Hyperlocal delivery: The changing face of parcel fulfilment

German Autolabs
5 min readOct 21, 2021

In the world of hyperlocal delivery, every second counts towards customer satisfaction and bottom line. This hotly-contested new space is pulling in billions in investment — but does it have the tools needed to be successful?

“Same-day delivery is a game changer because it combines the immediate product availability of retail with the convenience of ordering from home.”

(SVP of a major logistics company) — McKinsey

So what is hyperlocal delivery, exactly?

Since we live in the era of Amazon, the quickest way to summarise hyperlocal delivery is: Amazon Prime Now. Hyperlocal is therefore ultra time sensitive, relying on same day — and in some instances, same hour — delivery. It unifies the convenience of online shopping with the instant availability of bricks and mortar stores. The high-level elements that define this e-commerce megatrend are:

  • Convenience. Hyperlocal fits around busy lives. Consumers have high service expectations — now more than ever.
  • It connects both local merchants and corporates with customers at the doorstep level.
  • Seamless transactions build trust between businesses and customers.
  • Contactless deliveries minimise COVID risks.
  • Some claim hyperlocal to have a small geographical radius (stores located within 5 kilometers of home), but we find this definition is applicable only to eg. takeaway food delivery.

“Venture-backed grocery delivery firms have raised roughly $1.56 billion in Europe so far this year, up from $687 million in 2020.”


How is hyperlocal delivery fulfilled?

Three main fulfilment paradigms currently exist:

1Firstly, existing parcel logistics providers add an additional delivery strand. This is a model that DHL, DPD, Fed-Ex and many others are successfully incorporating.

2Secondly, parcel broker platforms provide access to existing courier capacity, offering either instant or scheduled delivery to retailers. Competition is fierce in this arena.

3Finally, there are large (multi-national) retailers operating a dedicated fleet to handle same-day deliveries. The Amazon model.

The unique challenges of hyperlocal delivery

Hyperlocal deliveries are subject to the same logistics KPIs as regular CEP services — only with the intensity cranked up. For many, the bottom line is OTD: On Time Delivery. This is a very broad way of looking at a nuanced subject though. From conversations with our partners we’ve learned that the following areas are critical to the success of their operations, and have a major impact in customer satisfaction:

  • Courier acquisition and onboarding
  • Time per drop
  • Unfamiliar, non-standard routes
  • Incorrect delivery information jeopardising tight time windows.
  • Demand prediction
  • Inventory management
  • Peak period fulfilment

How can voice assistance tackle logistics and CEP KPIs?

Voice is a powerful companion for delivery drivers and couriers. The best voice assistance design is built on core logistics KPIs, including:

  • Efficiency. Voice is a glanceable interface that works without the need for distracting screens. This makes it optimum for use while operating vehicles of all modalities, from scooter to truck.
  • Service quality. Voice makes invisible information audible. Think of essential address info on a swipe screen: time and again, this info is missed by busy couriers. Highlighting it results in fewer errors and happier customers.
  • Database updates and annotation. Voice is a zero touch method of seamlessly delivering information back into the system. It also bypasses typing fatigue, resulting in happier and more productive couriers.
  • Global scalability. Voice breaks existing UX barriers by allowing people to communicate with the system in their own language and their own words.

Augmenting mobile workers with voice benefits adds up to faster, safer, and better deliveries.

“It’s very simple — if we manage to save just 1 minute per tour, it means a 3 digit million dollars amount for us.”

VP of Asia’s largest delivery service platform

What solutions is German Autolabs developing?

German Autolabs is developing voice assistance for mobile workers in logistics in cooperation with our partners in CEP fulfillment.

Courier Assistant in action

Courier Assistant helps bicycle couriers to make successful deliveries. Routes can be efficiently optimised before hitting the streets, hyperlocal GPS information lets the courier know exactly where their next stop is, turn-by-turn instructions keep them on track, and voice notes allow for easy updates to an ever evolving database. These skills are building up an archive of invaluable data that are making life better for courier and customer alike.

Parcel Assistant is an intelligent voice assistant for professional parcel delivery drivers. This solution simplifies complex workflows and converts them into straightforward information that is proactively read out at the optimum moment. 400 yards before reaching an address, the driver is reminded of the house number or name that they are headed to, and what to expect when they get there. Drivers spend less time looking at their scanner while at the wheel, are more effective in delivery, and are less stressed at work. New drivers and temporary staff are onboarded 50% faster and experience major workflow benefits from a proactive assistance system.

Want to know more?

We’ve added a Calendly integration to our website, so it’s super easy to book a meeting directly with our founder and CEO, Holger G. Weiss. Click here for more details.



German Autolabs

We build logistics voice assistance for mobile workers.