Paack x Google Cloud: Trailblazing Sustainable Ecommerce Deliveries

trazabilidad ecommerce

Paack is leading the way within the ecommerce delivery industry, serving hundreds of European cities and millions of deliveries on a platform that constantly innovates its tech to become a champion of sustainability for the retailers it supports.

Digital Natives Done Right

For consumers, quick, high-quality delivery is no longer a nice-to-have, but the expected norm. Covid-19 and generational shifts have only made this more true—including pressure for retailers to adopt more sustainable practices. As end consumers’ needs evolve, it’s crucial to ensure their brand experiences are positive from start to finish.

Enter Paack, a pioneer in the ecommerce space offering tech-enabled delivery solutions. Paack, a digital native company born and bred in the cloud, started five years ago and has since expanded to over 100 European cities, made over 20 million deliveries, and grown 3.5x year on year. By offering retailers an amazing delivery experience, owned transportation network, widening coverage, and a promise on sustainability, it has become an industry trailblazer, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality as a business by 2030.

Paack’s in-house tech platform, built by a team of over 120 engineers alongside Google Cloud technology, allows processes to be automated, robotized, and optimized for maximum efficiency. As a result, Paack has a 96% success rate on first delivery attempts—traveling less to deliver more, and reducing its carbon footprint in the process.

Growth built on the cloud

To stay competitive, Paack needed a technological logistics solution to suit both the macroeconomic climate and a highly demanding and volatile end customer base. When choosing from technology stacks and cloud providers, the company prioritized an infrastructure that allowed for future growth.

“The Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) cluster was by far the best—easiest to operate, to maintain, and its automation was years ahead of the competition,” says Nicolás Francia, Paack’s CTO. “We’re with Google Cloud because of the level of features and visibility we can offer—things that are already built and easy to integrate. I wouldn’t even consider a scenario where we would consider another provider.”

Paack breaks its data storage into stages, streaming different data components and consolidating it in BigQuery. On a daily basis, platforms like Google Workspace also help Paack run its operations, gather useful insights, and get the most out of its business.

Because of its cloud tech and short time-to-market cycles, Paack can compete with companies that have offered similar solutions for decades by building the same solutions in a fraction of the time. Without ties to legacy infrastructures, Paack can adapt its own agile methodology to experiment and offer customers the very best solutions.

Moving forward at pace

In ecommerce retail, things move fast. And with over 2.5 billion digital buyers globally, things won’t slow down anytime soon. Without the right tech, it’s impossible to adapt to rapidly-changing markets—so businesses like Paack have to manage trends with rapid change, and be ready for extreme adaptation.

Paack uses Google Cloud’s API gateways to control and scale incoming traffic during peak periods—for example, on Black Friday or at Christmas, when a retailer holds a sale or a certain product goes viral. To scale and meet demand, it also uses Google’s Cloud RunFirestorePub/Sub, and Looker—supporting data storage and processing. This enables Paack to make sure deliveries are managed well, and to visualize inefficiencies so it can continue to improve.

This cloud technology not only benefits Paack and the retailers it serves, but the retailers’ end customers as well, providing a scalable tracking service, web page, and notification system, whether they’re dealing with 50,000 or 150,000 parcels that day.

“Not every company has the capacity to adapt or put out new services as fast as we do. Our time to market is short—we deploy software every day on multiple lines, and release 5-6 features every week. It’s unmatched in the logistics sector, because the sector hasn’t caught up with the technology we currently have.”

Nicolás Francia, CTO at Paack

Reducing wasted energy and resources

When ecommerce retailers face unexpected spikes in demand or traffic, they can struggle with inefficient delivery systems, which result in a higher carbon footprint and wasted resources. This is one reason why Paack avoids servers and relational databases—reducing intense computing also cuts operations overhead and consumes CPU time more efficiently. With tools like BigQuery, it can clearly see how much room for improvement is possible with computing and data storage.

In fact, all of Paack’s applications are built inside Google Cloud in one way or another, whether it’s a serverless component or inside the Kubernetes cluster. It uses a last-mile application that includes a routing management system, dispatch management system, and last-mile dashboard that also runs on Google Cloud.

Last-mile delivery—the very last step of the delivery process, when a parcel is moved from a warehouse to its final destination—is the most critical step in the delivery process, and one that retailers need to make sure is as quick and efficient as possible—particularly when sustainability is part of their company’s DNA.

Paack integrated Google Maps into its driver app, showing drivers’ locations, travel times to certain destinations, and ultimately getting deliveries down to a perfect science. By working with BigQuery and Looker, Paack can reduce the number of routes needed, increase the number of parcels delivered, and optimize vehicle usage to hit net zero targets and not use any more resources, miles, or fuel than is needed.

Paack also has a designated sustainability team that is able to calculate the carbon footprint of a parcel’s journey, which in turn helps it to iterate each cycle and improve individual processes, from collection to delivery—not just in the last-minute mile, but in Paack’s entire network.

Innovating in unexpected ways

One of Paack’s most outstanding achievements with cloud technology is its Madrid-based robotics distribution center, which has equipped 270 AI-powered logistics robots to process both last-mile and cross-docking parcels simultaneously with almost 100% accuracy. Handling up to 10,000 parcels an hour, it is the largest autonomous mobile robot (AMR) project in Europe, and uses an API gateway inside the Kubernetes clusters to integrate with Paack’s warehouse system as the company’s most complex automation.

New developments are no novelty at Paack, as they are already in constant movement together with Google Cloud. “The Google Cloud team is really quick to respond, and will not hesitate in putting resources to help you out,” says Francia. “I don’t even see them as an external team. They’re like an extension of my own.”

Read the full article in Google Cloud’s website.

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