When you are in an emergency situation and dial 911, how soon the emergency responders start driving to your location is a big deal. However, a lot of things need to take place before that can happen. Should they send a police officer or an EMT? Where should they send them? How many should they send? To avoid making a critical mistake like sending the wrong personnel to the wrong location, emergency services trades time for correctness up front.
This is also a common practice of freight forwarders. A company in an Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation calls a forwarder and begins explaining the situation to the forwarder. The forwarder then goes to great lengths to ensure correctness up front. What type of vehicle is required to carry the piece? What drivers in that vehicle type are available for the job? Are they TSA certified? Once a driver is identified, where are they and can they make the flight cut off? This process can take the better part of an hour, but is important because any mistake could cause enormous delay.
In logistics, there are a lot of things outside of the forwarders control. However, dispatch time is the one metric that the forwarder is 100% in control of and the length of that time can result in a superior or dismal service. 58 planes take off every minute worldwide. A sooner dispatch time means more flight options which could result in hours or days sooner delivery due to flight schedules, and in an AOG situation, that has a huge effect on the bottom line. The problem is sacrificing correctness for faster dispatch is not an option. Every parameter must be accurate, but as fast as possible.
At Airspace, we have a median dispatch time of less than two minutes. By our estimates we believe we are around fifteen times faster than other forwarders on their best day. That is anything but an accident and achieving it without sacrificing correctness it is anything but easy. It took over a year of some of the best software engineers in the world to develop a system that programmatically identifies the closest, correctly certified driver in the correct vehicle, and automatically dispatches them to the pickup location. In less than a second, the entire route from pickup to destination is calculated, including drives and flights. It even factors in potential airline cargo closures. Within seconds of an order being placed the ideal driver receives a push notification and confirms that they are on the way.
As much as I love software, we live in the real world. A smart algorithm is not very effective if a human is not available to pickup the piece. All Airspace drivers carry the Airspace Partner mobile app in their pocket which lets us identify the closest driver for each job. We can verify their certifications and vehicle all with a click. This also lets us to better tune our dispatch time strategically partnering with drivers near client locations. As I type, our operations team is actively improving our dispatch time without sacrificing accuracy and I can’t wait to see our next benchmark.