Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Sustainability & Global volatility: DHL Logistics Trend Radar unveils trends that will shape logistics in the future

COVID-19 accelerating digital and automation agendas, as well as future of work
Dynamic growth in data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT, Cloud, API's signal a new normal for logistics
Breakthroughs in Quantum Computing, Blockchain, and Space Logistics signal new niches for logistics providers to solve large-scale problems and create new services
Sustainability is a cross-industry imperative, accelerating the need for innovation in packaging, planning, optimization and building management to curb emissions

In the fifth edition of the Logistics Trend Radar, DHL once more has revealed 29 key trends that will impact the logistics industry over the next years. The Report is the result of an extensive analysis of macro and micro trends, as well as the insights from a large partner network including research institutes, tech players, startups, and customers.

"For us as logistics experts, it is important to forecast the challenges ahead and envision possible solutions so that we may best advise our customers. The mega trends that will continue to engage us are not unfamiliar: new technologies, growing e-commerce and sustainability," says Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer, DHL. "But some areas will evolve faster than others, so there is the need to understand the underlying trends and their impact on logistics - not least because of the impact of COVID-19 on global commerce and the entire workforce. As a world leader in logistics, we have the insights and the expertise to evaluate the situation."

Well over 20,000 logistics professionals and technology experts shared their perspectives on the future of the industry when visiting the DHL Innovations Centers over the last two years. The findings are consolidated and reflected on the Logistics Trend Radar which acts as a dynamic and strategic foresight tool that tracks the evolution of trends spotted in past editions, identifying present and future trends with every update.

"The next big challenge will be future proofing the logistics workforce through training and upskilling in increasingly technologically sophisticated operations. This will take center stage on the strategic agendas of supply chain organizations in the years to come," said Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development at DHL. "The Logistics Trend Radar serves as seismograph for future trends. Based on data from the last seven years, we can make longer-term forecasts and thus support our partners and customers to create roadmaps for their business as well as helping to structure and catalyze further industry-leading research and innovations. In this edition, we already see the impact of COVID-19 is accelerating trends that were already well underway - big data analytics, robotics and automation, and IoT, all of which are underpinned by steady progress in artificial intelligence."

Acceleration of transformation processes

The fifth-edition Logistics Trend Radar indicates that we are experiencing an overall stabilization of trends from the past four years. However, with the logistics industry weathering the current global pandemic, transformation processes have been accelerated. COVID-19 has driven changes regarding recent logistics innovation, automation, and digital work more rapidly and has accelerated industry digitalization by years. Conversely, many trends initially perceived as disruptive game-changers for the logistics industry have yet to deliver on their disruptive potential. Self-driving vehicles and drones continue to be held back by legislative and technical challenges as well as limited social acceptance. Logistics Marketplaces are stabilizing on a few leading platforms, and established forwarders are entering the game with their own digital offerings, backed with robust global logistics networks. From cloud computing to collaborative robotics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, logistics professionals have to make sense of a vast market of novel technology. Modernizing all touchpoints of supply chains, from an elegant digital or customer journey, through fulfillment transport and final mile delivery is the new imperative for long-term success. Those who adopt and scale new technology and upskill workforces fastest, will have a competitive advantage on the market.

E-commerce growth continues to advance innovation and sustainability agendas

E-commerce is still growing rapidly and yet represents only a fraction of global consumer retail spending. Business-to-business e-commerce is expected to follow suit and dwarfs the consumer market size by a factor of three. The coronavirus pandemic has served not only to accelerate both e-commerce growth and supply chain innovation agendas. Key moves to scale and adopt new technology like intelligent physical automation, IoT-powered visibility tools, and predictive capabilities from AI will ultimately determine the ability to fulfill heightened customer demands and secure industry leadership positions in the future.

With governments, cities and solution providers commit to cut down on CO2 emissions and waste, sustainability now is an imperative for the logistics industry. Indicated by the increasing demand on sustainable solutions to reduce waste, leverage new propulsion techniques and optimize facilities, it is also on top of the supply chain agendas. Today, 90+ national bans on single-use plastics exists and bulky packaging causing 40 percent parcel void space, making a rethinking of the packaging inevitable. Sustainable Logistics - optimization of processes, materials, new propulsion techniques, and smart facilities - provide huge potential for logistics to become more environmentally friendly. Smart Containerization in transportation will also be important in developing environmentally friendly formats for delivery in congested cities.

