ColisActiv - Accelerating last mile green delivery via a national initiative

Use Case
November 4, 2022
Mathieu

Problem

The delivery is an important and still growing activity, driven by the boom of e-commerce but also by BtoB sales, thanks to the rise of numerous platforms (eBay, Leboncoin, etc.).

In fact, in 2015, some 328 million packages were transported in France, i.e. almost 1 million traditional packages per day, excluding express deliveries.

To meet this high demand, thousands of carriers travel (mostly using vans) are on our roads every day to deliver our precious packages. They go from huge warehouses to our homes, charging ever more attractive fees.

As a result, we are facing an explosion in the number of cars in the city. In addition to the pollution and CO2 emissions, the large number of delivery vans and the number of motorists have resulted in the congestion of city centres, where traffic is becoming increasingly congested. Frequent stops by delivery drivers, particularly on pavements or cycle paths, are a real nuisance.

Opportunity

Objectives

The main objective of the ColisActiv' programme relies on experimenting on a territorial scale with an economic solution to accelerate a sustainable transformation of last mile parcel delivery by active mobility, and in particular by bicycle.

This gorvernemental approved programme proposes to promote these low-carbon parcel delivery methods by financing part of the additional costs involved in several pilot areas.

The programme's actions make it possible to select territories and to support selected active mobility delivery operators. It enables in a strong change, which is essential to improve their network, thanks to an economically fair advantage in those urban areas.

ColisActiv' also aims to highlight the economic benefits of this delivery method and to confirm the relevance of the associated incentivization method. It also enhance impact of political involvement at the local level, in particular the evolution of constraints for polluting modes and the multiplication of infrastructures for clean modes (cycle tracks, parcel relays).

ColisActiv' thus makes it possible to encourage the main logistics companies to gradually switch the delivery of the last few kilometres to an active mode.

Challenges

Create an incentive mechanism to accelerate economical transformation on a territorial scale.

Ensure that each and every euro invested is associated with impact value.

Tipping point

Set up a platform able to value the impact of operators and their clients, the transporters.

SmartB implementation

A complex process and a fragmented market

The programme allows for a premium to be paid (per package delivered) to last-mile delivery operators, to encourage logistic companies to switch to a decarbonised delivery mode. To avoid windfall effects and to ensure that the premium has a direct impact on the cost of delivery for logistics companies, the operators' invoices are collected and the amount of the premium is monitored.

The amount of the bonus is calculated on the basis of an initial study carried out a scientific comitee, based on the prices charged by operators already present and on the current cost of delivery by thermal vehicle for logistics companies.

As the programme progresses, this premium decreases as a result of the increase in the number of parcels entrusted to the operators. For the same cost, logisticians naturally tend to favour active mobility delivery operators, so the additionality financed is pregressively lowering.

An ideal playground for SmartB technology

SmartB's product is based on a technology platform that allows the interaction of carriers, operators and verifiers. Three types of actors with totally divergent interests:

  • the carrier wants to get the best price for his deliveries, and for the same price prefers to claim low emission deliveries
  • the delivery operator wants to get the most out of his deliveries, including those not made by bicycle.
  • The ColisActiv team in charge of managing the programme must allocate funds only to carriers that can demonstrate a true modal shift;

In order to implement a trustworthy environment allowing the cooperation of these actors, ColisActiv uses the SmartB main architecture components:

  • The "Connect" brick: This is a development environment that allows the simple and rapid implementation of organisation and user management. This ready-to-use opensource component thaty facilitates the management of user registration, identification and validation (KYC), and allows users to be associated with organisations and to be assigned complex rights. This component is essential for the development of impact platforms. Indeed, the cooperation necessary to implement an impact project or service requires interactions between users with different roles in the process and belonging to complex organisational structures.
  • The "Protocol" brick: This is an innivative mechanism designed by SmartB to describe how to transform the data collected into evidence of delivery. Typically in impact projects, validation operations are carried out by external auditors. Given the volumes of delivery involved in each transaction, some of the human validation is not possible.The use of this brick makes it possible to automate the verification function of the delivery modes and to entrust it to an artificial intelligence algorithm. Thus each delivery is verified and signed by an algorithm. This algorithm performs the premium calculation as defined above and then reports it on the invoices with the appropriate mention. The verification of the mention on the invoices is a manual operation.
  • The "Factory" brick interfaces with external data systems, collects carrier information and produces delivery data to feed the premium calculation performed by the AI. Another part of this component allows the invoice documents to be viewed and manually validated by the programme management team.
  • The "Impact registry" allows to materialise this value. It allows each proof of delivery produced to be recorded in the form of a transaction. This register integrates the data sources, the version of the algorithm used and thus makes each transaction auditable.
  • The "Finance" brick enables the financial monitoring of the programme. It makes the link between the premiums to be paid by the programme's co-financiers and the payment of premiums granted to transporters by the operators.Each euro invested is thus associated with a transaction, which in turn allows the proof of delivery (which can be audited from end to end) to be traced through the protocol.

Takeway

By using SmartB's technological bricks, ColisActiv has developed a new generation impact service.

It accelerates the transition to a more sustainable and economically viable form of last mile delivery in the territories.

The obliged investors) who finance the programme and the communities who co-invest are assured that every euro invested is used to claim a good execution of the protocol and has a direct impact.

Experienced entrepreneur working in digital, impact and wood industry. Mathieu is in charge of SmartB oprerations, helping clients to succed in developping their impact projects.

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