The largest provider of postal services in Lithuania, Lithuania Post boasts a history that spans a century. A decade ago, to keep up with the changing demands of almost 800,000 monthly customers, the company became the first in Lithuania to offer a network of parcel terminals appropriately called LP EXPRESS. They needed a reliable tech solution to coordinate the dispatch and delivery of parcels between distribution centers, couriers, and customers. This is where we came in.
In today’s world, more and more people prefer shopping online to buying in person, which results in an increasing number of packages delivered each year. Even a massive fleet of couriers going door-to-door can’t keep up with the expectations of customers that want fast delivery and, ultimately, convenience.
To stay ahead of the curve, in 2011, Lithuania Post asked us to develop the software crucial for running the LP EXPRESS network – a blended parcel terminal and courier delivery solution.
The extensive last-mile delivery infrastructure was meant to provide more reliable and convenient services to the public while reducing logistics costs, increasing delivery efficiency, and helping Lithuania Post to stay sustainable amidst the e-commerce boom.
Starting from scratch in 2011, we wrote every single line of code that composed the initial LP EXPRESS backend. Over the years, we developed hundreds of projects and subprojects that addressed the needs of businesses (primarily e-commerce stores) and end-users and integrated them into the parcel terminal network.
One of the biggest challenges was refactoring the initial system and updating the old, hand-written code on Symfony components. Our team also dockerized the LP EXPRESS app, which laid the foundations for easier work on this system in the future.
Our engineers built and kept developing the LP EXPRESS data center, which handles key info about every parcel that is sent through the system, be it via parcel lockers or couriers. We also were responsible for the maintenance of the software running on courier PDAs.
While the entire project scope was growing, we continued working on our part on integrating new parcel terminals and developing a web service for Lithuania Post business clients. One of the latest projects for us to implement was the development of the back office part of the LP EXPRESS digital system. Used by the logistics team of Lithuania Post, the system keeps track of every parcel from label creation and warehousing to delivery.
In 2020, NFQ integrated the parcel terminal network with the new Lithuania Post logistics center. Now LP EXPRESS is part of the Post’s smart, fully automated parcel distribution system where the only manual task is courier delivery.
The tech stack of LP EXPRESS cannot be easily described, as the parcel terminal network is a hybrid of the legacy PHP platform and the new Symfony components. At NFQ, we affectionately call the project ‘a test we all had to pass’, and all new engineers joining the project face a challenge of the best kind.
Last December, together with partners, our team finalized our part for the Front-end integration of the LP EXPRESS self-service system into the Lithuania Post infrastructure. We handled smooth transitioning, gradually preventing an increasing amount of users from using the old system, redirecting important links from the old system to the new website. It was an important milestone of the project, much like handing over a child we raised to the capable hands of Lithuania Post IT specialists.
Currently, nearly 300 LP EXPRESS parcel terminals operate 24/7 in 84 Lithuanian cities and towns. More terminals are planned. This decade-long story of us working together only makes us wonder stronger: what's next?..