DHL regularly publishes the Logistics Trend Radar as a key instrument for the global logistics community. Both within DHL and across industry, it has become an acclaimed benchmark for strategy and innovation, as well as a key tool to shape the direction of specific trends, most recently packaging, 5G, robotics and digital twins.

The fifth edition DHL Logistics Trend Radar, including information on deep dives and projects, is available for free download at www.dhl.com/trendradar



DHL Global Forwarding connects three continents with dedicated flight

The China-Netherlands-U.S.-South Korea airfreight charter is developed with the demands of the life sciences and healthcare sector in mind

The Covid-19 pandemic saw shippers leverage DHL Global Forwarding's cold chain capabilities in life sciences and healthcare to transport test kits and pharmaceutical products

DHL Global Forwarding has launched an air freight charter connecting Asia Pacific to Europe and the U.S. to meet demand from customers in the technology, manufacturing and life sciences and healthcare sectors. Managed by StarBroker, DHL Global Forwarding's in-house charter team, the twice-weekly charter originates from Chongqing, China and flies to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Chicago, United States; Incheon, South Korea before returning to China.

Thomas Mack, Global Head of Air Freight DHL Global Forwarding said, "While some passenger airlines have resumed operations, the situation in the air freight market remains volatile - especially as belly capacity is still tight As the leader in the air freight market, DHL Global Forwarding's top priority is to provide our customers with sufficient and reliable air freight capacity. Not only are the resilient, agile and reliable supply chains of highest importance for an economic recovery, but also in preparation for the availability of vaccines and other essential medical supplies during the pandemic."

South Korea has seen its export of healthcare products rise year-on-year by 26.7% in the first half of 2020, with pharmaceutical goods in particular increasing by 52.5%. China has exported 28.5% more medical devices in the first five months of the year as compared to a year ago. In 2019, China, the Netherlands and the United States were among the top ten importers and exporters of medical goods.

"Over the years, DHL has built up its expertise from globally certified facilities and staff to technologies that track shipments in real-time in addition to ensuring the integrity of such products throughout their journey. Getting the much-needed air capacity is the last piece in the value chain puzzle, so to speak, that ensures temperature sensitive products such as life-saving vaccines reach the communities-in-need," added Mack.

In a recently published white paper DHL together with McKinsey & Company as analytics partner explores the logistics challenges for vaccines and medical goods during COVID-19. To provide global coverage of COVID-19 vaccines, up to ~200,000 pallet shipments and ~15 million deliveries in cooling boxes as well as ~15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain set-ups. The complete white paper is available for download at https://www.dhl.com/pandemic-resilience.

DHL Global Forwarding has a global network of facilities that meet the European Union's Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines for life sciences and healthcare supply chains. The leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services has a suite of temperature-controlled freight solutions such as DHL Air Thermonet and DHL LifeConEx that allows real-time visibility and active monitoring for the movement of goods that could include medicines, supplements, vaccines, medical devices and diagnostic equipment.

In April 2020, DHL Global Forwarding tapped on its network of life sciences and healthcare facilities, temperature-controlled solutions and customs clearance expertise to fly more than 1.3 million Covid-19 test kits from South Korea to Brazil, Ecuador, India, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The freight forwarder also launched a dedicated 100-ton weekly air freight service for organizations and governments shipping health and medical-related items and other goods from China to Middle East and Africa.



Eurapid goes green: DHL Freight creates the first fully sustainable premium LTL-service

DHL Freight Eurapid shipments are now completely climate neutral, without extra costs for customers
This high-quality service now covers 95 percent of all business addresses in 25 European countries
New Pre-10 delivery service and extended coverage for Pre-12 delivery and same-day pick-up service

DHL Freight extends the coverage of Eurapid and adds new features to its premium less-than-truckload (LTL) product. The service is now covering 95 percent of all business addresses within 25 countries in Europe. In addition to an improved same-day pick-up and Pre-12 delivery service, an additional Pre-10 delivery option is now also available in defined zip-code areas. Furthermore, all services booked via Eurapid are now completely climate neutral. The carbon emissions caused by Eurapid shipments are fully offset in recognized climate protection projects, providing customers certified climate neutralization of their shipment without extra costs.

