Sweden’s Airmee goes beyond traditional delivery to get packages where they’re going more efficiently. Founded in 2016 this innovative company has outgrown their startup status despite the continual youthful enthusiasm of co-founders Julian Lee CEO and Head of R&D Adrian Prelipcean. Lee was initially inspired by time spent on the other side of the atlantic in both Korea and the US where he experienced first-hand how deliveries could be managed more efficiently, and wondered if an Uber-like model could be transposed onto e-commerce deliveries, with more deliveries in each car, less traffic, thus less pollution. While Prelipcean, armed with a Ph.D. in transport logistics, had deep knowledge in how to optimise flows in cites.
Logistical expansion and flows
Airmee's belief is that technology can change how the world moves is becoming reality as every delivery, vehicle and route is optimised to create a sustainable solution to urban logistics. Their unique research-based technology and an impressive team of operational expertise, has taken them from a platform built for delivery service of a Stockholm city store with SMS notifications to delivering over hundreds of thousands packages a month throughout Sweden from multiple retailers and e-commerce systems.
Airmee continuously updates the entire logistics flow to be able to pick up a large amount of goods from warehouses and bring them to a sorting facility. They then create routes, distribute and sort those deliveries into the different carriers to be able to deliver on the same day, inline with their promise of one-day delivery.
“Today we do all the logistics ourselves through 3rd party logistics providers. It's a great way to improve our own product, but scaling up this, and moving into new markets and countries, we are also doing a source version of the platform for other logistics companies,” explains Elin Härén CFO, underlining a strategy of continuous growth and expansion.
Customer’s like to see where their package is and when it will arrive. Airmee customers’ can follow the driver in real time via the tracking page. A functionality powered by the Google Maps Platform. And it’s an interactive aspect that is appreciated: Airmee recorded customers checking the page so they could track the whereabouts of their packages on average five times once the driver had departed. Confirming customers’ curiosity about when a package is going to arrive.
Each day Airmee uses hundreds of couriers to carry out tens of thousands deliveries. Airmee’s algorithm calculates the most efficient routes and distributes those deliveries based on how experienced the courier is, and who can best perform the specific itinerary. There is a match between how big the area is and how close the stops are, these factors are combined with the capacity of the car as you can't fit an infinite amount of goods in a single vehicle. All this results in highly efficient routes.
“Our whole business is location based, so without location data we wouldn't really have a business.“
—Elin Härén, CFO at Airmee
Efficiency for our environment
For this company which prides itself on sustainable preoccupations and practises, emission free deliveries, whenever possible, are an obvious yes. Using cargo bikes for deliveries in Stockholm city center was a way to avoid adding traffic to densely populated areas. And thanks to their automated systems, retailers that partner with Airmee are able to promote emission-free last-mile to their consumers. When Airmee receives these environmentally-friendly orders, thanks to the zip code, their system automatically recognises that those should be distributed with cargo bikes.
Growing, growing, growth
Airmee grew five-fold in terms of deliveries between 2018 and 2019, and are now handling tens of thousands of deliveries per week. This in part is thanks to the range of delivery options they offer from "I want this to be delivered to my home. It should be left outside my door" to "I want this delivered at my office at this time" and everything in between. This kind of flexibility is something that sets them apart from the traditional logistics players. And their continual growth attests to this: delivering hundreds of thousands packages early in 2020, they have only continued to increase their part of an expanding market, at an impressive rate of 30% per month over the last nine-months. “Our focus right now is on growing a lot, in the number of both retailers and also in the number of deliveries, which means that a lot of our objectives on the technical side are about scalability,” says Härén. Yet, this kind of challenge seems to be exactly aligned to the kind of intelligent operational excellence that is in Airmee’s DNA.