Palletforce, Europe’s leading logistics network, continues its investment in innovation and technology by unveiling a new £2 million upgrade of its electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) system, cementing the company’s position at the forefront of the sector.

Building on its Best use of Technology accolade at last year’s Motor Transport Awards, the roll-out of ePOD2 will see Palletforce pioneer a number of unique new features to drive quality, safety and service throughout the network.

ePOD2 will feature real-time vehicle tracking and improved notification facilities, triggered on tracking events, with the ability to send updates to consignees via SMS, email and twitter as pallets move through the delivery process.

It links seamlessly with the firm’s Alliance system to provide enhanced tracking of freight, live updates for members and their customers and the provision of an accurate proof of location in addition to the proof of delivery.

New time-saving, functionality features include paperwork scanning and an RHA checklist to enable drivers to perform vehicle checks and record any defects.

The system will also allow drivers to report whether a delivery point is residential or commercial, enabling Palletforce to build up a comprehensive database to highlight home deliveries and improve future manifesting and routing.

The ePOD system was originally developed in 2011, and Palletforce was the first network to deploy it across the entire member fleet. The new devices will see Palletforce provide a complete package to members, supplying hardware, software, airtime and centralised support.

Deployment of the new Honeywell devices has already begun and is expected to be completed by October.

The ePOD upgrade is part of a major new tranche of investment in industry-leading technology and innovation to be rolled out this year.

This includes state-of-the-art Pallet Selfie software, which will automatically photograph every pallet as it passes through the SuperHub in Burton, and a ground-breaking system that will use artificial intelligence to identify potential problems before they occur.

Palletforce Head of IT Kate Lovatt said: “Palletforce was first to market with the original ePOD system and now ePOD2 will ensure we are delivering the innovative technology to benefit both our members and their customers. The addition of several new efficiency-enabling features will improve the effectiveness of the system and allow us to further enhance quality, service and safety.”

Palletforce IT director Dean Hughes said: “Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in our sector and our ability to invest heavily in and pioneer technology and innovation cements our position as number one network. Our multi-million-pound investment across a number of technology projects this year will fuel member growth and deliver the highest levels of quality and safety to their customers.”

Geof Armstrong, director at Palletforce member Wm Armstrong, said: “We welcome these new devices and the benefits they bring in terms of efficiency and service provision. As a Palletforce member we continue to see the operational advantages from the network’s ongoing investment and this technology will ensure we continue to provide the best possible service and quality to our regional customers.”

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