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.
Tim Scharwath has formally joined the Board of Management of Deutsche Post DHL Group as the new CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. The appointment was originally announced in May last year and, after a long garden leave period, Scharwath has now taken over the role from Group CEO Frank Appel, who managed the function in the interim. Scharwath previously led the airfreight business at Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
“Building on his extensive expertise, he will continue to foster the successfully initiated turnaround plan and positive EBIT development of the DHL Global Forwarding,” DHL said in a statement.
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Tim Scharwath the new member of the Board of Management for DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.
“The extensive work of restructuring and improving processes in the division is already paying off, as our results have shown. As a real expert in the freight forwarding world, I am certain that Tim is prepared for his new responsibilities and is the right choice to realize the ambitious goals we have for the DHL Global Forwarding, Freight division.”
Scharwath held several management positions within Kuehne + Nagel International AG. In his most recent role as Member of the Board, he was responsible for managing global air freight and the integration of acquired companies, and he also helped Kuehne + Nagel become the number-two air forwarder globally.
“I am enthusiastically looking forward to joining Deutsche Post DHL Group at a time of significant opportunity,” said Scharwath. “As we build a strong foundation for DHL Global Forwarding – Freight, I want to reinforce our core business model, lead a strong and proud organisation and enhance sustainable customer value.”
Transport and logistics provider DHL will help provide the supply chain for Castrol’s new cellular oil system technology, NEXCEL.
According to DHL, the company will be responsible for delivering NEXCEL to the automotive industry and its aftersales market, while also developing a global supply chain strategy for the Castrol technology.
NEXCEL is intended to replace conventional oil change by simplifying the process and facilitating the collection and recycling of used engine oil.
“Based on our established supply-chain expertise, we aim to provide high service delivery capability, balanced with cost and working capital optimisation to support NEXCEL’s rollout,” said Steve Harley, President – Energy Sector, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.
“With this new agreement, we are building on the existing relationship with BP and we are proud that our expertise will support the launch of a sustainable, fair and potentially profitable service for both consumers and businesses within the automotive sector.”
Mark Atkinson, Castrol’s Global Logistics Category Manager, added, “DHL’s impressive track record in designing, implementing and operating automotive supply chains on a global level combined with our long-term relationship makes them a natural choice. Both DHL and BP are actively engaged in the development of environmentally friendly and forward looking solutions and thus are a perfect fit.”
Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease has appointed Hoy Yen Hooper as its new Chief Operating Officer.
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 Parcel is expanding its customer service to include a new voice-activated information service. DHL customers can now query Amazon’s digital smart speaker ‘Alexa’ for information on their parcel’s current whereabouts.
By activating Alexa’s DHL Parcel ‘skill’ via the Alexa app, users can ask their Amazon Echo or Echo Dot smart speaker to provide information on their shipment status, for example: “Alexa, ask DHL where my parcel is.” The voice-controlled interaction with Alexa is part of a DHL Parcel’s service strategy to improve customer experience. “The goal here is to make it quick and easy for every customer to receive an answer to his or her question at any time,” DHL said in a statement.
Michaela Lukas, head of DHL Parcel’s customer service for private customers said, “We want to continually expand and improve service levels for our customers, so of course we’re going to take a close look at any new and innovative technologies available.
“As an innovation leader in the industry, this is the standard we set for ourselves. Voice-enabled technologies, including hands-free interaction with online apps, will become more and more prevalent in the future.”
DHL will use user feedback to update the service later in the year.
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 Group will double the production capacity of its own electric vehicles – the StreetScooter electric van – from 10,000 to as many as 20,000 by the end of 2017.
In addition, the company is now also selling its own electric vehicles – which have so far been optimised for postal operations and delivery purposes – to third parties.
At least half of this year’s annual production is planned for external prospective buyers of the vehicles, the company has shared.
In future, DHL hopes to sell its vehicles to municipal authorities, strategic partners and large fleet customers in Germany and the rest of Europe, aiming to at least double its own StreetScooter fleet from the current 2,500 vehicles this year.
“The large demand for the StreetScooter and our own ambitious climate-protection goals have encouraged us to further expand our commitment in the area of electro-mobility and to also make our expertise available to others,” said Jürgen Gerdes, board member for Post – eCommerce – Parcel, Deutsche Post DHL Group.
“As a result, we are confirming our aspiration to remain the engine of electro-mobility and to become market leader in green logistics.”
