How COVID-19 Expedited DHL’s Shipping Automation

Delivery during COVID-19


Logistics has long been referred to as a conventional industry related to labor and repetitive tasks. Often held back by legacy processes and dated IT systems, logistics companies are increasingly conscious of the necessity to harness technology to remain competitive in a very fast-moving industry.

The onset of the COVI9-19 last year and also the disruptions it delivered to the world supply chain underscored the necessity for the logistics industry to accelerate their digital transformation projects within the go after increased automation.

DHL Express introduced solutions to streamline vital processes, automate time-consuming repetitive tasks, and help teams become more productive, Long before the pandemic hit. These include autonomous guided vehicles to reinforce our operations, chatbots to enhance customer service operations, and shipment sensors with track-and-trace capabilities.

“We were cognizant that digital transformation was essential to take care of and elevate our service levels as a logistics provider. The pandemic accelerated our plans to permit our manpower to collaborate and work virtually from any location. We also fast-tracked our adoption and rollout of technologies, like live chat and digital assistants, which were crucial in helping us address an unprecedented demand surge worldwide,” said Jimmy Yeoh, chief information officer, DHL Express Asia Pacific.

DHL Express has 3,200 facilities across quite 220 countries and territories worldwide, delivering near 500 million shipments a year supported by 2020 figures.

Taking the lead in technology innovations

According to DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO Ken Lee, embarking on digital transformation projects has driven greater efficiencies and better productivity across their organization.

At DHL Express, solutions like the AI-based Advanced internal control Center (AQCC) system installed in each facility are meant to watch shipment movements and flag issues in real-time. At every stage of their journey, It ensures parcels in transit move smoothly.

When shipments in transit are stalled, The system triggers alerts. The platform’s data analytics engine then kicks up to quickly identify to the location of those “exceptions” and their projected routes are mapped. The company’s team of analysts then hunker right down to implement corrective actions to make sure these shipments can still hit their destinations on time.

Furthermore, the AQCC system uses AI and machine learning to spot root causes and recommend actions for continuous improvement.


ALSO READ: COVID-19 and Keeping Children to Read


Besides the AQCC system, here could be a peek of the assorted digital transformation projects that DHL Express have worn out in recent years:

Automatic flyer sorting with DHLBot

Sorts flyers to route level with 99% accuracy. While minimizing human interaction (for safety during Covid-19), It improves sorting efficiency.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Safely and efficiently, it Intelligently senses the environment and ferries shipments, cargo pallets, and containers. As and when needed, It helps to scale throughput capacity.

Autonomous mobile robots

Function autonomous “couriers” that provide on-demand deliveries. They’re equipped with sensors and AI-powered avoidance systems to navigate to their respective destination.

Chatbots for 24/7 customer service

DHL päckchen sendungsverfolgung (DHL parcel tracking) allows customers to track shipments on the go and receive bite-sized shipping information. It’s designed to instantly address commonly asked questions.

On-Demand Delivery (ODD) online portal

Offers customers the pliability to schedule contactless deliveries for shipments at their own convenience. Customers can select from six alternative delivery options if they’re unable to receive the shipment on the estimated delivery date.

QR code labelers for parcel returns

By getting a QR code online, it allows customers to manage parcel returns digitally. By replacing physical airway bills, it reduces physical contact for ad-hoc customers.

Route optimization for faster deliveries

By improving productivity and fuel efficiency, it enables couriers to plan their routes more effectively. It shortens delivery time to customers.

“By constantly being attentive to our customers’ needs, we’ve implemented technological innovations that are relevant and sensible for our customers, employees, and operations,” Lee said.

Indeed, the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group) is investing over EUR2 billion on digital transformation projects from 2021 to 2025 to boost the experience of consumers and employees, while also increasing operational excellence. This can be in line with the group’s Strategy 2025 goal of delivering excellence in an exceedingly digital world.