"With continued growth in global trade there is a growing need for environmentally friendly solutions. To remain ahead of our competitors, protecting the environment and acting sustainably is key along the entire supply chain. DHL Freight Eurapid provides our customers a green state-of-the-art premium LTL service for their road freight shipments," says Uwe Brinks, CEO DHL Freight. "However, the new features are just another proof for our engagement to offer the highest possible level of quality, speed and reliability within our services while improving our ecological footprint. In line with our 'Mission 2050 - Zero Emissions', we are already able to fully offset emissions and offer certified climate neutralization of all shipments via Eurapid."

DHL Freight Eurapid is going green

The DHL Freight Eurapid service is built on the backbone of the Freight EuroConnect network. With operating more than 2,000 daily international line hauls across Europe the network stands for a seamless, cost efficient door-to-door service. Through the update of Eurapid, DHL Freight can offer their customers fully climate neutral shipping. The green option is automatically included in all services at no extra cost. The amount of CO2 emissions produced during the handling and transport of a shipment, including upstream emissions from energy provision, is calculated using a verified measurement process. To offset these emissions, carbon credits are bought from recognized climate protection projects that reduce the amount of CO2 emission in the atmosphere. With this initiative, DHL Freight wants to contribute to a certified climate neutralization along the customer's supply chain. The certification is based on the Kyoto Protocol's "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM) criteria and meets CDM standards and/or carry the "The Gold Standard" or "Voluntary Carbon Standard" in combination with "The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Project Design Standards". The supported projects can be categorized in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and reforestation/afforestation and are chosen in close collaboration with reliable partners such as Climate Partner and Climate Bridge.

Extended network for Pre-12 delivery and same-day pick-up and new Pre-10 delivery option for defined zip-code areas

DHL Freight Eurapid offers prioritized handling and scheduled door-to-door delivery daily while guaranteeing fast and reliable deliveries to 25 countries. By that, the service connects the main economic areas in Europe with a day-definite service representing more than 95 percent of all business addresses. DHL Freight Eurapid ensures priority treatment of shipments and offers customers extremely short and reliable delivery times. The availability of the same-day pick-up service and the Pre-12 delivery option has been increased. In addition, the service for shipments up to 2,500kg compiles also now the value-added service Pre-10 delivery in defined zip-code areas. The enhancements are available as of August 2020.

As the world´s leading logistics provider within the "DHL Family of divisions", DHL Freight continuously evaluates its customer´s needs and leverage their high-quality standards. The enhanced services of Eurapid set another mark for DHL Freight living its own ambitious standards by improving the ecological footprint along the whole supply chain, while reducing lead times and striving for quality leadership.



Artificial Intelligence: DHL algorithm makes e-fulfillment more effective

DHL Supply Chain is optimizing e-fulfillment for online shops with IDEA, its own plug and play software solution.
The software uses algorithmic analysis and data science to optimize picking routes and warehouse staff allocation.
IDEA was developed by DHL Supply Chain in-house team of engineers and solutions designers.

The COVID crisis has resulted in steadily growing online sales. Especially online orders of everyday staples, such as food, medicines and other drugstore products, are higher today than before the pandemic. The trend poses challenges for retailers worldwide. In many cases, orders have increased, but the size of shipments is smaller. New and more diversified product ranges means more stock keeping units for online retailers. Moreover, end customers expect fast, sometimes even same-day delivery with high transparency and traceability.

To meet these challenging e-commerce needs, DHL Supply Chain - market leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group - is increasingly relying on intelligent, IT-based forecasting and analysis tools to optimize warehousing and processing of online orders for major e-sellers.

"The COVID crisis has shown us that unforeseen volume fluctuations for individual products can put enormous stress on supply chains. Lack of clarity regarding stock levels and incorrect data on availability can lead to bottlenecks for individual products and then delays in delivering to end customers," explains Markus Voss, CIO & COO at DHL Supply Chain. "We are working with our customers - large online stores and retail companies - on more stress-resilient, reliable algorithms and tools to better anticipate demand fluctuations, optimize the allocation of manpower and thereby accelerate the throughput of goods and order cycles."

