Innovations

Innovation is what drives our industry forward. As the world’s leading mail and logistics company, we see ourselves as a key driver in the transportation sector when it comes to developing and deploying innovative technologies and processes. Taking the lead in innovation enhances not only our competitiveness and future success, but creates added value for our customers – in the area of logistics process automation, for example.

drone

While each of our divisions follows its own innovation agenda from an operational perspective, we also have a dedicated Customer Solutions & Innovation unit in place to centrally drive innovation and thought leadership cross-divisionally. With their approach of customer-centric innovation, our logistics and innovation experts work collaboratively with divisions and their customers, and also with partners in science, technology, and research to put innovation into practice and develop tailored solutions and services.

Close collaboration with stakeholders

One way we drive innovation is by developing more energy-efficient and robust logistics solutions based on technologies already available today. At the same time, we are also committed to developing new, alternative technologies. Here we seek collaborative partnerships with relevant stakeholdersIndividuals or groups of individuals affected by a company’s business operations., including customers, suppliers, logistics initiatives and the academic community.

In the reporting year, we launched a number of new initiatives and reached important milestones in ongoing projects.

Select examples
Advanced Regional Center (ARC) in Singapore  
  • Automated warehousing solution with advanced robotics system increases warehouse capacity by 40% and significantly improves warehousing and order-picking efficiency
  • Groundbreaking solution and example for future warehouses in cities and regions where available space is limited and costly
Risk management solution Resilience360  
  • Innovative online collaboration service offering customers a customizable solution for mapping potential local risks in their supply chains in real time
  • Expanded to include a Transparency Portal, which visualizes the entire supplier network and uncovers possible weak spots
Robotics  
  • Pilot tests conducted with collaborative robots in product assembly, packing and labeling
  • Big potential for improving the efficiency in warehousing operations
Augmented reality program with smart glasses  
  • Augmented reality technology was expanded across different industry sectors following the successful testing of smart glasses for “vision picking” in the Netherlands


Promoting a culture of innovation

A vibrant and creative corporate culture is a key driver of innovation. It enables new ideas to develop and take hold and ultimately translate into innovative new products and services.

Prime examples of this are the two innovation challenges that we organized in the reporting year. The “Fair and Responsible Challenge” called upon inventors, universities and start-ups from around the world to develop innovative and sustainable business ideas. First prize, which includes a joint pilot program with Deutsche Post DHL Group, was awarded to an innovative packaging solution. The second competition, the “Robotics Challenge,” involved the development of a self-driving delivery vehicle designed to make work easier for mail carriers. Winners of this second competition were also offered the chance to further develop their prototype together with Deutsche Post DHL Group. The best ideas from both competitions were presented and officially honored on the occasion of DHL Innovation Day on November 17, 2016 in the presence of 180 supply chain experts.

streetscooter

At the IAA 2016 we showcased our work towards emissions-free mobility with the new long version of our internally developed StreetScooter, which features double the load capacity of the original StreetScooter, as well as greater range. We also took advantage of this opportunity to present additional StreetScooter models and applications. 

Our Group initiatives First Choice and Certified also promote a working environment that encourages innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. We provide employees with opportunities to take part in training measures and workshops to motivate them to apply their creativity and expertise.

Driving innovation through trend research

Deutsche Post DHL Group published a series of white papers and trend reports in the reporting year, demonstrating our thought leadership in the industry: