Unified logistic network
The Unified Logistic Network (ULN) is a solution that supports vendors and logistic carriers in fulfillment of parcel delivery. It is designed for three main objectives:
- Saving costs for vendors and carriers
- Enabling seamless handover of parcels between different carriers
- Giving customers more control over the fulfillment process
The system relies on the Serial Shipment Container Code (SSCC) in combination with advanced image processing capabilities and real time location tracking via a new high speed database. The SSCC is a worldwide unique identifier standardized by the GS1 which either vendor can associate with an outgoing parcel. Carriers on the road, intermediate parcel handling facilities and finally the delivery agent at the door can use this identifier in all stages of the fulfillment process to access and manage parcel related data.
The real time location tracking of all parcels is implemented by GPS receivers in vehicles and mobile devices submitting their respective positions to the database. Given a large number of vehicles and high resolution GPS coordinates this amounts to quite high transaction rates. The ULN database is designed to handle this load. Further, it has builtin special data replication functionality to handle low bandwidth connections from and to parcel centers (typically built somewhere on the green field).
What are the benefits of the system?
It drastically reduces the number of failed delivery attempts through real time redirection. Customers can submit a change of destination: "I am not at home. I want to meet my parcel at a new location". The system provides the real time locations of all parcels and vehicles. Based on this information carriers can then decide whether a redirection makes strategic sense. If they confirm, the new destination is stored in the system and used automatically for the delivery process.
It eases the process of returning parcels. Customers can submit a real time cancellation. This works similar to 'real time redirection' stated above, but here the new destination is the original sender address. Delivery agents do not need anymore to get to the door to find their parcel rejected. And customers do not need anymore to print a return label and send the parcel back.
It enables seamless handover between different carriers. There is no no need anymore to relabel parcels or check them in or out to carrier specific data systems because the SSCC guarantees worldwide compatibility. Still the system also upports carrier specific tracking numbers.
Vendors and carriers can reduce their data handling systems because their applications can use the ULN database. Application specific interfaces are provided by the ULNDB.
It allows for real time damage and theft intervention because any manipulations of parcels are recognized at entrance to the next parcel handling facility. The system compares the incoming parcel to the state stored in the ULNDB and fires an alarm if deviations exceed configurable thresholds.
It allows for easy end to end tracking in case of legal prosecution, VAT fraud or other circumstances.
It supports mass data analysis on all parcel data across the entire fulfillment chain. This gives valuable insight into behavior of vendors, carriers and customers.
A demo database including design specifications of business cases and data models is available for selected customers. Please call us for details. For additional public information please look