Area-wide home delivery of daily necessities.

The research project Food4all@home, funded by BMVIT as part of the „Mobility of the Future“ program, aimed to create a sustainable logistics concept for the comprehensive home delivery of food. The essential factor was ensuring an inexpensive local supply regardless of the mobility situation or the time constraints of each individual customer.

Under the management of the logistics department of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in Steyr, and together with the business partners Pfeiffer Handelsgruppe and Österreichische Post AG, RISC Software GmbH has developed a feasible and profitable cooperative and cross-sectoral operator model that has been accepted on the market.

The domestic delivery of food is normally carried out by specialized courier services with actively cooled vehicles. Due to the high costs, this is only economically feasible in metropolitan areas. The basic idea of this project was not to cool the vehicle, but rather the package. Through an intensive cooperation of all project partners and their expertise new processes can be optimally linked with existing ones, and various IT technologies can be connected. This makes it possible to develop a cost-effective, daily house delivery in a cost-neutral manner even in rural areas.

RISC Software GmbH has developed a web-based last-mile simulation framework within the scope of the Food4all@home project. This allows the evaluation of different variants of the entire supply chain from picking to customer delivery. For delivery in urban areas, the exact tours are calculated taking the close delivery time windows at customers in account, whereby the planning tool accesses the real-time traffic situation in order to allow an up-to-the-minute delivery.

In addition to the planning aspects of this tool, it is also used in business operations. This makes it possible to optimize the delivery routes for fresh food, while exact delivery times can be met, even when considering the traffic situation during rush hour in metropolitan areas. Simple settings of cost parameters, tour characteristics or time windows at the recipient can be individually adjusted. Within a few seconds of calculation time, improvements of 5–15% from the existing tests
are achieved.

Food4all@home ensures a cost-neutral and nationwide home delivery of food throughout Austria within the standard processes of the Austrian Post. By integrating the processes and IT systems, a sustainable delivery service for food was developed. Thus, different pricing models of the Pfeiffer Handelsgruppe were evaluated by simulating different time slots scenarios. Consequently, the delivery rounds of the Austrian Post AG were optimized and the exact delivery times met up-to-the-minute, even taking into account the traffic situation during the rush hour.

The Food4all@home research project was awarded the „Spring Award 2015“ by the BMVIT and the FFG in the area of „Mobility of the Future – Innovative Goods Transport“ and by the Verein Netzwerk Logistik with the „Austrian Logistics Award 2015“.