"Our IDEA analysis tool is one of our many answers to these e-commerce challenges," says Dietmar Steins, EVP Solutions Design at DHL Supply Chain. "With its algorithm, this 'artificial intelligence' solution helps optimize picking routes within the warehouse. Orders are also clustered logically, which helps optimize picking by our colleagues in the warehouses. The integrated, intelligent task planning can also optimize workload distribution for warehouse staff and help prioritize more time-critical shipments. Moreover, IDEA reduces error rates as well as the time required for employee training."

Overall, the IDEA algorithm can significantly improve order-picking processes in DHL-operated warehouses. The costs involved are comparatively low since the software, developed by DHL, is compatible with most traditional warehouse management systems and can be integrated easily into existing IT infrastructure. In its first commercial deployments, the solution has reduced distance traveled by warehouse employees by up to 50% and increased productivity of individual DHL locations by up to 30%.

DHL Supply Chain developed and designed the IDEA software solution specifically for use in e-fulfillment warehouses. The contract logistic specialist employs a dedicated team of some 350 developers, engineers and solutions designers to develop and optimize warehouse logistics processes on behalf of its clients.


DHL Express increases fleet capacity with converted Boeing 767-300 Freighters

DHL Express continues modernizing growing fleet by adding four B767-300F
State-of-the-art aircraft support Strategy 2025 goals of reducing emissions
Bonn,Seattle - DHL Express, the world's leading express service provider and Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, announced today that DHL Express will add four 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) as part of the logistics company's efforts to continue modernizing and growing its fleet with cost-efficient and reliable freighters.

This step is part of DHL's effort to modernize its long-haul intercontinental fleet in order to fly eco-friendlier and more cost-efficiently. The aircraft are converted from passenger to freighter configuration by Boeing to fit the needs of DHL Express and meet the rising global demand for express services.

"We are excited to introduce additional B767 freighters to the DHL Express air network", explains Geoff Kehr, SVP Global Air Fleet Management DHL Express. "We have operated the 767-300F model across our global fleet for many years and look forward to continue investing in the platform by adding more 767-300BCFs. The freighter type offers a proven versatility and we appreciate the opportunity to further enhance efficiency while simultaneously improving our environmental footprint. This brings us closer to our Strategy 2025 goals and ensures we deliver the best quality service possible to our customers."


The world's most efficient medium wide-body twin-engine freighter, the 767 Freighter Family, boasts the lowest direct operating costs, best payload to weight ratio and allows airlines to develop new opportunities in the long-haul, regional, and feeder markets. The 767-300BCF has virtually the same cargo capability as the 767-300F production freighter with approximately 50 tonnes structural payload at a range of approximately 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 kilometers) and 412,000 pounds (186,880 kilograms) maximum takeoff weight.

"Boeing is committed to delivering the freighter capacity that DHL needs to succeed as one of the most trusted logistics and express cargo leaders in the world," said Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, The Boeing Company. "We are delighted that they choose Boeing platforms to optimize their operations. Boeing has received 51 orders and commitments for the 767-300BCF to date."

DHL Express is employing innovative solutions and technologies. In its 2025 strategy, it expects further growth of cross-border e-commerce trade and, as a result, increased demand for intercontinental delivery expertise. Therefore, the goal is a well-connected global network whilst reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption to benefit the environment, partners and customers alike. Since 2019, DHL Express has also added 14 top-of-the-line fuel-efficient Boeing 777F to replace older 747-400s. DHL Express operates over 260 dedicated aircraft with 17 partner airlines on over 3.000 daily flights across 220 countries and territories.




Deutsche Post DHL Group and Resilience360 support the WFP-led Global Logistics Cluster in monitoring supply chains for the worldwide COVID-19 response

The cloud-based platform Resilience360 visualizes supply chain risks and contributes to the Global Logistics Cluster's support to humanitarian organizations in reacting to potential disruptions in real-time.
A fast transport of relief supplies to Africa is especially important in times of humanitarian crisis like COVID-19, because frontline health workers urgently need protective equipment.

Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) and Resilience360 are providing the Global Logistics Cluster, which is led by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), access to Resilience360 (R360). R360 offers a comprehensive suite of supply chain risk management solutions. The Global Logistics Cluster is part of a humanitarian cluster system and provides coordination, information management and shares assets through the facilitation of access to common logistics services, including for humanitarian organizations working to deliver relief supplies to the front lines of the pandemic as quickly as possible. Disruptions to supply chains caused by COVID-19 has made this process a more complicated - but all the more essential task. Therefore, DPDHL, in collaboration with R360, is supporting the Logistics Cluster in monitoring supply chains for the transport of humanitarian and health cargo.

”We are proud of having supported the United Nations with our disaster management program GoHelp since 2005. As part of our responsibility towards the humanitarian community we now provide our core competency in logistics to support in the response to COVID-19”, said Monika Schaller, Executive Vice President of Communications, Sustainability & Brand at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“The Global Logistics Cluster aims to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure the optimal use of resources for all humanitarian organizations. This support from DHL will facilitate sharing of time-critical information with humanitarian organizations, showing them where certain incidents occurs and allowing them to adapt accordingly”, said Bruno Vandemeulebroecke, Deputy Global Logistics Cluster Coordinator.

Besides a visualization of incidents worldwide, a COVID-19 Intelligence Center is available via R360

With the information from the cloud-based Software as a Service platform R360, the Logistics Cluster is able to visualize humanitarian supply chains. This enables them to determine what risks a supply chain may be impacted by, so that contingency plans can be put in place, if necessary. R360 also recently launched a specific COVID-19 Intelligence Center to give an overview of air, sea and land border traffic restrictions, as well as lockdown measures implemented worldwide. This provides both humanitarian organizations and companies with real-time intelligence to adapt to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on supply chains and get vital aid to where it is needed.

About the Disaster Response Team (DRT)

The DRTs are part of DPDHL Group's GoHelp disaster management program, which it has operated in partnership with the United Nations (UN) since 2005. Through this partnership, the Group provides the UN and national disaster management agencies with pro bono access to its core logistics expertise, and the logistics skills of more than 500 specially-trained employee volunteers worldwide who can deploy within 72 hours after a natural disaster.

Since the partnership was launched, the DRTs have completed more than 45 deployments for different natural disasters in over 20 countries - most recently the team - assisted Costa Rica National Emergency Commission (CNE) with setting up a distribution center to manage incoming COVID-19 related supplies and provided logistical support following devastating tropical cyclone in the Bahamas.

In addition to the DRT deployments, the Group's Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) initiative - also part of the GoHelp program - trains airport management in high-risk regions to be better prepared should disaster strike.



Transition to a new normal: DHL and logistics expert Prof. Richard Wilding publish White Paper on post-corona supply chains

Supply Chain Leaders are moving from an era marked by procurement for cost to an era marked by procurement for resilience
Changes in consumer behavior require adjustments to transport flow and warehouse networks
New ways of working will disrupt established processes, providing fresh impetus to digitalization and automation initiatives

Together with Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University in the U.K., DHL has released a white paper envisioning possible changes in supply chains following the current pandemic. By analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on key supply chain drivers, the paper provides several strategies and actions to set up supply chains of the future. Based on real cases, the paper outlines possible scenarios for how the logistics industry could transition to a new normal from the current pandemic status quo.

"With the easing of restrictions and the unfreezing of the economy in many regions of the world, it is time to establish a first retrospective summary on the resilience of global supply chains," says Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer, DHL, and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. "For us as logistics experts, it is important to analyze the challenges and experiences across industries during this crisis and to envision how resilient supply chains can be in the future so that we may best advise our customers. As a world leader in logistics, we have the insights and the expertise to accurately evaluate the situation."

