Adding a weapon in its competition with FedEx and UPS in eight Southern states, Texas-based regional carrier LSO has added route optimization and enhanced tracking and visibility through a partnership with software provider Bringg.
Like similar capabilities from the major carriers, Bringg gives LSO greater efficiency in its truck routing through real-time visibility into all its shipments and hubs and turn-by-turn navigation for its drivers. Bringg, which raised $25 million in new funding in January, is the technology underneath Walmart’s Spark grocery delivery program.
Branded as LSO View, the new capability gives shippers and their customers an enhanced tracking experience, with notifications, alerts, interaction with drivers, real-time views in transit and the ability to provide feedback on the experience.
“One of the big things apparent to me is that the Amazon effect means they’ve set the bar for everyone else to meet,” said Richard Metzler, LSO’s president and CEO. “True mobile visibility is now table stakes – think Amazon Flex in terms of the user experience. People want to know where their package is at all times.”
Aside from the enhanced customer experience and the satisfaction it brings, Metzler said Bringg gives LSO better performance and productivity. “There’s a strong business case in terms of lower costs on a hard dollar and soft dollar basis,” he said. “There are clear productivity benefits – helping drivers get out of the building from 60 to 90 minutes earlier has a significant impact in terms of productivity and savings and additional time on the road.”
The ability to optimize routes on a turn-by-turn basis by service type is also a key capability with LSO View, Metzler said.
“Drivers don’t necessarily go the shortest distance but often go out of their way to protect the service, and optimize based on service type. It’s been service first and optimize the route second,” he said. “Now they can do both. Also, drivers do a lot of on-call pickups throughout the day that are unpredictable and change their schedule. Bringg helps them dynamically route and optimize based on a combination of delivery by service type and pickup.”
In the second half of the year LSO will roll out an enhanced capability in the LSO View app that allows end customers to view their package en route and delivered at their doorstep, much like Amazon Flex and ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
LSO provides shipping and last-mile service across Texas and most of Oklahoma as well as significant portions of Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Ecommerce represents nearly half its business, Metzler said, with concentration in apparel, cosmetics and some hardlines, as well as B2B business in industrial and oil and gas.