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 consumersDHL 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.”
Comment from Bobby Shome, Global Business Development Director, deliery management experts, Centiro:
“DHL’s launch of a same-day delivery service for US online retailers drives home just how important the last mile has become in retaining and attracting customers.
“These new delivery options from DHL will allow smaller online businesses in the US to successfully compete with larger, more established retailers like Amazon, which recently launched its own delivery service. For all the progress that is being made, however, retailers must not lose sight of the fact that they risk damaging relationships with customers if the delivery service does not meet expectations. As such, it is critical for retailers to retain visibility over the delivery process, and ensure they have the technology in place to make this possible, regardless of the promises being made by carriers.”