DHL takes vision-picking strategy global

Following augmented reality pilots in several regions, DHL Supply Chain, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has expanded use of its ‘vision picking’ technology in warehouses around the world.
The smart glasses provide visual displays of order-picking instructions along with information on where items are located and where they need to be placed on a cart, freeing pickers from paper instructions, increasing efficiency and comfort.
In the international trials, DHL Supply Chain saw an average increase in productivity of 15 per cent, and higher accuracy rates, and the solution reportedly halved onboarding and training times.
“Digitalisation is not just a vision or program for us at DHL Supply Chain, it’s a reality for us and our customers, and is adding value to our operations on the ground,” said Markus Voss, Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer, DHL Supply Chain.
“Customers have been very happy about the productivity gains and are equally excited about using innovative technology at their warehouses.”
Pilot programs took place across the US, mainland Europe and the UK over different industries including technology, retail and consumer.
DHL Supply Chain has reported that employees were found to be enthusiastic about using state-of-the-art technology and were pleased with how lightweight the smart glasses were, and how much more comfortable the process became with hands-free picking.
“We are very satisfied and happy that the pilot phase went so well and that we can now say augmented reality technology is one of our standard offerings at
DHL Supply Chain,” added Voss. “As one of the first logistics companies using the technology, we have truly established a new way of order picking in the industry.”
Following the success of its vision-picking program, DHL is looking into additional applications for augmented and virtual reality such as training and maintenance.
 

DHL and Ford to manufacture electric van

Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group is planning to collaborate with Ford on the design of a new electric van.
According to DHL, the chassis of the existing Ford Transit will serve as the basis for the project. It will be equipped with a battery-electric drivetrain and fitted with a special body construction based on DHL specifications.
“The start of production is scheduled for July 2017,” DHL said in a press release.
“Before the end of 2018, at least 2,500 vehicles will support the urban delivery traffic of Deutsche Post DHL Group. With this volume, the joint project will become the largest manufacturer of battery-electric medium-duty delivery vehicles in Europe.”
Both DHL and Ford named a strong focus on reducing emissions and creating new traffic solutions as the key drivers behind the project.
“I consider this partnership another important boost for electro-mobility in Germany”, said Jürgen Gerdes, member of the executive board of the Deutsche Post AG, the company behind DHL.
“This step emphasises that Deutsche Post is an innovation leader. It will relieve the inner cities and increase the people’s quality of life. We will continue working on completely carbon neutral CO2-neutral logistics.”
Steven Armstrong, Group Vice President and President Europe, Middle East and Africa at Ford Motor Company, added, “E-Mobility and innovative traffic solutions for urban areas are key focuses for us as we transform our business to meet future challenges.
“As the leader in commercial vehicles in Europe, this partnership plays perfectly to our strengths and in StreetScooter and the Deutsche Post DHL Group we have a partner with enormous competence and a worldwide network.”
DHL has already left its mark in the smaller van segment by designing and producing the emission-free StreetScooter in house. The joint Ford project will build on the existing production processes and could see DHL produce up to 20,000 units per year.

CouriersPlease appoints new COO

Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease has appointed Hoy Yen Hooper as its new Chief Operating Officer.

Mark McGinley, CEO, and Hoy Yen Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, CouriersPlease.
Mark McGinley, CEO, and Hoy Yen Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, CouriersPlease.

Hoy Yen will drive the strategy and innovation of the company’s national operations as it expands its delivery and courier network across the country and overseas, overseeing the delivery of the more-than 17 million parcels CouriersPlease delivers yearly.
 
She will be responsible for the overall management, performance and strategic direction of CouriersPlease’s operations and instilling a customer-led, product-focus approach within the organisation.
Hoy Yen has nearly two decades of general management and commercial experience in the Australian and New Zealand logistics and supply chain sectors, most recently as the Head of Commercial Operations at Sendle, and previously as Managing Director at DHL eCommerce Oceania, and Commercial and Operations Manager at Deutsche Post Global Mail (Australia).
“I am looking forward to heading up the operations at CP at an exciting time for the logistics and eCommerce market in Australia,” said Hoy Yen. “With big players such as Amazon and Alibaba coming to our shores for the first time, CouriersPlease aims to become a leader in parcel deliveries.
“To meet this aim, I will be working towards cementing CouriersPlease’s focus, as an organisation, on customers. We will work hard to ensure that we develop solutions that meet customer needs in the ever-changing eCommerce environment.
 