Looking ahead, industries and supply chains will not be the same post-coronavirus as they were before. While today only the outlines of the exact formation of that new normal can be seen, industries will not immediately move into a post-corona phase and return to business as usual. With scientists searching diligently for a vaccine against the disease and many businesses are still managing the crisis, any iteration of normalcy is still a distant goal. In the meantime, an interim phase - the pre-new normal - will bridge the gap between lockdown and the new normal. Obviously, some industries were hit harder by the pandemic than others and thus will recover more slowly. However, the various implications for businesses, supply chains, and supply chain leaders can be subsumed under four categories: Resilience issues, Demand-related issues, Transportation & Warehousing-related issues and Workplace-related issues.

"The photographs and TV images were stark. Long before countries went into lockdown, their supermarket shelves were stripped bare. Pasta, toilet paper, rice, painkillers, canned tomatoes, flour - all gone. Factories and distribution have a delayed reaction to extreme fluctuations in demand. In the end, fear of lockdown-induced supply chain disruption was no longer the trigger. People were panic-buying because other people were panic-buying," explains Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University. "As in every crisis, the strengths but also the weaknesses of the system become visible. To become better, it is important to learn from such emergency situations. In the new normal, if your supply chain is the same as the one that you had pre-coronavirus, you're probably doing something wrong."

In a pre-new normal world, supply chains will be re-shaped to make them more resilient. For instance, the fact that both manufacturing and warehouse locations were equally affected by regional lockdowns and varying regulations, will result in more distributed manufacturing, storage, dual sourcing, re-shoring, and near-shoring in the future. Instead of focusing solely on tier 1 suppliers, supply chain leaders will have to take a closer look at tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers as well to check if they are able to keep up with the flow of goods. Furthermore, the demand will be more volatile and consumer tastes may erratically fluctuate, increasing the need for flexible and alternative transportation flows and warehouse networks. While online shopping will be more prevalent and direct-to-consumer sales will increase, other retail channels and industries will be disrupted. These are just some of the facets that influence modern supply chains.

Finally, configuring post?coronavirus workplaces to meet social distancing and sanitation guidelines will also affect the work styles in both warehouses and offices. For remote working, information systems will need to be robust and capable of supporting a distributed workforce by providing access to appropriate data and systems. Warehouse processes need to be adapted to the new standards, such as one-way systems, distributed picking faces, or socially distanced packing areas. Just as procuring for resilience will become an increased focus, remote working will disrupt established processes, providing fresh impetus for digitalization and automation initiatives.



DHL Greenplan - the best way: Logistics experts launch powerful algorithm for individual route optimization

New solution for fully dynamic route planning and optimization helps lowering CO2 emissions
Data-driven approach based on historic traffic patterns and travel times
Greenplan algorithm exceeds efficiency of existing planning tools and saves up to 20 per cent costs

Greenplan, a DHL financed start-up company, is launching a powerful algorithm for optimizing delivery routes and stop sequences in logistics. The algorithm leverages the full potential of smart routing, using all information and data available to optimize transport routes in an entire delivery area, while existing solutions are dealing with smaller sub-areas to cope with complexity. In doing this, Greenplan sets a new benchmark. It bolsters the industry's efficiency and sustainability efforts without making compromises on the quality of planning. The algorithm was developed by scientists from the University of Bonn in cooperation with DHL logistics experts. Greenplan supports customers with their road freight business and last-mile deliveries as well as field service providers with their service schedules.

"We at Greenplan want to help make the industry more efficient and sustainable. With our smart and powerful algorithm, we are tackling the complex task of efficient route planning by offering a precise and reliable solution that can be integrated into existing systems," explains Dr. Clemens Beckmann, CEO at Greenplan. "In contrast to nearly all tools on the market, Greenplan - for the first time - calculates routes according to historic traffic information available on street-level. This, in turn, enables our customers to save up to 20 per cent costs compared to standard route optimization solutions and to lower their carbon footprint accordingly, simply by reducing kilometers driven."

Customer needs are constantly changing: The growing e-commerce market fuels demand for same-day deliveries while the contract logistics market increasingly looks at just-in-time processing. The Greenplan algorithm is equipped for such cases and capable to digest not only the targeted addresses but also individual delivery time windows on shipment level. By considering time-of-day-dependent, street-specific travel times, Greenplan also finds the optimal starting time of delivery tours. These improved tours increase the predictability for customers and appear natural to drivers. The solution also supports contingency planning in case of incomplete data availability and considers system-relevant variables such as different loading types or adherence to regulations. These features offer a robust solution that is adaptable to a variety of issues or customized changes.


