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Pall-Ex on track to improve delivery rates thanks to AI

Award-winning haulage network Pall-Ex Group has announced significant efficiency improvements and new practices that will improve long-term business growth, following an increased use of AI across its freight business. Whilst AI is the buzzword of the moment, the Leicestershire-based haulier has been using this emerging technology for some time with the ongoing objective of improving delivery efficiency and customer transparency.

Last month, it introduced an improved AI software programme, launching the first phase of improved customer delivery tracking technology, signifying an important step-change for the business.

To date, Pall-Ex Group has used AI technologies developed in-house for its residential algorithm, which was created to give customers greater delivery transparency and accuracy.

NexusETA Laptop Display

The positive result of using technology to better communicate with customers has now been taken one step further, with Pall-Ex partnering with transport optimisation specialists, The Algorithm People to launch and deliver its new NexusETA project. Nexus is Pall-Ex Group's freight tracking software, and the addition of AI will improve its capability to calculate the estimated time of freight arrival and provide a delivery time window to customers and goods recipients.

This has been made possible by investment in The Algorithm People’s Optimize package, technology which is designed to provide optimisation, decarbonisation and innovation to fleet operators. Its technology roadmap enabled Pall-Ex Group to not only deliver the first phase of NexusETA in September, but also support the second phase of the rollout planned for 2024, to support the Group’s future vision and objectives.

Dave Dunhill, Chief Technology Officer at Pall-Ex Group, commented: “By embracing AI technology, we can deliver a suite of products and services using powerful algorithms based upon artificial intelligence. As a result, Pall-Ex and Fortec will be able to offer best in class tracking for customers and predetermine any possible issues. This is a significant advantage for customers as we can not only speed up deliveries but also manage peak periods by using AI to predict future patterns.”

The Pall-Ex Group launched its Nexus platform in 2020 to help streamline cross-partner communication and traceability, acting as a bridge between all domestic transport management systems across Europe. It has provided a one-stop-shop solution to cater for the needs of UK members, Group customers, and European Partners alike, enhancing the network’s international freight capability with multi-lingual and multi-currency options, and providing an effortless booking process for domestic and global freight. The investment has transformed intercontinental palletised haulage and accelerated Pall-Ex Group’s international growth strategy alone.

The latest phase in its development has harnessed the power of AI to monitor buying behaviour, peak management and more self-serve options to provide real-time information. Customers’ needs are ever changing, so this improvement to Nexus will help identify additional services to maintain high standards of delivery and tracking.

Dave Dunhill continues: “We are not expecting our implementation of AI to influence the use of automated vehicles or forklifts in our workspace. Instead, it will enhance the ability of our teams to better understand buying behaviour helping them work more efficiently, which will ultimately be passed onto the customer. What we will see is better use of space to store pallets, improved order management and streamlined delivery processes onsite and on the road.

“Not only are we investing in NexusETA, but we are investing in the teams that will be delivering and supporting it. We are already training staff and building new ways of working to support our increased focus on AI.”

As a result of NexusETA’s implementation, Pall-Ex Group will be able to offer a two-hour delivery window for palletised freight and improved route optimisation resulting in significant fuel savings and improved time and energy efficiencies.