DHL is piloting a range of new technologies in its U.S. operations, which it says is a proactive reaction to evolving requirements of the market.
In a release, the company said that consumer expectations are rapidly evolving due to a number of major trends, including e-commerce, urbanisation and sustainability in particular, logistics providers are being challenged to provide more flexible and efficient services.
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.
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 utilises customised software that allows DHL eCommerce to create a ‘virtual delivery network’ of local and regional delivery vendors and crowd-sourced providers to ensure maximum flexibility and capacity over the last mile. Retailers can offer a fully branded delivery experience to their customers.
For consumers, the service creates a seamless experience: a mobile interface – which can be customised with the branding of the retailer – 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 recognise 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 digitalisation 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.”