Successful completion of the SMile funding project

SMile stands for “Smart Last-Mile Logistics” in urban and rural areas. From December 2018 to February 2021, the consortium members were researching recipient-oriented delivery services.Together, they have now brought the BMWi lighthouse project to a successful completion.

Berlin, February 26, 2021 – How do goods get to the customer? Distance selling has been a growth market not just since the Corona crisis. Central to customer satisfaction and the smooth running of e-commerce transactions is logistics: does the package arrive safely and on time at the right place – and at what price?

The last mile between the distribution center and the end customer is by far the most expensive part of the supply chain: between 13% and 75% of the total costs are created here. Multiple failed trips not only cause customer frustration, but also high costs and environmental impact.

In the SMile project, the consortium partners researched solutions that can make the delivery of goods shipments over the last mile more service-oriented and efficient. 

SMile stands for “Smart-Last-Mile Logistics” in urban and rural areas. As consortium members, the companies GoodsTag (consortium leader), GS1 Germany and Pickshare, together with the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam and the University of Leipzig, contributed their platforms and expertise to test cooperative delivery solutions. 

Until now, such solutions have failed due to closed IT systems and siloed delivery solutions. The result of SMile is the prototype of a platform that can unite a wide variety of service providers under one roof and enable cooperative deliveries over the last mile.  

The basis for the offering is a smart service platform developed under the direction of GoodsTag and the Hasso Plattner Institute. “Our goal is to be able to make the entire product lifecycle more sustainable,” says Oliver Schwarz, CEO of GoodsTag GmbH. “SMile has clearly shown that the digital transformation of the product world is a key process step.” 

Packages and all involved parties, such as carriers, transporters, microdepositories or recipients, are thereby clearly identified across all stages of the supply chain.  Together with the neutral platform, this enables open access to new forms of delivery, for example: 

  • Desired delivery dates and locations can be set at short term, independent of the respective parcel service.
  • Crowd logistics concepts ensure lower costs, more flexibility, less traffic and thus lead to greater sustainability. 
  • Car delivery, i.e. delivery to the trunk of the car, is a potentially interesting alternative, especially for those in work.

A study conducted by GS1 Germany as part of the SMile project shows that logistics providers should also rethink their approach. Almost every second respondent rated the service quality of the current delivery situation as merely satisfactory or worse. The good news for the industry is that recipients are willing to pay for reliable parcel delivery within a specific time window, for example. 

Press release SMile [PDF]

Press Clipping

IoT Project SMILE, BMWI, 2018-2021

e-commerce Magazin, 2021, (s.7)

Logistik Heute, 10.3.21