There are some distinct advantages to being an Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP). One of them is that Amazon has a large science department. And that department researches everything Amazon does. Including delivery. Thus the connection between Amazon Delivery Service Partners and CONDOR.
What is CONDOR, and why does it matter to you? Here’s everything you need to know.
The Science Behind Delivery
One of the head scientists at Amazon noticed that even in his own neighborhood, more than one Amazon driver would show up during the day to deliver packages. He wondered if there was a way to prevent that. Since he worked for Amazon Logistics and on the Amazon Supply Chain Optimization Technology (SCOT) group, he found himself uniquely positioned to do something about it.
In so wondering, he was trying to solve one of the toughest mathematical problems that computer scientists face: the Prize Collecting Vehicle Routing Problem (PCVRP), which builds on the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). Why is this such a puzzle for theoretical computer science? Because it is actually a really complex problem
For example, if you are routing ten destinations unless they are on the same street all in a row, there are literally thousands of different routes a driver could take. Add another five destinations, and the number of possible routes rises exponentially. That’s just the TSP, a straight routing problem. Add the complexity of time and truck space with the PCVRP problem? Very quickly, your options outpace even the most advanced computer systems.
But there have been advances. Starting in 2017, Amazon tackled the most local problems and solved those issues pretty quickly. That involved first deliveries to a single address, building, and then street, and grew from there.
Once they optimized delivery for these areas, the scientists turned to optimizing by the route.
Amazon Delivery Service Partners and CONDOR
What is CONDOR? It stands for Customer Order and Network Density OptimizeR, and it solves an even more complex problem: because for Amazon, the items in an order might even come from different distribution centers, so stop consolidation is even more challenging.
This relatively new algorithm helps achieve a balance between the complexity of the problem and optimization. It brings together three things:
- mathematical optimization: essentially the numbers behind optimizing routes and the ability to reroute based on efficiency.
- local search: grouping orders and addresses together in a way that makes sense.
- capacitated vehicle routing problem solvers: factoring in vehicle capacity and driver time capacity into routing decisions.
The good thing for drivers and Amazon DSP owners is that you don’t have to understand everything about the system.
Once they were confident about the software, the scientists for Amazon did some tests in certain cities. Half the city used the system, the other half did not. The results? A half-a percent reduction in the need for route resources.
That may not sound like much, but on a large company scale, it is huge. But what does that matter to you, an Amazon DSP owner and operator?
Partnering Amazon Delivery Service Partners and CONDOR
There are several distinct benefits to the implementation of CONDOR, which has now been deployed in several locations across the United States and is slated to be implemented worldwide soon:
- Customers get better service. Most of the time, orders are delivered once a day by a single driver.
- The environment benefits. Fewer trucks driven fewer miles equal a smaller carbon footprint. That’s a clear benefit for everyone.
- DSP owners benefit because more efficient routing saves both time and money. It also reduces stress for drivers.
- Amazon benefits because they are perceived as more efficient when consumers don’t see overlapping drivers or repeat deliveries on the same day.
These are some of the same benefits seen from Amazon offering Prime delivery days and other shipping options that create efficiency not only for customers but for Amazon Delivery Service Partners as well.
Things Keep Getting Better
The good news for Amazon Delivery Service Partners and CONDOR is that the algorithm learns, and the system keeps getting better and better. The longer it has been implemented, the more efficient routing gets. Improvements have already been seen from the initial half-a percentage point savings. Amazon continues to invest in this and other technologies.
That means now is a great time to get in the Amazon DSP ecosystem. If you are interested in purchasing an Amazon Delivery Service Partner business, whether you are in the United States or Canada, contact us here at Route Advisors today. We’d love to be your route broker, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. From finding the right route at the right price and the right time, we’re committed to your success.