Technological innovation and automation are driving speed and efficiency in the logistics industry
DHL, the world’s leading international express services provider, is exploring how innovation in the logistics industry can support the future of transportation around the world and in the region.
DHL completed a successful trial of the ‘DHL Parcelopter’ – an autonomous transport drone that drops packages to people’s doorsteps. This was the first time worldwide that a parcel service provider directly integrated a parcelcopter logistically into its delivery chain. The autonomous cross-country flights were successfully implemented under challenging alpine conditions – and could potentially herald a new era quick, safe and secure parcel deliveries.
The DHL has also piloted collaborative robots to support with value-added tasks in warehousing operations. DHL has tested ‘Baxter’ and ‘Sawyer’, two smart and collaborative robots in its warehouses on co-packing and value-added tasks, such as assembly, kitting, packaging and pre-retail services. The advancement of technology in the logistics industry is driving the adoption of collaborative robots to improve efficiency in the supply chain.
DHL has also successfully run a pilot test including robot technology for collaborative automated order picking in a DHL warehouse in Unna, Germany. The robot called EffiBOT from the French start-up Effidence is a new, fully automated trolley that follows pickers through the warehouse and takes care of most of the physical work. DHL anticipates that assisted order picking is only one part in the automation revolution that will transform the world of logistics in the near future.
Additionally, DHL is also the logistics partner of the Delft Hyperloop, a capsule developed by TU Delft for the rapid transportation of people and goods. DHL was tasked with transporting a prototype of the capsule, safely encased in a specially designed flight case. Its cross-border shipping of the original, high-quality technology, built with magnets and batteries, was enabled by DHL’s specific customs expertise and in-depth knowledge of air cargo regulations.
Markus Kückelhaus, VP Innovation & Trend Research, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, was in Dubai to discuss how DHL is continuously looking at ways to enhance the business through groundbreaking projects that challenge the future of transportation.
He said: “Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality and automation are driving intelligent supply chains and transforming the future of the global logistics industry. In this region, the UAE is home to a growing population that is becoming increasingly reliant on the convenience and efficiency that
technology provides, making it a key market for the transportation and the logistics industry in the future.”
As the UAE looks at digitizing large parts of its economy through new technological innovation, including artificial intelligence, 3D Printing and automation, there is a tremendous opportunity for the logistics sector to benefit from private and public sector initiatives that push the boundaries of logistics to new levels of speed and efficiency.
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DHL – The logistics company for the world
DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 340,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.
DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 57 billion euros in 2016.