DHL's continuing innovation efforts to develop strategies and tools to improve e-commerce logistics includes robotics and augmented reality
DHL eCommerce to launch Parcel Metro service in seven US cities in 2018 to provide greater choice, convenience and control to consumers
DHL is piloting a range of new technologies in its U.S. operations. As consumer expectations are rapidly evolving due to a number of major trends, including e-commerce, urbanization and sustainability in particular, logistics providers are being challenged to provide more flexible and efficient services. DHL is proactively addressing the evolving requirements of the market by introducing new technologies within its U.S. operations. DHL Supply Chain has introduced robotics - including the LocusBots and Sawyer collaborative robots - and augmented reality glasses in warehouse operations to improve productivity in the fulfillment of customer orders. DHL Express has been piloting artificial intelligence in its customer applications to further enhance its customer service. The company has registered a 10% increase in shipment processing accuracy through increased automation at its hubs and gateways, while its On Demand Delivery online service has increased the first time delivery success for e-commerce shipments from 80% to 92%.
The company's DHL eCommerce unit has launched DHL Parcel Metro, a new fast and flexible service for online retailers that meets consumers' increasing demand for same-day and next-day delivery. Parcel Metro utilizes customized software that allows DHL eCommerce to create a 'virtual delivery network' of local and regional contract couriers and crowd-sourced providers to ensure maximum flexibility and capacity over the last mile. Retailers can offer a fully branded suite of delivery options to their customers. For consumers, the service creates a seamless experience: an online and mobile interface allows consumers to track shipments in real-time, communicate special instructions to their courier, reschedule a delivery and rate their delivery experience. The new service is now available in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and will be launched in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington DC later in the year.
"E-tailers today recognize more and more that the customer experience - and their ability to build customer loyalty - is won and lost in how well the orders are fulfilled and delivered," said Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce. "Deutsche Post DHL Group is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to offer the best service, quality and efficiency for our customers. The DHL Parcel Metro solution provides a technology solution to the last mile opportunity. Our digitalization journey is all about how we can add value to our customers, to our employees and to our shareholders. DHL Parcel Metro is part of a number of innovations we are actively implementing, including augmented reality glasses for greater pick accuracy, "follow me" robots, and autonomous vehicles."
"Eighty-six percent of consumers associate delivery as part of their total online shopping experience, according to recent research.1 It's therefore important for DHL to offer services that not only meet their needs, but do so in a highly consistent fashion. It's important for DHL to offer services that not only meet our customers' needs, but do so in a highly consistent fashion.1 DHL Parcel Metro provides that consistency, and offers retailers the ability to extend their brand and messaging to consumers throughout the final mile delivery for a unique shopping experience," said Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Americas.
DHL Supply Chain President of Retail, Jim Gehr said: "Innovative technology is becoming an extremely important element in e-commerce logistics because of changing customer demands. We are using software technology to speed order flow and to more efficiently organize distribution centers. Hardware solutions like LocusBots allow for faster picking. What we look for is the smart combination of software and hardware."
The digital freight platform Saloodo! is a pioneer in digitising the transport and logistics sector, a claim now reinforced with its cooperating, inter.PAL. This Berlin-based company operates across Europe and specializes in digitising pallet exchanges, depositing and pooling solutions for Euro pallets as well as other interchangeable loading equipment. The benefits of block chain technology are now coming forward, enabling the digitisation of up to 100% of pallet transport operations - an innovation that benefits all Saloodo! customers, starting right away.
In practice, this means the possibility to continue to set up senders' shipments on the Saloodo! platform and for transport service providers to use the same platform to submit their bids for those jobs. Once this type of transaction is complete, the sender can decide whether to use inter.PAL to exchange the loading equipment or to handle it himself.
The easiest option by far is to exchange loading equipment with the Saloodo! partner, inter.PAL. To do this, the sender and the recipient each open a free-of-charge online pallet account on inter.PAL. They can do this separately, or the sender can simply send the recipient an invitation via their inter.PAL account. On receipt of the goods, the recipient can use inter.PAL to settle the receivables incurred. At a later date, the credit balance can be paid out, physically settled or carried forward with regular online payment systems, or with a cash card. This way, they are able to store the payment method for future transport operations.
All in all, inter.PAL and Saloodo! customers save on invoicing time, the costs for transferring pallets or other load carriers, and no longer having to run separate pallet accounts for every customer. As a result, your pallet costs drop at 100% transparency.