Greenplan empowers customers to drive their own green strategies by enabling CO2 emission reductions through shorter distances and fewer tours. Greenplan not only provides visibility on the estimated carbon footprint based on planned delivery routes, it also considers emissions per vehicle type to plan the most CO2-efficient routes. Moreover, the algorithm is capable of considering specific parameters for electric vehicle fleets, like range limits per vehicle. Altogether, the smart algorithm leads to decreased costs and lower CO2 emissions for the same delivery work. This helps not only logistics companies, but also supports field service providers who need to plan schedules of their workforce.

Logistics is a highly fragmented industry that delivers a multitude of solutions for individual processes. To realize the full potential of capacities and optimize resource management, Greenplan teamed up with the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics at the University of Bonn to engineer a new smart algorithm capable of meeting customers' unique business needs, while still ensuring short computing times.



DHL introduces first Eastbound block trains from Germany to China

New rail connections from Ludwigshafen and Neuss to Xi'an
With two new block trains and targeted transit time of 12 days DHL Global Forwarding is meeting demand for alternative transport modes and speeding up transit times to Asia
Bonn - In response to heavy customer demand, DHL Global Forwarding, the freight forwarding specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, introduced two new block train connections from Germany to China at the end of May. A new connection serving from the KTL terminal on the BASF site in Ludwigshafen travels via Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan to the destination terminal in Xi'an, the capital of the Chinese province Shaanxi. In addition, an express train connection has been deployed between Neuss and Xi'an via Kaliningrad reducing the transit time to 12 days. With these connections, DHL Global Forwarding's rail network is further expanding and providing customers access to faster lead times to Asia covering both less-than-container-load (LCL) and full-container-load (FCL). The implementation of complete block train routes from Europe to China reflects the growing demand for imports and speed to deliver to Asian countries complementing DHL's already existing block trains from Xi'an and Chengdu to Europe.

"In the last years, we observed an increasing demand for rail service products to and from China," explains Thomas Kowitzki, Head of Chinarail, Multimodal at DHL Global Forwarding Europe. "Their cost-effectiveness, short transit time, and lower CO2 emissions compared to other transport modes make them an attractive alternative. To offer our European and global customers the right transport mode to grow their businesses between Europa and Asia, we continuously seek to expand our network of connections, capacities, and service speeds. The use of logistics services and infrastructure of KTL terminal in Ludwigshafen is another step towards an even more connected world and to more resilient supply chains."

"The Rhine-Main region around Ludwigshafen as a European gateway and important source of volume is an ideal starting point for our transports," adds Max Siep, Head of Business Development/Network Management Chinarail of DHL Global Forwarding Europe. "Ensuring that more customers can benefit from the reliability, speed, and climate-friendliness of our rail products, we are expanding the service to more departures and - at the same time - gradually improving the transit time."

The new Germany-to-China rail services have been established in cooperation with long-term partner RTSB GmbH, Friedrichsdorf, Germany. The block trains are loaded with goods from all over Europe and transported over 9,400 km to the central hub for train services in Xi'an, where DHL distributes the cargo within China and to neighboring countries like South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The new routes also shorten transit times for customers in other European countries like Benelux, France, Iberia, and UK.

DHL Global Forwarding's expansion of its intermodal network and expertise emphasizes the core of Deutsche Post DHL Group's corporate "Strategy 2025 - Delivering excellence in a digital world". The Group's purpose remains to connect people and improve their lives by enabling trade and helping businesses to grow.



Next-Generation Wireless: Trend Report explores the future of IoT in logistics

New Trend Report reveals latest industry trajectory and innovations, introduces a world where everyone, everything, everywhere is connected

Recent industry survey by DHL reveals 60% of logistics professionals have inadequate supply chain visibility. 75% plan to implement at least one Next-Generation Wireless technology in the near future as part of their visibility strategy
Next-Generation Wireless continues to fuel digital transformation and launches logistics sector into the future of full visibility, wide-scale automation, and predictability

DHL has released "Next-Generation Wireless in Logistics", a new Trend Report that offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of wireless networks and the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) in logistics. The report summarizes logistics industry perspective and recent numbers, paving the way to a common understanding of different wireless technologies by showcasing examples and envisioning future possibilities for next generation wireless.

