DHL Opens New Americas Innovation Center In Chicago To Accelerate The Development Of New Logistics Solutions

Thursday 12th September 2019

DHL is expanding its global innovation footprint to the Americas region with the grand opening today of its Americas Innovation Center in Chicago.

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Vision: Vision of different new technologies and innovative solutions that DHL is testing or has already adopted that can provide significant productivity and efficiency gains in its logistics and supply chain operations.

The technologies include various robotic solutions,  automated guided vehicles that can ferry goods through warehouses, mobile robots that can facilitate order fulfillment in e-commerce operations and collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive tasks, such as picking and packing.

Story: DHL OPENS NEW AMERCIAS INNOVATION CENTER IN CHICAGO TO ACCELERATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS

DHL is expanding its global innovation footprint to the Americas region with the grand opening today of its Americas Innovation Center in Chicago. Joining the DHL Innovation Center in Cologne, Germany, and the Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Singapore, the Americas Innovation Center will exhibit technologies that DHL is already implementing across the region as well as investigate and test future solutions that can provide significant productivity and efficiency gains.

Companies exploring new logistics and supply chain technologies have become the focus for venture capital investors. The trend is expected to continue in coming years. DHL’s new state-of-the-art 28,000 square foot facility provides a collaborative space for DHL to work with its customers and its technology partners. The new center showcases technologies that are being tested as well as innovations that have already provided significant productivity increases, especially in peak volume times such as the holiday season, by using various robotic solutions including automated guided vehicles that can ferry goods through warehouses, mobile robots that can facilitate order fulfillment in e-commerce operations and collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive tasks, such as picking and packing.

Establishing the new center in the Americas is a high point in the celebration of DHL’s 50th anniversary this year.

The four DHL business units operating in the Americas are committed to investing in coming years in the development and adoption of new technologies that can improve operations, better the customer experience, lower costs and facilitate better workplace processes for its employees.

As a global leader in logistics, DHL continuously evaluates innovative customer-centric solutions, already implementing a variety of advanced technologies to boost productivity, lower costs and better serve evolving customer needs. For instance, DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics specialist within Deutsche Post DHL Group, has already seen significant productivity increases, especially in peak season, by using various robotic solutions including automated guided vehicles that can ferry goods through warehouses, mobile robots that can facilitate order fulfillment in e-commerce operations and collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive tasks, such as picking and packing.

As part of its commitment to invest in new technologies, DSC said last November it would be investing $300 million in 2018 and through this year to deploy emerging technologies to 350 of its 430 North American facilities and transportation control towers. The company is also investing in the development of a new digital platform to manage its transportations operations.

DHL Express, the world's leading international express delivery company, expects to invest about more than $300 million over the next three years to add more automation at its regional hubs, gateways and service centers, introduce robotics to help with shipment loading/unloading, expand the use of AI and machine learning for better route optimization, apply repetitive process automation for billing tasks as well as continue the addition of chatbots and voice recognition tools for bookings, order tracking and improved customer service.

DHL Global Forwarding, the top specialist in air and ocean transport, is working with improved technology to track packages and handle temperature-sensitive shipments as well as implementing warehouse automation with RFID tracking to track cargo location, shipment consolidation and shipping schedules. DGF unveiled yesterday a new advanced data analytics tool designed for clients with highly sensitive cargo such as the life sciences and healthcare sector. It provides quick analysis and insights for better decision-making such as the optimal trade lanes to utilize, verification of temperature controls in transit, and the ability to analyze and reduce risks Like DHL Express, DGF is using virtual reality for employee training programs in several countries in the Americas.

DHL eCommerce Solutions, a major provider of domestic and cross-border delivery services for online retailers, is also using automation and robotics to improve productivity in its distribution centers. It’s utilizing new software solutions to optimize inventory management for its merchants and improve the last-mile delivery experience for consumers.

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Shotlist:

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center - Chicago, USA

0:01 – 0:10 Exterior footage of the building

0:11 – 0:30 Interior footage of the building

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

0:30 — 0:37 EffiBot (on display)

0:38 — 0:54 EffiBot (in action) at a DHL warehouse facility.

EffiBot is a fully-autonomous electric wagon capable of carrying heavy loads – upwards of 650 pounds. Sensors on the front help EffiBot follow a person picking items for orders throughout the warehouse; the items are in the robot to carry. France-based Effidence won the 2016 DHL Robotics Challenge with the EffiBot autonomous delivery robot

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

0:55 – 1:18 Autonomous pallet jack (on display) equipped with Vecna Robotics’ autonomous navigation technology, safety grade features, and intuitive user-interfaces. Vecna’s pallet jack can assist with a variety of pick up and put away applications in warehouses and e-commerce distribution centers. The display also features video visuals of diverse Vecna robots at work within DHLs international distribution center in Germany. Vecna is based in Waltham, Mass.

