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How Quadient Shipping Developed Smart Lockers with Cutting Edge Delivery Experience

Quick Facts

Company

Quadient Shipping
shipping.quadient.com/en

Customer Profile

Based in France, Quadient Shipping (QSH) specializes in traceability solutions for the logistics and transport industries.

Objectives

QSH was looking to implement a robust and reliable cellular connectivity solution for its global network of smart lockers.

Results

Partnering with Sierra has enabled QSH to:

  • Deploy globally with a single means of connectivity, enabling great flexibility to scale its smart lockers.
  • Save time and money setting-up new smart lockers and the ongoing management and monitoring.
  • Providing robust connectivity in all settings: indoors, basements, or remote areas.
Sierra Wireless Products & Services
  • Sierra Wireless’ AirLink® RV50X routers
  • AirLink Management Services (ALMS)
  • Smart Connectivity

Introduction

Quadient Shipping (QSH) is part of a global mail and logistics company, Quadient. QSH specializes in integrating traceability solutions throughout the logistics and transport sectors. It does this by leveraging digital technologies such as RFID, barcodes and the Internet of Things (IoT). As well as building its own solutions, QSH also partners with best-in-class vendors to provide the most advanced and effective solutions for its customers. 

QSH has been involved with Quadient’s Parcel Locker Solutions (PLS), which is one of the key pillars of Quadient. PLS provides smart lockers that allow companies and individuals to pick up packages at their convenience, at any time. These lockers are typically located in retail premises so that customers can collect items ordered on line in-store, as well as in residential buildings, to service inhabitants receiving e-commerce deliveries.

Challenge

Smart lockers have to be available 24/7, as their main selling point is that they offer convenience. If there are frequent outages or the lockers are unavailable for whatever reason, customers will stop relying on them. In addition, there must be timely maintenance to ensure that any bugs or issues are resolved quickly with limited downtime. Continuous operation without minimal disruption, therefore, requires robust internet connectivity.

Wi-Fi connectivity has proven challenging for QSH. Firstly, each site requires integration with the local internet infrastructure, which is costly and time-consuming. Secondly, Wi-Fi can cause security issues, as the data is not always encrypted, which is especially important considering that smart lockers handle sensitive customer information. As a result, QSH opted for a cellular IoT solution. In the early stage of this approach, there were some issues with the limited telecom coverage of their partner networks, meaning QSH needed different SIMs and arrangements for different areas of operation. There were also limited fallback options if one network had an outage, which caused lost connectivity in some circumstances.

In the beginning, we had the choice of using the networks provided by our customers – either wired or Wi-Fi. Difficulties in the field very quickly became apparent however such as the complexity and cost of integration with the customer’s IT systems and security issues with using Wi-Fi, and we decided to use the solution that we had initially envisaged as a secondary solution, namely cellular connectivity.

Bruce Pacome
Operations & Purchasing Manager at Quadient Shipping

Solution

QSH opted to shift to a mulit-carrier cellular solution, which gave it reliable coverage at the national level across France. It also started using Sierra Wireless’s AirLink range of industrial routers with AirLink Management Services (ALMS) along with the connectivity solution.

Approximately 80% of the data transmitted from QSH’s smart lockers relate to supervision and maintenance. With the AirLink solution, this information can be sent back in real-time, allowing QSH to closely monitor the performance of its units and troubleshoot any problems. Meanwhile, ALMS provides a single dashboard that displays all devices’ status, signal information, and location in the network. QSH’s managers could get alerts if any devices went offline, allowing for easily identified and solved problems. It is also possible to send software updates over-the-air, improving security.

GLOBAL EXPANSION

As QSH has expanded globally, it has opted for the AirLink RV50X router, coupled with Sierra’s Smart Connectivity service. The RV50X is easy to install and operate, making it perfect for global deployments. It is a 4G LTE gateway but supports fallback to 3G and 2G networks, meaning it can cover a broad range of spectrums. It also has ultralow power consumption, reducing management and maintenance costs.

Smart Connectivity links securely to carrier networks in over 190 countries. As a result, QSH can manage its global fleet of devices with a single SIM, rather than having to manage multiple different vendors and carriers. If one network has an outage then Smart Connectivity will automatically connect to the next best option, minimizing outages. QSH is also looking to start using Sierra Wireless’ e-SIM, which makes provisioning and updating its devices much simpler, and cuts the need for costly truck-rolls.

Benefits

  • Partnering with Sierra has provided many benefits for QSH:
  • Out of 15,000 lockers deployed worldwide, more than half are now connected with Sierra Wireless.
  • QSH can deploy globally with a single certification and a single means of connectivity. This has given the company great flexibility and speed, which has helped to expand and scale its network of smart lockers.
  • Ease of deployment has also allowed the company to save time and money, both in setting-up new networks of smart lockers and ongoing management and monitoring.
  • QSH’s lockers are often deployed inside shopping centers, in the back of stores, or other cut-off locations. Sierra Wireless’ AirLink routers and Smart Connectivity service provide robust connectivity in all settings, whether the units are indoors, in basements, or other remote areas.
  • Sierra Wireless’ experience as an IoT connectivity leader enables quick solutions that were adapted to QSH’s needs while helping support QSH in its deployments and ensuring they are successful.

Out of more than 15,000 lockers deployed worldwide, nearly half are connected with Sierra Wireless’ connectivity solutions. The fact that we can deploy a single means of communication, regardless of the region, thanks to the single worldwide certification has given us greater flexibility and speed in deploying our products, allowing us to save time and money.

Bruce Pacome,
Operations & Purchasing Manager at Quadient Shipping

Related Products

Tagged Industries
Logistics Smart Cities
Client

Quadient Shipping

Location

EMEA
France

Markets

Smart lockers

Products & Service​

AirLink® RV50X routers
AirLink Management Services (ALMS)
Smart Connectivity

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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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