UK courier harnesses what3words

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The what3words app, which divides the entire surface of the globe into 3 x 3m (10 x 10ft) squares (57 trillion in total), each with a unique three-word reference, is garnering increasing interest from courier companies. The latest to adopt the technology is Hermes in the UK, which, following a partnership with what3words, is giving customers the option to provide addresses generated by the app.

The delivery company believes that the system provides a simple and robust means for couriers to deliver parcels directly to a customer’s doorstep or desired delivery point. According to the firm, street addresses across the UK can be inaccurate, compounded by the fact that map pins can drop in the center of building, leaving couriers struggling to find the correct door or access point, and postcodes can often cover a large area.

The app developers say that as online shopping has continued to grow, what3words has seen an 833% increase in adoption of its addressing technology on the checkout pages of retailers around the UK, who it says are looking to provide customers with a way to ensure their delivery makes it to the correct place or a safe, contact-free location.

Using the Hermes app, customers can now add a what3words address to their profile. The driver will then have the what3words address in addition to the traditional address information, such as postcodes, providing an extra layer of detail for the last mile of the delivery.

Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes UK, said, “We’re really excited to team up with what3words and become the first delivery company in the UK to provide what3words addresses for any parcel. This marks the latest development in our innovation portfolio that we had been planning for some time, however because of the pandemic, when we have experienced five years’ growth in five months due to online shopping behaviors changing, we have expedited the use of this tech to further enhance our contact-free deliveries option, at a time when both our clients and their customers need efficient, safe deliveries.”

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