1:19 —1:26 Seegrid tugs (in action) used in a DHL Supply Chain warehouse facility. Seegrid, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., develops vision guided vehicles with expanded capabilities for automated materials handling for manufacturing, distribution, and e-commerce companies.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

1:27 —1:38 Locus Robotics’ autonomous mobile robots (on display)

1:39 — 1:55 Locus Robotics autonomous mobile robots (in action) in a DHL Supply Chain facility.

 

LocusBots work collaboratively and safely alongside warehouse staff, helping to quickly locate and transport pick items, so pickers don’t have to push carts or carry bins as well as allow them to travel less distances in the warehouse. These bots are often used in e-commerce fulfillment operations.

DHL Supply Chain first tested the LocusBots in 2017 and now uses them in many facilities in the U.S.

Locus Robotics is based in Wilmington, Mass.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

1:56 — 2:21 Robotic arm demo at DHL Americas Innovation Center

2:22 —2:36 Robotic arm being tested by DHL eCommerce Solutions at one of its U.S. distribution centers

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

2:36 — 2:53 KINETIC REFLEX demo at DHL Americas Innovation Center

2:54 – 3:18 DHL Express couriers wearing the KINETIC REFLEX during current trial.  (In action at the DHL Express Service Center in Franklin Park, IL)

KINETIC REFLEX is a smart wearable that reduces the incidence of workplace injuries. REFLEX automatically detects high-risk postures and provides workers with feedback whenever high-risk motions occur. Over time, workers can use REFLEX to improve their biomechanics, resulting in fewer injuries and improved well-being. Kinetic is based in New York.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

3:18 – 3:35 StreetScooter (on display in the AMIC), an all-electric vehicle developed by DHL to meet its demand for an electric vehicles for urban area deliveries; first tested in 2012 and production started in 2013.

On Sept. 6, 2019, StreetScooter GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post and market leader for electric light commercial vehicles (eLCV), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese automobile manufacturer Chery Holding Group (Chery).The two companies plan to develop an electric light utility vehicle for sale in selected countries. Mass production is scheduled to begin in 2021 with production capacities of up to 100,000 electric vehicles per year.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

3:36 – 3:40 DHL EHang Falcon Smart Drone (on display) being piloted for international express deliveries in urban areas in China.

In May 2019, DHL Express and EHang, which develops he world's intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle, entered into a strategic partnership to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China.

The EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup, and smart and secure flight control modules. Its high-performance features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling. As a fully-automated and intelligent solution, the drones, which can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight, take off and land atop intelligent cabinets that were specifically developed for the fully autonomous loading and offloading of the shipment.

In late 2013, DHL first developing and testing its drone called the Parcelcopter.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

3:41 — 3:44 3D printer is on display at the DHL innovation center to make customers aware of the technology and how it could possibly fit into their current supply chain. And while a customer might use a 3D printer to print spare parts, DHL would ship the material needed to print those parts.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

3:44 — 3:52 Keynote Speech by Matthias Heutger, Global Head of Innovation and Commercial Development for DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

THE INDIVIDUAL QUOTES

 

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

3:53 — 4:36 Matthias Heutger, Global Head of Innovation and Commercial Development for DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

4:37 — 5:07 Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Solutions Americas

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

5:09 – 5:34 Enna Zarate, CIO, DHL Express U.S.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

5:36 — 6:05 Nadia Rodriguez, CIO and COO, DHL Supply Chain Latin Americas

Location: DHL Express Service Center in Franklin Park, IL 

6:06 — 6:30 Kris VanderWilp, Area Operations Manager, DHL Express U.S.

Location: DHL Americas Innovation Center

6:31 — 6:57  Gina Chung, Head of Innovation Americas, Research & Development, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

Other: Note To Editors

DHL is testing or has already adopted these innovations because they provide significant productivity and efficiency gains in its logistics.The future at work today.

 

General

Title

DHL Opens First American High Tech Innovation Center

Description

DHL expands global innovation footprint to the Americas region with grand opening of its Americas Innovation Center in Chicago

Media Type

video

Date

2019/09/12

Technical

Aspect

16x9

File Type

video/mp4

File Size Bytes

553945

Sound

Natural sound and English speech

Editorial

Source

DHL

Location

Chicago, USA

Copyright

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