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From order to dispatch, Locus is tackling the last mile

New technology offers a one-stop solution to managing goods moving to end customers

Locus has turned its routing solution into an end-to-end delivery management platform for companies of all sizes. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — What once was a women’s safety app is now an end-to-end delivery management platform for businesses — retailers, shippers, carriers — managing the last mile.

Locus’ new order-to-dispatch delivery management solution brings together all the components for a successful last-mile delivery into an integrated platform. The solution was unveiled Monday at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/XPO 2022 conference at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The platform utilizes optimization algorithms and workflow automation to learn from previous outcomes to improve dispatch planning, scheduling and routing. The data insights also increase visibility, capacity and carrier management under an integrated API-ready solution, the company said.

“In today’s competitive landscape, quick and on-time deliveries are non-negotiable to customer satisfaction, retention and growth,” said Nishith Rastogi, founder and CEO of Locus. “But while many companies might see last-mile logistics as simply a means to an end, they might not realize that optimizing these efforts can actually contribute to the bottom line. From order capture to post-fulfillment, brands that strategically tap the right technology and processes at all stages are able to better service their customers and keep them coming back for more.”

Rastogi told Modern Shipper that the solution, which is the first time Locus has moved beyond routing to managing other aspects of the last mile, has already been adopted by 71% of its customers.

Locus pivoted away from the women’s safety app and got into the routing business and helped usher in the era of 60- to 90-minute delivery in Southeast Asia, Rastogi said. The company also has operations in the U.S. and Australia. But he noticed that customers “were building on top of it.”

To help answer those demands, Locus introduced its end-to-end solution. Designed for shippers, 3PLs and carriers, it starts managing the last mile long before an item reaches the truck. The technology looks at what the delivery capacity is at time of order. It then handles the management and automation of that order before adding dispatch planning and allocations to the proper delivery provider (in-house versus outsourced or maybe a hybrid model). Once that is all determined, it executes on the dispatch (including a customer service dashboard), before providing a reconciliation process.

“This is typically a manual process,” Rastogi said, noting that Locus’ platform plugs into order management systems and other platforms as needed.

Finally, customers receive insights and reports.

Locus only handles surface freight, so items that must move on other modes are not included. Rastogi said the solution mimics the Amazon experience, giving smaller companies the opportunity to match service levels.

Most of Locus customers have at least some in-house transportation, but what the company is able to do is provide a 3PL-like technology experience without the customer losing control of its own fleet. The Locus technology is able to manage delivery orders and route them to the proper provider, whether that is the in-house fleet or an outside provider.

Unlike some providers, though, Locus does not provide the outside transportation network. However, that allows it to work with in-house networks seamlessly.

“It makes logistics very ‘hackable,’” Rastogi said.

Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].