Connecting Everyone, Everything, Everywhere

Even before the current COVID-19 crisis, wireless communication technology was making headlines. Much of the recent interest has focused on 5G mobile data networks that are being rolled out in many countries. 5G promises a host of benefits for end users, businesses, and telecommunications systems operators alike, including higher speeds, greater capacity, and tailored services for a new generation of smart connected devices.

Beyond 5G, progress across a wide range of different wireless communication technologies is now creating new opportunities for logistics to improve visibility, enhance operational efficiency, and accelerate automation. Well-known technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth, and lesser-known technologies like Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites have been enhanced for industrial use. These next-generation wireless technologies will enable the next step in the communication revolution, moving towards a new world in which everyone and everything can be connected everywhere.

Building a fully connected future for logistics

In a recent survey of 800 supply chain leaders conducted by DHL, 60% of respondents stated that visibility of their supply chain is currently inadequate. The top three key challenges among the respondents are achieving true end-to-end visibility, lack of a single centralized platform to drive IoT initiatives, as well as fragmented data collection from inherently heterogeneous supply chains. The top three priorities identified shaping visibility strategies are end-to-end transportation visibility, inventory visibility, and the implementation of supply chain data analytics. 75% of respondents reported they intend to implement at least one next-generation wireless technology in the near future to achieve their visibility goals.

"After having transformed asset-light industries, the digital revolution is now rapidly changing more asset-heavy industries, from automotive and manufacturing companies to healthcare providers," says Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation & Trend Research, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. "Our own sector, logistics, will be both a major beneficiary of the IoT-enabled digital revolution and an enabler of it. Although some parts of the logistics industry are already smart and connected, next generation-wireless is set to usher in the next wave of IoT in logistics." In a future where everyone and everything is online everywhere, three key things will become possible for the logistics industry:

Total Visibility: Every shipment, logistics asset, infrastructure, and facility will be connected thanks to widely available networks and inexpensive high-performance sensors. This will enable highly efficient automation, process improvement, swifter and more transparent incident resolution, and - ultimately - the best service quality for both B2B and B2C customers.
Wide-Scale Autonomy: All autonomous vehicles, whether indoor robots or logistics vehicles on public roads, rely on ultra-fast, reliable wireless communication to navigate and traverse their worlds effectively. While these solutions are on the rise today, next-generation wireless will be one key enabler driving their widespread use and moving the world to autonomous supply chains.
Perfecting Prediction: With so many things online, the volume, velocity, and variety of data that we collect will triple the big data already being generated today. The continued progress of machine learning systems and artificial intelligence paired with the ultra-low latency of next generation-wireless means that data-driven prediction systems for forecasting, delivery timing and routing may no longer be constrained by latency and performance of wireless networks.
While much of the forecast growth will be achieved using technologies that are already familiar to many of us, truly universal connectivity will require approaches that can offer new capabilities, including higher capacity, greater reach, faster speeds, better energy efficiency, and lower costs.

"Large-scale connectivity is an extraordinary technological and social success story. While IoT is not new in logistics, with 20 billion connected devices already in use globally, this story is still only just beginning. A myriad of technologies are simultaneously advancing at a rapid rate, which are also cost effective and increasingly ubiquitous. They are now becoming more accessible which suddenly opens up vast opportunities for the development of applications and use cases at an unprecedented rate," explains Matthias Heutger, SVP, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development, DHL. "Our Trend Report illustrates each of these next-gen wireless technologies, and outlines and compares them, their limitations as well as practical application. Furthermore, we highlight how the potential associated with these technologies is fast becoming a fundamental part of the supply chain of tomorrow."

Next-generation wireless is a broad portfolio of technologies that promise to deliver against those diverse - and often competing - objectives. DHL's Trend Report includes a specialized section on how the latest wireless technology works, highlights some innovative projects underway in the industry, and provides implementation guidelines for supply chain organizations.




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