Media OutReach – 21 July 2022 – The Institute of Operations Research & Analytics (IORA) at the National University of Singapore and Pickupp, an on-demand delivery platform, have recently signed a Research Collaboration Agreement for a two year project. The project aims to set a new benchmark in logistic and fulfilment efficiency.
The collaboration aims to optimise and improve logistical efficiencies in two main research areas – logistics network design and price optimization.
The research partnership comes at a time where e-commerce is inherently ingrained in our day-to-day lives, with businesses and consumers now relying on the logistics industry more than ever. In this climate, the company with the most efficient logistics network and ability to serve businesses with agility and adaptability will gain a competitive edge.
Optimising Delivery Efficiency and Improving Sustainability In The E-Commerce Landscape
Leveraging data from Pickupp’s proprietary database to interpret patterns and trends, the collaboration strives to address logistical inefficiencies commonly faced in the industry through two main research areas. The first research area is about improving logistics network design.
The research will be used to develop a highly flexible service matrix for an industry where most companies are asset-heavy and do not fully utilize network systems. The intention is to enable a strategic placement of logistics spaces that will shorten the distance for last-mile delivery across the city while efficiently grouping and routing deliveries in a way that is both time-saving and cost-efficient.
The second key research area is price optimization. This research aims to develop an integrated incentive system that will enhance existing solutions for (i) matching drivers to jobs, (ii) managing incentives for the drivers and (iii) price optimization for merchants. This data-analytics driven approach reinforces Pickupp’s commitment to sustainability through the streamlining of delivery routes, while increasing revenues for delivery agents and improving cost management for businesses.
The collaboration is led by Assistant Professor Feng Yifan (Department of Analytics and Operations of NUS Business School and affiliated faculty member of IORA) and Crystal Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Pickupp, with co-leads Professor Teo Chung Piaw and Professor Jussi Keppo of IORA, Lawrence Ho, Chief Product Officer from Pickupp and Lee Chee Meng, Co-Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Pickupp’s Singapore Office.
Lee Chee Meng, Co-Chief Operating Officer, said, “At Pickupp, we believe that the future of logistics is asset-light and leveraging data is highly crucial in meeting the increasing demands of e-commerce, especially with perishables and groceries. The collaboration with NUS is a step forward in our belief that the future of logistics is data driven, and we trust the results from the research will unlock Pickupp’s network economic power to ensure that every delivery is fulfilled for a price that achieves equilibrium between cost to the business and incentive to the delivery agent.”
Professor Teo, IORA Executive Director, said, “This industry-academia partnership between IORA and Pickupp is significant as it builds on NUS’ growing research expertise in operations research and data science. The project will see our researchers work with industry to create products that have high value for commercialisation and industry adoption.”
Pickupp’s expanding network of islandwide pick-up and drop-off service points has enhanced its capacity to continuously diversify its product portfolio and offerings across all industries and verticals. On top of meeting different logistical needs, from on-demand delivery to micro-fulfilment and warehousing as well as cross-border services, these service points are also aligned with Pickupp’s goal of improving the efficiency of deliveries during peak traffic hours and decarbonising its operations by increasing its walker and rider delivery agent pool. Going forward, these service points will also serve as pick-up points and a point of sale for Pickupp’s e-commerce platform – Shop On Pickupp.
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