DHL has broken ground on a new Americas Innovation Center in Rosemont, Illinois, which it says “will offer unique insights into the future of logistics”.
Joining the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf, Germany, and the Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Singapore, the Americas Innovation Center will exhibit the technologies and innovations in logistics that DHL is already implementing across the region.
On a surface area of 24,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility can host trend and innovation events for up to 300 guests with high-tech features and futuristic designs.
The company said it will also foster the development of future logistics and supply chain solutions while serving as a regional platform for collaborative innovation. The opening is planned for summer 2019.
“With our third Innovation Center worldwide, we will be able to create a platform for research and collaborative innovation between DHL customers, start-ups, academia, industry partners, and innovation experts in the Americas region,” commented Matthias Heutger, SVP, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development at DHL.
“This visionary innovation center will further promote and nurture our worldwide leading position as the logistics innovation frontrunner in one of our key markets. It will also help us to further build on successful partnerships that we have established with technology leaders and innovative start-ups in the region.”
DHL said it continuously evaluates its innovative customer-centric solutions, already implementing advanced technologies in all of its operations to boost productivity and serve the evolving needs of customers.
Its supply chain arm says it has seen average productivity increases of 15% in trials of augmented reality technology in warehouses, with smart glasses that provide visual displays of order picking instructions and item locations.
It has also deployed drones with surveillance cameras to ramp up security at warehousing sites in Brazil and Mexico.
Robotics, ranked the most important physical technology with 63% in a recent global survey by DHL of about 350 supply chain and operations professionals, also play a significant role in DHL’s innovation activities.
DHL Supply Chain uses collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive and precise tasks, such as picking and packing, in a number of its North American warehouses.