivers and the dispatcher – reference the same trip number throughout the process.
The workflow enabled by Snaile Lockers is as follows:
At the beginning of day, a designated dispatcher will upload a list of trip numbers to the Snaile application. These trip numbers will be displayed at the locker’s terminal screen.
Driver A will select the trip number from the options provided.
Driver A will deposit the documents to the locker.
The locker will send an email with the trip number and access code to the dispatcher’s email address (a shared email address or distribution list).
The dispatcher will communicate the access code to Driver B (via existing communication channel).
Driver B will enter the access code at the locker’s terminal to retrieve the documents. The locker will open the compartment containing the documents for the trip.
The locker will send an email to the dispatch email address with a notification of pickup.
The above process eliminates the time and effort required to coordinate synchronized, in-person meet-ups, not to mention the costly employee wait-times associated with them, and enables a secure and contactless method of exchange between all parties. And, because the smart lockers offer an entirely digital solution, all of the steps are recorded for easy and convenient reference, including time stamps for delivery and collection.
As our collective needs continue to evolve in this rapidly changing landscape, organizations that equip themselves and their employees to adapt through the adoption of new and emerging technology will be the ones who come out on top. Snaile smart lockers are here to meet today’s needs within the transportation sector, but are also poised to anticipate, meet and exceed the demands of tomorrow as well.