Last-Mile Efficiency: a conversation with Shamir Rahim, Founder of VersaFleet

VersaFleet's AI Impact on Logistics Industry

Yuliya Sychikova
COO @ DataRoot Labs
26 Mar 2024
10 min read
Last-Mile Efficiency: a conversation with Shamir Rahim, Founder of VersaFleet

Shamir Rahim is the Founder of VersaFleet, a transport management Software-as-a-Service (TMS SaaS) that automates logistics operations with scheduling & route optimization, sign-on-glass, electronic Proof-Of-Delivery, instant notifications, and real-time job status tracking. Designed for the everyman, VersaFleet powers more than 8,000 drivers worldwide working across 150+ companies that deliver for Fortune 500 brands. Founded in 2012, VersaFleet has raised more than $5M in Seed and Series A funding from SMRT Ventures, Prestellar Ventures, Seeds Capital and angel investors.

Yuliya Sychikova (YS): Mr. Rahim, VersaFleet was founded to automate the world of logistics. What ultimate vision do you have in mind for the company?

Shamir Rahim (SR): While automating supply chain & logistics remains a core value, VersaFleet's ultimate vision extends beyond. We aim to create a seamlessly connected, sustainable and intelligent ecosystem that optimizes the entire supply chain, from origin to end customer. This vision involves integrating various platforms & stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, into a unified platform driven by AI and automation.

We aim to create a seamlessly connected, sustainable and intelligent ecosystem that optimizes the entire supply chain, from origin to end customer.
Shamir Rahim, Founder of VersaFleet

(YS): Can you share how VersaFleet evolved from a bio-medical startup to an AI-powered transportation management system? What inspired this transformation?

(SR): VersaFleet's evolution from a biomedical startup to an AI-powered transport management system was sparked by recognizing the inefficiencies then in last-mile delivery within my family's logistics business. This realization inspired the development of the VersaFleet Transport Management Software (TMS), providing companies with a ‘command center view’, and optimizing routes for efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their last-mile deliveries. We believe that AI enhances human capabilities in last-mile delivery, rather than replacing them, driving superior service and value for our customers.

(YS): The last mile is often considered the most critical part of the supply chain. How does VersaFleet utilize AI to optimize last-mile deliveries, and what specific challenges does it address in this aspect?

(SR): Indeed, in many supply chains the last mile is usually the most expensive. We realized that the last mile posed many significant challenges, especially as a critical touch-point that has a direct impact on the overall brand experience. Hence, VersaFleet™ leverages AI to optimize last mile deliveries by addressing several key areas, including but not limited to:

  • Route Optimization: VersaFleet's AI analyses traffic conditions, driver availability and delivery locations in real-time to optimize delivery routes. This reduces costs and ensures faster deliveries.
  • Real-time Delivery Milestone Tracking: VersaFleet empowers both businesses and customers with real-time tracking capabilities. Businesses can monitor driver location and delivery progress, enabling them to proactively address any unforeseen issues. Customers, on the other hand, receive real-time updates on their deliveries, enhancing transparency and improving the overall experience.
  • Automated Dispatching: VersaFleet’s AI considers multiple constraints such as vehicle capacities and time windows when assigning deliveries. This ensures the right driver is matched to the right task, maximizing efficiency and avoiding non-feasible route plans.
  • Barcode scanning: VersaFleet barcode scanning capabilities allows drivers to efficiently scan items upon pick-up in the warehouse and hand-over to the recipient, improving accuracy of the recipient of orders.
  • Cost Reduction: The combined effect of optimized routes, intelligent dispatching, and predictive analytics leads to significant cost savings for businesses.

Specific Challenges Addressed: -Inefficient routes: AI eliminates the need for manual route planning, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.

  • Delivery delays: Real-time insights and proactive adjustments help avoid delays and improve delivery timeliness.
  • Unhappy customers: Faster deliveries and improved communication through real-time tracking lead to a better customer experience.
  • Rising fuel costs: Optimized routes and efficient dispatching minimize fuel consumption, reducing operational expenses.

By utilizing AI, VersaFleet tackles these challenges head-on, making last-mile deliveries more efficient, cost-effective, and customer-centric. Going forward, with sustainability becoming one of the main focuses of today's supply chain, carbon footprint reporting will increasingly be a core feature of every business. Whether as part of Scope 1, 2, or 3, supply chain operations data digitalised by VersaFleet TMS will be a crucial part enabling ESG reporting.

