The Hamburg-based CiDO start-up has come up with a solution for last-mile delivery problems such as ringing a doorbell several times only to find nobody at home. Such calls can prove nervewracking for deliverers and costly for the company. CiDO’s digital solution verifies the identity of select persons at the door and gives them access to apartment buildings. Package deliverers use a barcode to check packages and get access to a depot in the hall. Developed by Dr. Julian Wulf and Felix Ueckermann, the idea has opened doors at many big companies. Now, CiDO is planning several pilot projects with international delivery companies.
Interface between package deliverers and depots
CiDO’s technology is only the tip of the iceberg. The barcode scanner is based on a complex, company server that pools the services of various package deliverers and the benefits are mutual, said CiDO. Recipients of parcels no longer have to seek out the nearest pick-up point for their parcel and do not have to rely on their neighbour to accept a package for them. Logistic companies no longer face last-mile obstacles.
Diverse fields of application
Founded in 2016, CiDO’s technology can be used in many other interesting fields of application, said Wulf and Ueckermann. The digital access could be made available to suppliers of food and beverages, cleaning companies or other suppliers. CiDO could also become a temporary key for friends and family. CiDO could allow residents and estate managers to communicate with each other and do away with notice boards in halls.
Founders’ scholarship from German Ministry of Economics
Wulf and Ueckermann hit on the idea for CiDO at the University of Hamburg. The computer scientists pressed ahead with their company thanks to a scholarship for founders from the German Ministry of Economics. The funds allowed them to focus on developing their product. Now, they are planning the pilot phase and intend hiring more personnel.
Synergies in SMILE logistics project
CiDO has benefited from the proximity to the university and support from logistics’ clusters. “The Logistik-Initiative Hamburg welcomed us with open arms,” said Wulf. The network gave them first contacts to large logistics’ companies and help with publicity. “After three telephone calls, we found ourselves sitting down with Frank Horch, Senator for Economics,” Wulf recalls and laughs.
CiDO is taking part in the SMILE project, a logistics’ initiative that aims to make Hamburg a model of last mile logistics. As part of a project, CiDO is testing the nighttime delivery of newspapers with Funke Mediengruppe. “All kinds of exciting synergies are emerging with SMILE. That is a great help to us,” Wulf noted.