DHL introduces two robotics, reality glasses to improve warehouse productivity

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March 20, 2018: In order to offer more flexible and efficient services to its customers, DHL Supply Chain recently introduced two robotics, including LocusBots and Sawyer collaborative robots, and has augmented reality glasses used in warehouse operations, to enhance productivity in the fulfillment of orders. 

DHL Express, which has been piloting artificial intelligence in its customer applications to enhance its services, registered 10 percent increase in shipment processing accuracy through increased automation at its hubs and gateways. On the other hand, its recently launched On Demand Delivery (ODD) online service increased its first time delivery success for e-commerce shipments, from 80 percent to 92 percent.

Similarly, its DHL eCommerce unit recently launched DHL Parcel Metro, a new fast and flexible service for online retailers that meets the increasing demand for same-day and next-day delivery. 

Parcel Metro is powered with customised software that allows DHL eCommerce to create a ‘virtual delivery network’ of local and regional contract couriers, and crowd-sourced providers, to maintain maximum flexibility and capacity over the last mile delivery. 

For consumers, the service creates a seamless experience, thanks to an online and mobile interface, which 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 available in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and is expected to launch in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington DC, later in the year. 

“Today, the success of E-tailers depend on their ability to build customer loyalty through fulfillment of orders and delivery,” said Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce. 

“Deutsche Post DHL group is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to offer best service, quality and efficiency to our customers. DHL Parcel Metro solution provides a technology solution to the last mile opportunity. Our digitalisation journey is to add value to our customers, employees and shareholders. DHL Parcel Metro is part of a number of innovations, which are actively being implementing. It includes augmented reality glasses for greater pick accuracy, ‘follow me’ robots, and autonomous vehicles,” said Brewer.

“According to a recent research, eighty-six percent of consumers associate delivery as part of their total online shopping experience. It’s therefore important for DHL to offer services that not only meet their needs, but do so in a highly consistent manner. DHL Parcel Metro provides consistency, and offers retailers the ability to extend their brand and messaging to consumers, across the final mile delivery for a unique shopping experience,” said Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Americas. 

Jim Gehr, president of retail, DHL Supply Chain said: “Innovative technology is becoming an extremely important element in e-commerce logistics, because of the changing customer demands. We are using technology to speed order flow, and efficiently organise distribution centers. Hardware solutions like LocusBots allows faster picking. We are looking for smart combination of software and hardware.”

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