“CouriersPlease is already about to launch some exciting customer-centric developments, including re-delivery to a neighbour, and I am keen to work with the team to launch them in the market.”
CouriersPlease CEO Mark McGinley said, “Hoy Yen has an exceptional track record in the industry, in strategy development, improving business processes and implementing new initiatives. She is bringing with her a vast depth of knowledge and experience in logistics and supply-chain management that will help drive the CP business as it expands operations to support the growing online retail market.”

DHL CEO Frank Appel: “More globalisation means more prosperity”

After a record year in 2016, Deutsche Post DHL Group is facing the future with confidence.
“2016 was an excellent year for us and we have a clear idea of what the future of logistics will look like,” said Frank Appel, CEO, DHL, at the Annual General Meeting in Bochum in late April. “We are investing in expanding our network and in technology. We are working in a focused and connected way – and we will continue to grow.”
Appel also confirmed the Group’s ambitious targets – operating profit is to rise from 3.5 billion ($5.1 billion) to around 3.75 billion ($5.5 billion) in 2017, and EBIT is to be increased by an annual average of more than 8 per cent between 2013 and 2020.
Speaking to shareholders, Frank Appel voiced his optimism that global trade would continue to grow despite mounting protectionist tendencies. “World trade drives prosperity, and prosperity promotes peace,” he said. “We therefore don’t need less globalisation, but more – and we need it now and sustainably.”
He stated that countries should invest more in education and infrastructure in the interests of long-term growth.
“Logistics is the backbone of global trade,” he said, adding that global teamwork was impossible without it. “Of all logistics service providers, we have the strongest global presence. We have the widest range of offerings and most extensive experience. We know how logistics works and, as the market leader, we have a clear idea of how our industry can continue to contribute to global prosperity,” he added.

Deutsche Post DHL and Huawei to work together on IoT supply chain tech

Chinese ICT solutions provider Huawei has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Deutsche Post DHL Group to develop a range of supply chain solutions for customers using industrial-grade Internet of Things hardware and infrastructure.
In a statement, DHL asserts that the company is looking at ways to increase its involvement in IoT technology.
“The Internet of Things could generate up to €1.77 trillion ($2.5 trillion) in additional value for the global logistics industry by 2025, enabling operators to better monitor and optimise their supply chain processes with low-cost networked sensors and devices,” the company said.
Under the MoU, Huawei and Deutsche Post DHL Group will collaborate on innovation projects focusing on cellular-based Internet of Things technology, which can connect large volumes of devices across long distances with minimal power consumption, delivering a more integrated logistics value chain by providing critical data and visibility in warehousing operations, freight transportation, and last-mile delivery.
“Spending on connected logistics solutions is expected to more than double between now and 2020, and many logistics providers including Deutsche Post DHL Group have already begun to explore Internet of Things applications in their supply chains, including everything from enhanced asset tracking to driverless delivery vehicles,” said Dr Markus Voss, Global COO & CIO, DHL Supply Chain. “This MoU will allow both Huawei and Deutsche Post DHL Group to tackle complex operational and business challenges with a powerful combination of world-class Internet of Things hardware, networks, and expertise in end-to-end supply chain management.”
The MoU will see Huawei make its Internet of Things devices, connectivity experts and network infrastructure accessible to Deutsche Post DHL Group and its ongoing efforts to incorporate greater sensing and automation capabilities into its warehousing, freight, and last-mile delivery services.
Yan Lida, President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group commented, “This partnership opens up an opportunity to improve the efficiency, safety and customer service offered by global supply chains in previously impossible ways, and defines how the Internet of Things will shape the fortunes of the logistics industry in the next few critical years of innovation.”

