Unattended home delivery by controlled and scalable data sharing

Unattended home delivery by controlled and scalable data sharing

This use case was initiated in collaboration with the Data Sharing Coalition, one of the founding partners of the CoE-DSC.

(Online) shopping continues to grow and customers’ expectations are high. According to research by Parlement & Wetenschap, which compares off- and online shopping, online shopping will continue to grow with a YoY growth of 7.5 to 15 percent. The FoodService Institute Nederland expects food delivery to grow to a EUR 10 billion market in 2025, which is 15% of the total food market. According to Deloitte Consumentenonderzoek 2021, 91% of Dutch customers prefer their food and non-food to be delivered at home. To meet customers’ needs, our participant The Chain Never Stops (TCNS) offers a combination of cloud and IoT based soft infrastructure and a physical hard infrastructure of smart devices providing unattended secure delivery. The Data Sharing Coalition supports TCNS with expertise and funding to further improve the scalability of their data sharing design.

Merchants and Logistic Service Providers (LSPs) struggle to meet customer expectations and reach profitability

Although home delivery industry is booming, Merchants and Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) struggle meet customer expectations for seamless delivery and to reach break-even in terms of costs. Customers expect seamless and cheap delivery. LSPs aim to reduce costs by for example offering customers timeslots for delivery, increasing the odds for first-time right delivery. However, in the current system first time right delivery cannot be guaranteed as it depends on a person receiving the package. Furthermore, LSPs are often unable to provide the customers with small timeslots due to the uncertain nature of the delivery planning.

Enabling unattended home delivery reduces the costs for delivery

In the current home delivery system, an important driver of the costs of delivery is the need for a person to be present for receiving the delivery. Unattended delivery makes delivery at any moment possible. This enables cost reduction through first time right delivery and wider delivery windows. Smart doors or smart boxes can be used to realise safe unattended delivery. TCNS offers unattended delivery as-a-service and ran a successful pilot of their solution for four months. Supermarket chain Hoogvliet was the first retailer in the Netherlands to experiment with unattended home delivery by means of delivery boxes. During this pilot, the unattended delivery cloud service was tested using a prototype of a delivery box for contactless, unattended, and (refrigerated) home delivery of fresh products and dry groceries.

Unattended home delivery benefits all actors involved. Customers no longer have to be at home to securely receive their purchases. LSPs can optimise route planning, delivery at early or late hours and reduce time per delivery realising first time right delivery and cost reduction. For merchants, unattended delivery opens new business opportunities with their customers like packaging-free fresh products and returnable packaging.

Mutual data access provides customers the expected seamless experience

Customers expect to have access to detailed status updates during the complete delivery process. This translates to a need for the Merchants, LSPs and TCNS to have access to the latest delivery information. Merchants want the latest information to provide personalised a customer experience in the same environment as the order was placed. TCNS need the latest delivery information to provide the owner of the smart box/door insights into the current status of the device. LSPs need the latest delivery information to perform the execution of their delivery services.

During the pilot with Hoogvliet, this mutual data access was organised via TCNS. TCNS’s vision is to organise mutual data access based on the data sovereignty principles. According to these principles, the mutual data access must be controlled by the organisations with rights on the data. This control requires organisations (Merchants, LSPs) to adapt their IT systems resulting in an implementation barrier. For scaling-up the pilot, the ambition of TCNS is to provide Merchants and LSPs with a tool for policy management to control who can access their data. This tool should be easy to implement, thereby removing the implementation barrier at Merchants and LSPs. Furthermore, it enables Merchants and LSPs to only share parts of the data with relevant organisations thereby realising the data sovereignty principles.

In this use case, the IT implementation at Merchants and LSPs is simplified by developing a hub for managing policies

To reduce the implementation barrier for merchants and LSPs, TCNS and their implementation partner Poort8 seek to develop a service provider hub. This service provider hub enables Merchants and LSPs to securely create, manage and verify policies for unattended delivery using verified identities and authorisations. TCNS and Poort8, asked the Data Sharing Coalition for expertise to improve the scalability of service provider hub and for funding to develop it. This service provider hub, based on the iSHARE trust framework, will enable mutual standardised policy based data access between back offices of Merchants, LSPs and TCNS for unattended deliveries. Other use cases can re-use the hub as the generic design will be made available on GitHub when finalised. Through our involvement in this use case, we gain insights in policy management for secure data based on the implementation by The Chain Never Stops.

Findings of this use case

Do you want to learn more about the use case design, insights on the context of the use case and insights on how the use case can be implemented in a scalable way to other use cases with similar roles? Please download our report which includes our most important findings so far.

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Do you want to know more about this use case? Or do you have an interesting idea to define and realise new cross-sectoral use cases of data sharing? Please send us an email at info@coe-dsc.nl.


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