DHL Now Delivers Direct to VW Cars—and More Innovations


DHL and Volkswagen test package delivery directly to VW car boots in Berlin 2017

DHL’s mission is clear—delivering solutions for the logistics needs of customers worldwide. Its services include international express deliveries, global freight forwarding by air, sea, road and rail, warehousing solutions from packaging to repairs, storage and mail deliveries worldwide.

With a presence in more than 220 countries and territories globally, and over 350,000 employees, DHL is part of the world’s leading postal and logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, and includes in its portfolio business units DHL Express, DHL Parcel, DHL eCommerce, DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Freight and DHL Supply Chain.

Aspiring to be ‘The Logistics Company for the World,’ the theme of the company’s Strategy 2020 plan is “Focus. Connect. Grow.” Here are eight ways in which it’s pursuing growth through connected, focused innovation:

• DHL and Volkswagen just launched a joint pilot project in Berlin in which 50 VW Polos are being used as mobile addresses that are ready to receive DHL parcel delivery —with packages delivered directly to car trunks. The project‘s goal—to test and find a solution for in-car delivery.

• DHL’s new $6.2 million, 50,000 square-foot facility in Carrollton, Texas, processes thousands of packages daily and uses LED lighting with on and off sensors to conserve electricity. Chet Paul, GM of DHL Express, Southeast U.S. said, “This new location is one more example of how DHL makes targeted investments focused on infrastructure, people and technology, so that we can continually provide the highest level of customer service.”

• The company’s Saloodo! real-time freight brokerage platform addresses the inefficiencies of unused capacity by leveraging the global network of smartphone users and real-time communications to take advantage of excess capacity.

• As the world’s market leader in logistics and a pioneer in green logistics, Deutsche Post DHL Group is positioned to make a significant impact by reducing its carbon footprint: “By 2050 we want to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero. Throughout the company’s history we’ve often played the role of trailblazer, and this is exactly what we will continue to do.”

• It just extended its successful City Hub concept for environmentally-friendly inner-city deliveries to The Hague, Netherlands with a new pilot involving electric vehicles.

• DHL’s City Hub will also see the first deployment of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter electric delivery van in the global DHL Express delivery network. Ford is building electric delivery vans for DHL Group called the StreetScooter Work XL—a van that starts with a Ford Transit chassis and battery-electric drivetrain. The vans can hold up to 200 packages.

• In 2016, with the help of its Group-wide environmental protection program GoGreen, DHL achieved a 30% improvement in carbon efficiency as compared to the 2007 baseline.” DHL sees the sharing economy growing to $335 billion by 2025 and logistics will play a major role in shaping that economy. Digital technology enables instant access and is creating new on-demand services to be filled by asset transfer.

With that in mind, DHL is looking for original ideas that aim to address logistics problems with innovative sharing economy business models. Participants in the DHL Sharing Economy Challenge 2017 will pitch their concept in front of logistics professionals and could win €5,000 with DHL.

Matthias Heutger, SVP Strategy, Marketing & Innovation, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation said, “The concept of sharing is nothing new, but today people can share assets and use sharing services at the speed and scale of three billion smartphone users worldwide. Naturally this started with high-value assets like rooms and cars, but the underlying concept can be applied to almost anything now.”

• DHL Supply Chain together with Huawei Technologies has launched a Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) application at an automotive site in Liuzhou, China. Leveraging existing infrastructure and limited investments, the implemented IoT solution is designed to facilitate and streamline yard management for inbound-to-manufacturing logistics, leading to significant improvements in inbound processing time at the site.

The proof of concept will run until the end of September with 100 DHL drivers at a section with 30 docks. It’s expected to add features such as automatic number plate recognition and geofencing. It marks another milestone in a row of strategic IoT projects for DHL, such as the launch of IoT cockpits within smart warehouses across Europe and pilots in Asia.

“By 2025, Internet of Things have the potential to generate up to 1.77 trillion Euros in additional value for the international logistics industry. Together with Huawei, we want to pursue this path in developing cellular-based IoT technology able to connect to multiple devices across long distances. Our goal is to enable a more integrated logistics value chain through greater connectivity, enhancing the customer experience,” stated Dr. Markus Voss, Chief Information Officer & Chief Operating Officer, DHL Supply Chain.