DHL makes bid for European freight with CILLOX platform

A mere three months after announcing their intention to introduce a digital freight platform, DHL Group has launched CILLOX, a virtual marketplace that matches full truckload (FTL), part truckload (PTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments with available transportation providers. The platform is now available for management of freight travelling within Germany or from Germany to destinations in Europe.
Amadou Diallo, Executive Vice President Value Added Services & Integrated Logistics at DHL Global Forwarding and CEO CILLOX said, “Our main objective is to make the platform as convenient as possible in order to simplify our customer’s lives and we will continuously evolve the platform according to user needs and feedback.”
According to DHL, CILLOX connects companies with freight shipping needs with transport providers for their particular cargo – without time-consuming negotiations and difficult comparisons of prices and services. “Shippers get immediate access to pricing information based on their shipment characteristics, availability of trucks and last-booked rates,” the company said. “This enables a better comparison and booking of incoming quotes from transport providers. CILLOX offers the freedom of choice of a marketplace, as shippers choose and book the transport provider that best fits their requirements yet enjoy a single point of contact with CILLOX as their contract partner.”
For transport providers, CILLOX provides a platform to present their company’s assets and capabilities to a large audience of shippers so they can find suitable loads to optimise the utilisation of their trucks. “A dynamic transport quote calculator – derived from a continuously growing real-time database combined with analysis of substantial transacted data collected over the years – will assist transport companies to make competitive quotes for each shipment and help them succeed in winning the loads they need,” the company said.
CILLOX also provides a single interface for tracking, documentation and payment processes, and shippers are able to track fulfilment progress and receive real-time notifications via their personalised dashboard in case of delays. The CILLOX driver mobile application matches the GPS position of trucks to the pick-up and delivery addresses of their routes, and reminds drivers to confirm crucial milestones or to document issues. A document scanner integrated into the driver application allows drivers to scan and submit delivery documents with their mobile phone cameras, accelerating payment to transport providers to a matter of days.
While DHL has expressed an intention to roll the platform out over other geographical areas, there is no word as yet on when CILLOX will arrive in Australia.

DHL CEO Appel on Amazon, Uber as competition, underestimating complexity

Speaking in a TV interview with news channel CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Deutsche Post DHL Group (DHL) CEO Frank Appel affirmed his confidence in the world’s largest courier company’s continuing relevance at a time when commerce and transport companies such as Amazon and Uber are reportedly gearing up to take a share of the global logistics task.
“If you are a quality leader, the edge of what is possible, you always have a right of existence,” Appel stated. “If you get lazy and think, ‘no one can hurt us’, then you get a problem.
When asked for his thoughts on what disruptors such as Amazon are underestimating as they try to enter the market, Appel noted that little is often thought of the effort that goes into ensuring quality of service. “To get [a parcel] to the consumer and bring it back is tremendously difficult, it’s undervalued because logistics are not visible,” he said. “I think what we do every night with millions of parcels is completely underestimated.” He added that he does not believe Amazon, which he describes as an important customer and partner of DHL, underestimates the task, and that is why they go to DHL to receive quality service. “But many people think that it is easy, that anyone can do it,” he added.
Appel expressed doubts about the viability of an Uber-style parcel delivery service. “Think about that we have an Uber solution, we have 100,000 parcels and everyone delivers five,” he said. The number of cars that would end up waiting in front of their depots would result in chaos, “That will never work,” he added. He conceded that the delivery model may well work for select, often rural, destinations, but not for the masses.
Appel further noted that he believes that delivery by Uber, or any other method, needs a human element, at least for the time being. “If…you call an Uber,” he said. “If it doesn’t show up, you call another one. If the parcel got stuck, what should the parcel do? It doesn’t speak, it doesn’t communicate, so some human intervention is necessary. I think that complexity is underestimated by many people.
When asked about his feelings on the likelihood of drone delivery becoming a reality, Appel stated that he thinks the technology has the potential to be use in the medium term, though not in the short term. “You never know,” he said. “You should prepare for the uncertainty. That’s also interesting about the current situation we’re in – complexity and uncertainty is good for companies who are willing to deal with that. That creates business opportunities.
“We make life for our customers easier, things are getting more complex. That’s a moment of truth for us. I tell our people, don’t worry, see it as a huge opportunity we can then gain, we can then grow.”
Image: Kandschwar at the German language Wikipedia.