DHL Express has put its first fully electric vehicle on Australian roads following a successful trial. The electric vehicle is a Renault Kangoo ZE Van and will be used as the company mail car in Sydney, driving between DHL Express offices.
The Renault Kangoo ZE Van is part of the company’s already operational fleet of hybrid delivery vans. The electric vehicle, dependent upon the driving style and conditions, can be on the road for an average of four hours, an equivalent travelling distance of 100 kilometres on a single charge, eliminating the production of 4.75 tonnes of carbon emissions from the environment over the course of one year. The vehicle runs on a lithium-ion battery and takes six to nine hours to complete a full charge.
“As a global company, we acknowledge the environmental impact of our day-to-day operations and our responsibility to reduce this wherever possible,” said Gary Edstein, CEO/ Senior Vice President at DHL Express Oceania. “Globally, we have seen a 30 per cent improvement in our carbon efficiency since 2008 – and we are aiming to further improve this through new green initiatives like this electric vehicle.”
Overseas, DHL Express has introduced electric vehicles, including electric vans and scooters, on routes in Germany, Japan and Taiwan.
DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post DHL Group will also proceed with increased production of its own StreetScooter electric vehicle in 2017.
The company announced on March 8 the ambitious target of reducing all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. On the road to achieving this, it has also outlined a number of interim goals, including increasing its carbon efficiency by 50 per cent and operating 70 per cent of its own first- and last-mile delivery with clean transport solutions by 2025.
“We looked to our DHL Express colleagues around the world to see the solutions they had developed and were inspired by the success of electric vehicles in these countries,” Edstein said.
“In 2016, we trialled an electric courier van delivering to Sydney’s CBD, and found that a wider rollout of electric vehicles within DHL Express Australia’s courier fleet would require more conveniently located electric charging stations in cities across the country, and vans that can travel longer distances without needing to recharge.”
“Compared to small, densely populated European and Asian cities where electric vehicles are currently operating, Australian cities have unique geographical challenges in terms of distance.”
As Official Logistics Partner of Formula One, DHL was involved in delivering approximately 2,000 tonnes of equipment to Melbourne ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix which took place on 26 March.
“With the start of the 2017 Formula One World Championship in Australia, March is always an exciting time for Formula One fans all over the world,” the company said in a statement. “As Official Logistics Partner of Formula 1, DHL has also been gearing up with excitement for the new season.”
DHL has been handling complex, time-critical international motorsport logistics for over 35 years’ experience. Preparing for the season’s first race this year involved moving approximately 2,000 tonnes of cargo per race via sea and air freight, including new cars, engines, fuel and oil, tires, spare parts and the media and broadcast equipment.
Having delivered the cars and equipment safely to Melbourne, DHL is now dealing with the task of preparing for the next race of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, on 9 April in Shanghai, China.
“The work for the DHL team and everyone else involved in supporting Formula 1 will go on behind-the-scenes, as the ‘race behind the race’ now shifts into gear once again for the next Grand Prix in China,” the company said.
The championship consists of 20 races on five continents over nine months, meaning that the months ahead will involve a great deal of planning and logistical challenges for DHL’s global motorsport logistics team.
DHL has launched its second Innovation Challenges event and is calling for students, start-ups and inventors worldwide to submit their ideas for two logistics-related challenges.
Participants are invited to either develop a prototype of a mobile piece picking robot or develop a solution to a logistics problem using a sharing economy business model, platform or concept.
Participants can submit a written document and video explaining their idea until September through the competition’s website: www.dhlinnovationchallenge.com
Entries will be reviewed by senior DHL executives in a pre-selection process. Three finalists of each challenge will be chosen, whose concepts meet the criteria of functionality, aesthetics, potential to solve the given problem and commercial feasibility. The nominees will present their solutions in front of 180 senior supply chain professionals and trend experts at the DHL Innovation Day in Germany on November 16.
Winners will be selected in a live-voting process while the two top scorers will share the €20,000 ($28,000) prize pool and will have their concepts displayed at the DHL Innovation Centre in Germany and Singapore.
“We estimate that the implementation of robotics will be the norm in the industry within less than five years. Their application will facilitate the order picking process and relieve warehouse staff from carrying heavy weight and manually pushing trolleys through the rack systems,” said Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President Strategy, Marketing & Innovation, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “At DHL, we encourage concepts that support employees in daily operations and unburden them from physical strain.”