DTDC uses What3words to find addresses in India

  • December 12, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Indian integrated express logistics company DTDC Express has upgraded its MyDTDC consumer app with What3words location technology.

Now, customers can add their What3words address in the address section of the MyDTDC app, letting them specify a precise delivery location, be it the front door, apartment complex entrance, or a tucked-away side passage. The app gives users power and flexibility over their deliveries and the addition of What3words should make the process more efficient.

In India, street names are often duplicated, addresses can be inaccurate or confusing, pin codes cover broad areas, and many areas don’t have addresses at all. This makes it difficult to specify precisely where a delivery needs to be made, and for delivery drivers to find exactly where they need to go.

These are problems What3words has been designed to solve. It has divided the world into a grid of 3m by 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words: a What3words address. For example, ///caring.trick.handrail identifies the perfect spot to take a photo of the iconic Taj Mahal.

It’s an easy way to find, share and navigate to precise locations, anywhere in the world. The technology is also available offline and in 54 languages including 12 south Asian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Nepali, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Punjabi and Odia.

DTDC customers can discover their What3words address via the free What3words app – available for iOS and Android – or the online map at what3words.com. They can then save their What3words address in the My DTDC app under the address section. Orders fulfilled by DTDC will be dropped off at that exact location.

MyDTDC is a direct-to-customer offering of DTDC, and is one of the leading apps in the integrated express logistics industry with over two million downloads. The app offers a convenient and user-friendly way to send parcels from anywhere offering a pickup or drop off service. The app is also available as a web interface accessible on IPad and web.

“Last-mile delivery failures in India are often a result of informal and inaccurate addresses,” said Abhishek Chakraborty, executive director of DTDC. “Poor addressing makes it difficult for couriers to find correct destinations, and can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Ecommerce revenue in India can also be affected by inaccurate addressing, which leads to proportional losses to logistics partners and carriers. Delivering to the right person at the right address is critical. We believe as the proliferation of What3words increases, it will offer a unique way for us to deliver to precise locations, particularly in areas with informal addresses.”

Chris Sheldrick, CEO of What3words, added: “An accurate address is an essential component for a successful delivery. But this can be challenging in a country like India that’s both densely populated and home to vast unaddressed areas of land. With What3words, DTDC can now provide its express logistics services across the whole country, with an enhanced level of precision.”

What3words began operations in India in 2019 and is available in many automotive navigation systems built by Mahindra, TVS Motor, Triumph Motorcycles, Tata Motors and Mercedes-Benz. Companies such as Imagine Online, Nirmalaya, TWF Flours, Evocus H2O and Dorje Teas have also adopted the technology so their customers can input What3words addresses into their checkouts for hassle-free deliveries.

DriveU, one of India’s largest driver aggregator platforms, uses What3words so drivers and riders can save precise drop-off and pick-up locations. Many hosts on Airbnb and Homestay in India use What3words to help visitors find their homes. Guests at the Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels, Amã Stays & Trails by IHCL and Fern Hotels & Resorts can find the What3words address of the exact property entrance on their booking confirmation. BVG Mems Dial 108 and Medulance use the technology to shorten incident response times in an emergency.

Just like street addresses, What3words addresses are displayed on web-site contact pages, event invites and business cards, so people can find exact destinations with ease. And every day, it is used to arrange meet-ups in parks and on beaches and to share running, hiking and sports match locations.

DTDC is one of India’s leading integrated express logistics companies offering domestic and international services. It provides a range of technology-enabled logistics services, serving a wide spectrum of customers across diverse industry verticals. Today, it operates India’s largest physically accessible express logistics network and has over 13,500 exclusive channel partners.

Founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, What3words is a way to talk about precise locations. A What3words address is a human-friendly way to share very precise locations with other people, or to input them into platforms and machines such as ride-hailing apps or ecommerce checkouts. It is optimised for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to identify and correct input mistakes.

What3words has a team of over 150 people, across offices in the UK, USA, Germany, India, South Korea and Mongolia. The company has raised over £100m in capital from investors such as Intel, Ikea, Mercedes-Benz, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, Subaru and Sony.