DHL’s new multi-million dollar Sydney facility now open

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean specialist within Deutsche Post today open the doors of its new $61.6 million facility in Sydney.

DHL combined Sydney offices in a 19,619 square metre custom-built facility in Matraville.

Chief of DHL global forwarding for the South Pacific, Tony Bell, said the new facility would increase productivity for the company.

“The new premises provide for business growth and improved process capabilities which will enhance our productivity in the processing of our air and ocean freight cargo,” Bell said.

“Combining our Sydney operational sites into one purpose-built facility ensures we are bale to meet the future demand of our customers.”

DHL said the new facility is the largest in South Sydney and is made up of around 5000 square metres of office and 15,000 square metres of warehouse space.

Located close to Sydney Airport and Botany Bay means the facility will help to improve customer service levels and support corporate growth the company said.

DHL retreats from USA with 14,900 casualties

DHL.

DHL said its withdrawal from the US domestic market was "a very difficult decision", but "the right move".

(Image courtesy of DHL)

DHL Express has announced it would exit its US domestic-only services by the end of January 2009, in a desperate attempt to restore its balance sheet in deepest red. 

The restructuring of the company, Deutsche Post’s delivery business, will see all of its US ground hubs closing, dramatically slashing the number of stations from 412 to 103.

On top of some 5,400 jobs already cut since the beginning of this year, a further 9,500 US-based workers will find themselves jobless as the restructuring continues.

DHL Express global chief executive John Mullen said while the company had been progressively restructuring its US operations, the bleak market forced it to make “a difficult decision”.

“Given the current background of unprecedented uncertainty and risk in the global economy, we feel that it is critical and prudent to take additional measures to combat what we believe will be an extremely challenging 2009, and to do this ahead of time,” Mr Mullen said.

“Losses in US express revenue and volume were unsustainable. More had to be done to protect the interests of our customers and employees around the globe as well as our shareholders.

“It is the right move for our US express operations given the current economic climate and for the long run…we decided to focus on what we do best as a company, and that’s international shipping,” he said.

Here to stay, still

Despite the withdrawal, the company said it would remain committed to the US market as a continued US presence was essential to its entire global express network.

Nearly half of its top 200 business partners are based in the US, with US trade lanes representing half of its global volume.

“We are here to stay,” Mr Mullen said.

The remaining restructuring process will cost the company an additional $1.9 billion, bringing the total costs to $3.9 billion over two years.

By cutting its US domestic operating costs by 80 per cent to less than $1 billion, the company wants to keep losses from the market at $900 million, with the losses expected to taper down to $400 million by the end of 2009.

Stronger focus on international services

DHL’s operation overhaul will see the company dropping out of the US market race with UPS and FedEx, with the two key players set to take up almost 80 per cent of the market operations.

However, the company said the restructure would make its US international express service “extremely competitive”, with improved transit times.

The company’s international network builds on partnerships specific to regions, with AeroLogic and Lufthansa Cargo serving its European and Asian markets, Polar Air Cargo for trans-Pacific services, along with its self-owned Boeing fleet covering the trans-Atlantic region.

The restructure is not expected to have impact on other US-based services such as global forwarding and freight, supply chain and customer information services.

All international shipments into the US will still be delivered, while 99 per cent of the outbound shipments will be picked up.

Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel said at a press conference in Bonn that stronger actions were needed to protect its delivery business from the economic storm.

“By taking a realistic view and defining clear actions towards reducing costs, I am confident we are now on the right track to secure the group’s long-term growth,” he said.

Deutsche Post posted results for the first nine months of the year. Its underlying earnings before tax from continuing operations slightly rose 1.3 per cent to 1.6 billion euros, with revenue in the period increasing by 2.3 per cent to 40.5 billion euros.

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