Going forward, with sustainability becoming one of the main focuses of today's supply chain, carbon footprint reporting will increasingly be a core feature of every business.
Shamir Rahim, Founder of VersaFleet

(YS): You mentioned significant time savings for planners and improved customer service levels. Could you provide specific examples of how VersaFleet's AI-driven approach has directly impacted the efficiency and experience of your customers?

(SR): For example, FairPrice Online, a leading retail brand from Singapore, utilizes VersaFleet for a nationwide operations system — to digitalize and optimize last-mile delivery. This includes SMS notifications, tracking, and 100% delivery with electronic Proof of Delivery in up to 8 waves daily nationwide.

Also, VersaFleet improved MonotaRO's - leading B2B eCommerce in Indonesia - delivery process, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction through real-time tracking and data collection, resulting in a 10-15% improvement in productivity.

VersaFleet Team

VersaFleet Team

(YS): How does VersaFleet strike a balance between AI automation and human decision-making in supply chain management?

(SR): VersaFleet seamlessly integrates AI into last-mile delivery automation while valuing the irreplaceable contribution of human expertise. The Operations team exercises discretion over VersaFleet's route optimization recommendations, allowing for a harmonious collaboration between AI-driven insights and human decision-making. This synergy empowers personnel to prioritize strategic planning, efficient exception handling, and meaningful customer interactions.

(YS): What are the key challenges you foresee in the intersection of AI and logistics, and how does VersaFleet plan to address them? Additionally, where do you see untapped opportunities for further innovation?

(SR): 1) Data security and privacy: We prioritize robust security measures and transparent data practices to protect our users and address these concerns.

  1. Untapped Opportunities: Integrating AI in logistics with other technologies like GenAI, fine-tuned LLMs or custom-trained models hold immense potential for further innovation in supply chain management.

For example, the datasets of daily operations across a brand’s end-to-end supply chain represent a unique and potentially proprietary dataset that can be used to fine-tune a foundational LLM, which can then be used to generate more accurate supply-demand forecasts. This might be used to anticipate demand, optimise logistics costs, and ultimately deliver greater value to customers.

(YS): Do you plan to use GenAI in your product roadmap? If not, which AI features your customers should be excited about next?

(SR): GenAI is definitely an exciting breakthrough for the SaaS product community and there are numerous potential applications for GenAI in various parts of a digitalised supply chain. VersaFleet continually explores and develops product features to address critical industry needs and to provide even greater value for all our users. These features are in various stages of development and we are excited to announce them as they are ready to launch.

Looking ahead, AI holds immense potential to revolutionize supply chain management
Shamir Rahim, Founder of VersaFleet

(YS): Looking ahead, what is your vision for the future of supply chain management, particularly concerning the integration of AI? How do you anticipate AI evolving within VersaFleet, and what role will it play in the broader logistics industry?

(SR): Looking ahead, AI holds immense potential to revolutionize supply chain management by:

  • Hyper-automation: AI will automate repetitive tasks across the supply chain, freeing up human resources for higher-level strategic thinking and innovation, including focusing on sustainability initiatives.
  • Predictive Analytics: Advanced AI algorithms will analyze vast datasets to predict and proactively address potential disruptions, ensuring greater supply chain resilience and enabling the optimization of resources for a more sustainable footprint.
  • Collaborative Intelligence: AI will facilitate seamless collaboration between humans and machines, enabling data-driven decision-making that considers both efficiency and environmental impact, fostering a more agile, responsive, and sustainable supply chain ecosystem.
  • Personalization: AI will personalize the delivery experience for end-customers, offering greater flexibility, convenience, and real-time communication, while also exploring possibilities for optimizing delivery routes and logistics to minimize environmental impact.

VersaFleet remains committed to harnessing the power of AI in a responsible and ethical manner to create a future where AI drives a more efficient, sustainable, and customer-centric logistics landscape, ultimately benefiting all stakeholders within the supply chain ecosystem.


Yuliya Sychikova
COO @ DataRoot Labs
Yuliya is a co-founder and COO of DataRoot Labs, where she oversees operations, sales, communication, and Startup Venture Services. She brings onboard business and venture capital experience that she gained at a leading tech investment company in CEE, where she oversaw numerous deals and managed a portfolio across various tech niches including AI and IT service companies.
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