To prioritise ‘delivery timelines’ with reduced driver fleet, last-mile logistics companies faced an uphill task arising due to the second surge of lockdown challenges. Prasad Sreeram, Founder & CEO, Cogos shares his experience with CARGOTALK on the same.
Q How difficult was it to prioritise ‘delivery timelines’ during the second surge of lockdowns?
Prioritising ‘delivery timelines’ during the second surge of lockdowns was a task but we can say that we have been able to manage it quite well with our existing fleet. Initially it was a task, but we prioritised the delivery of essential items because that was necessary. At Cogos, we have adopted technology every now and then, thus initiating a contactless delivery was not a challenge with our AI-enabled platform.
Q What challenges were faced in the ‘last-mile delivery’ during the lockdown?
Presently, we are all facing uncertainties which have arisen due to the pandemic and we are facing challenges like:
- Segregation or separation of goods under essentials and non-essentials categories from the customer end
- Getting the required ‘E pass’ for the movement
- Supply of drivers as many of them have moved to their villages/ hometowns and are waiting for the lockdown to ease to move back to the working location.
- Brutal actions at times – enforcement agencies while enforcing lockdown are using force on drivers/ partners.
Q With a reduced fleet of drivers, how was the response time for delivery met?
Initially we faced a lot of issues with the reduced driver fleet because they were affected by COVID. But we knew that this had to be managed since the rise in demand for essential services couldn’t be ignored. We decided to ramp up our fleet with any family member of the affected driver who could fill in for the service so that the delivery is met, and the income flow is maintained as well within the driver’s family. Our driver partners have emerged like real heroes during the second wave.
Q What steps were taken in overcoming such difficulties in order to run the operations smoothly?
With the use of technology we are helping our drivers/ partners deliver smoothly and on time. Our technology helps drivers with scheduling and order management, sorting out the routes, tracking the vehicles, and recording the distance covered and the route taken.
Q Has the adoption of the latest technology been a saviour?
Definitely, technology plays a very important role for every sector and especially in the second wave managing things with the ease of tech has been very helpful. We strive to keep improving and adding to our offering to help the entire ecosystem.
Technology enables us to do a background check of every driver; have a powerful scheduling and order management system; and provide real-time and seamless monitoring. Also, our invoicing is completely automated, and our customers and partners can now book, schedule or assign a trip by just using their phones.