A question we often get asked is: what’s so different about Gophr when compared to every other on-demand delivery service out there?
Well, most other on-demand delivery tech companies out there are B2C delivery solutions, usually focused on delivering food. This requires a totally different approach to the market sector we are focused on; traditional B2B courier services.
In B2C, you generally deal with food deliveries. For obvious reasons, food needs to be delivered immediately. The courier will go to the restaurant, pick up the food while it’s still hot and go straight to the delivery point before it has a chance to get cold. Although perfect for this sector, it does lead to an inefficiency problem which is the #1 nightmare of traditional courier company; ‘dead miles’.
“Dead miles” are miles travelled that have not been paid for by a customer. A dispatcher’s (a.k.a. controller’s) job at courier company is to drive efficiency by linking up jobs going in similar directions to cut as many dead miles as possible. All whilst still hitting their customers required pick up and delivery deadlines.
On top of these service requirements you need to be able to track how much a courier is carrying, versus what he has capacity for.
There are more variables to this, but for simplicity’s sake let’s just stick with those four core principles: distance, direction of travel, deadlines, and volumetric capacity.
We built the Gophr platform to be a B2B delivery solution from the ground up, with these core principles driving the entire system in real-time.
Gophr’s platform takes into account all of the current couriers working on the system, their direction of travel, pick up and delivery deadlines, as well as current and future consignment loads versus their stated capacity. It uses the totality of this information to then choose the most optimal courier for any job at the time it’s required. The system doesn’t just do this at the point before it sends the notification to the most optimal courier, but also during the entire life cycle of any given job.
This opens up a whole world of opportunities, particularly at scale. Both in driving efficiencies in real-time, and greater flexibility in how any item can be delivered.
This is where we see Gophr making a real difference going forward. Not just to couriers and customers, but any business that has a fleet that could do with be optimised for greater efficiency.
We’ve not done one of these in a while. Mainly because we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes building awesome stuff and getting ready for what’s coming. More on that in the coming weeks/months.
For now, suffice to say we’ve just released a major new update to our desktop booking app that gives you more access to info around your job and your courier than ever before, so you know exactly what your courier is doing and when.
We were told that this was a very bad idea, and would only result in more complaints and customer service issues. So we only released it to a handful of you, then 10% a week later all the way up to 50% last week. Given we’ve had only positive feedback we’ve decided to put it on general release …at least until the point that everyone starts kicking off as initially predicted, but we’re feeling pretty good about this not happening. If you need to get a hold of us just hit us up on Live Chat anyway.
So why is this update any good?
Well, everything looks a bit smarter for starters, but here are more details:
As ever, if you have any feedback do let us know. You can always hit us up on live chat. We love hearing from you.
Check out our new desktop app here
It’s been an exciting year at Gophr. We’ve raised money from our investors Yonder and Beyond, we’ve built the best business courier service booking system in the world (we think!) and we’ve assembled an incredibly capable and diverse team. Together with you, our couriers have performed thousands of deliveries. We’re now getting ready to carve a name out for ourselves in the industry.
We recently became the UK’s first and only Living Wage accredited courier company, which we’re incredibly proud of. The courier industry has been torn by wage and treatment disputes for years, cumulating in recent protests at some very large companies. We’re proud to put a marker down and say the industry deserves better. In fact, we’ve insisted on it since Gophr was first formed.
Until now, our deliveries have been carried entirely by pushbikes and cargo bikes. This has kept our delivery area relatively small. Our cargo bikes can take 70Kg of weight no problem, but we know this has restricted what we can carry tremendously.
Today, we’re announcing the introduction of our van couriers and motorcycle couriers! Since our launch in March, we’ve had daily requests to help you move bigger and bigger items and we’re pleased to say we can do this starting today.
We’ll be introducing various sizes of vehicles including scooters, motorcycles and both small and large vans. We’re confident we’ll be able to take just about every item you might want to send by courier and for anything else, let us know and we’ll see what vehicles we can introduce to serve you in the future (speedboat on the Thames maybe?).
Going forward, you’ll be able to book vans and motorcycles through the same familiar interface you currently book push-bikes through. This time however, you’ll be able to select the most relevant vehicle to your package and we’ll adjust your quote and ETAs automatically. As you’ve come to expect, we’ll also made some small changes to our size/weight guidelines in our UI to help you gauge your package size and weight for the new vehicles too.
With the Christmas period coming up, we hope we’ll be your first choice for delivery. Got special requirements over the festive season? Drop us a line on our live chat button, or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to work with you as best we can to make sure your plans go smoothly. You can reach us via the above methods for any issues at all.
The Gophr Team
Note from Seb: The first courier I ever met in London after I first had the idea for Gophr was Clarence Takunda Chodofuka (pictured above). I got introduced to him after walking into Full City cycles asking them who the best person to speak to would be. We’ve now had the good fortune of being able to hire Clarence to come work for Gophr. Four weeks ago he got into a crash whilst on the job so we brought him in to work in the office, to monitor at how our automated dispatch system worked and to give us feedback on it. Whilst he was there he offered to write a blog post on what it’s like to work with the Gophr system and the glimpse it’s given him into future of couriering. Here it is…more