Active Ants detects shipment exceptions within 30 minutes to improve delivery experiences

Learn how getting unique shipping insights helps Active Ants' fulfilment clients automate customer service processes and improve the delivery experience for the end customers.
Active Ants
Transportation, Logistics, Supply Chain and Storage

About Active Ants

Active Ants was founded in 2010 to make e-fulfilment more accurate and efficient through innovation and automation. Today, it’s one of the largest fulfilment players in the Netherlands.

  • 250+ clients
  • 5M+ orders per year
  • 5 warehouses in 4 countries

The need for unique shipping insights due to rising customer expectations 

Based on the enormous growth in parcel volumes and the rising customer expectations, Active Ants saw an urgency to keep a better overview and control of outgoing shipments. However, they had no direct insight into irregularities during parcel delivery. 

“In mid-2021, our customers' call for more insight into the performance of the carriers we use became increasingly clear and louder,” says Roeland Lengers, IT Director at Active Ants.

“Tracking shipments is a non-essential activity for Active Ants. Our core activity is sending packages as quickly as possible. We soon realised that uniform tracking of shipment statuses could work as a black box for us; a box that we just had to talk to in the right way.”

Active Ants provides extra service to support customers in their e-commerce activities

Rather than having to secure additional internal resources, Active Ants decided to look for an existing solution to offer an extra service for their customers to stay ahead of the competition.

Roeland explained: “The choice fell on Tracey because it was a young and innovative company where we could express our wishes. Together, we were able to connect the mutual systems quickly and adequately. I'm bold enough to say that Tracey also learned a thing or two from Active Ants during that time."

Active Ants uses Tracey's system as a black box in two ways. 

First, they receive the most important status transitions and exceptions per shipment without having to poll carriers. 

Second, they’ve used this data to build KPI screens within Maya, based on WebComponents. The load for generating those screens can be very high—that’s why it’s happening on Tracey's systems, not Active Ants.

“In my view, this is a successful example of the right ‘make or buy’ decision,” Roeland added.

‍Tracey’s plug-and-play business intelligence visuals put data from different carriers in a standardised format, making it easy to evaluate a carrier’s performance and compare it to other carriers. 

These reports enable online retailers to choose the right carriers for different countries based on the actual shipping data — eliminating the need for expensive, separate BI solutions.

Automated customer service processes and more insight into carrier performance

Right now, problems with various parcel carriers are detected within 30 minutes and sent back to the Active Ants system by Tracey. With this, the online retailer clients of Active Ants can automate the customer service processes to proactively keep the end consumer informed.

Besides Active Ants and their clients, Tracey is also improving processes because of the collaboration. Shipping data from Active Ants offers a solid basis for Tracey to make predictions about the timely and error-free delivery of packages. 

“These machine learning models are currently being trained, but are already showing results with an accuracy of 89% or higher. This means that we already predict delays with a high degree of certainty and can provide feedback more than 10 hours before the carrier itself,” says Sander Hak, Product Manager and co-founder at Tracey. 

We pass on the data we receive from Tracey to our customers, enabling them to derive value from it. We already see that our customers anticipate this and adjust their work processes to subsequently inform their customers better and more proactively. This ensures that, as Active Ants, we offer just that little bit of extra service to support our customers in their e-commerce activities."
Jean Lahaye

Co-founder Active Ants

Calculated events allow Active Ants to detect shipping issues 10+ hours before carriers

Using proprietary machine learning models trained on real shipping data.

accuracy of delivery predictions
mins to detect a shipment issue
hours ahead of carriers

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