Success Story

Digitization of 250,000 roll containers of the Deutsche Post DHL Group

As part of the project, over 250,000 roll containers were fitted with Long-Life Asset Trackers. This measure optimizes logistics processes, increases transparency and reduces operating costs through precise location and movement monitoring of operating resources.

DHL is the world’s leading logistics brand. As a “family of divisions”, the DHL divisions offer a unique logistics portfolio – from national and international parcel delivery to transport and fulfillment solutions in e-commerce, international express shipping as well as road, air and sea freight transport and supply chain management. With around 380,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL securely and reliably connects people and businesses, enabling global trade. With a unique presence in developing and emerging markets, specialized solutions for growth sectors such as “Technology”, “Life Sciences & Healthcare”, “Automotive”, “Energy” and “Retail” and a proven commitment to corporate and social responsibility, DHL is “The logistics company for the world”. DHL is part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated sales of more than 61 billion euros in 2018.

Challenges in the location tracking and logistics of roll containers

As the market leader in the German parcel market, DHL delivers around five million shipments nationwide every working day. In order to be able to process these quantities reliably, it is essential that operational processes interlock in a targeted manner. For example, the necessary equipment, such as the many thousands of roll containers in which the shipments are transported, must be available in sufficient numbers every day, both at the warehouses of major customers and at the 35 DHL parcel centers throughout Germany and in neighboring countries.

The lack of transparency regarding the location and movement of roll containers led to inefficient logistics processes and higher operating costs. Due to inaccurate tracking, there were frequent delays and bottlenecks in operations, which impaired efficiency and reliability. In addition, the lack of precise monitoring led to frequent loss and theft of equipment, which in turn caused unnecessary replacement purchases and additional costs. These problems not only affected operational efficiency, but also the company’s competitiveness, as the unreliability of the logistics processes had a negative impact on the entire supply chain. There was an urgent need for solutions to increase transparency, optimize logistics processes and reduce operating costs, while at the same time improving the safety and traceability of operating resources.

Foto vom Paketzentrum Ludwigsfelde

Increasing efficiency through technology

To ensure this on a permanent basis, the first step will be to successively equip around 250,000 DHL roll containers with intelligent trackers that provide precise information about the location of the respective roll container and detect movements. “The transparency we gain from using the new devices will help us to further improve the quality of service for our customers and reduce operating costs through better management of operating resources,” emphasizes Thomas Schneider, Chief Production Officer Post and Parcel Germany at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

With the trackers, it is now possible to digitize the management and localization of these resources – even across Europe. Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and founder of Sigfox, is delighted with the collaboration with DHL: “Our cooperation with Alps Electric to meet DHL’s expectations has been a great experience and paves the way for the future industrial IoT. Mass production requires long processes for design, development and testing. This project is an important milestone on the way to billions of connected devices on the Sigfox 0G network. We therefore see enormous potential in this partnership.”

Sascha Kunzmann, Senior Manager at Alps Electric Europe, is also convinced of the future viability of the cooperation: “Together, we can show that through very close cooperation between the three partners, consistent optimization of every single aspect of the tracking devices can achieve a long service life of more than 10 years at a fraction of today’s costs. This is what makes tracking for very large quantities economically viable in the first place.”

Challenges in the location tracking and logistics of roll containers

As the market leader in the German parcel market, DHL delivers around five million shipments nationwide every working day. In order to be able to process these quantities reliably, it is essential that operational processes interlock in a targeted manner. For example, the necessary equipment, such as the many thousands of roll containers in which the shipments are transported, must be available in sufficient numbers every day, both at the warehouses of major customers and at the 35 DHL parcel centers throughout Germany and in neighboring countries.

The lack of transparency regarding the location and movement of roll containers led to inefficient logistics processes and higher operating costs. Due to inaccurate tracking, there were frequent delays and bottlenecks in operations, which impaired efficiency and reliability. In addition, the lack of precise monitoring led to frequent loss and theft of equipment, which in turn caused unnecessary replacement purchases and additional costs. These problems not only affected operational efficiency, but also the company’s competitiveness, as the unreliability of the logistics processes had a negative impact on the entire supply chain. There was an urgent need for solutions to increase transparency, optimize logistics processes and reduce operating costs, while at the same time improving the safety and traceability of operating resources.

Foto vom Paketzentrum Ludwigsfelde
Deutsche Post DHL Paketzentrum

Increasing efficiency through technology

To ensure this on a permanent basis, the first step will be to successively equip around 250,000 DHL roll containers with intelligent trackers that provide precise information about the location of the respective roll container and detect movements. “The transparency we gain from using the new devices will help us to further improve the quality of service for our customers and reduce operating costs through better management of operating resources,” emphasizes Thomas Schneider, Chief Production Officer Post and Parcel Germany at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

With the trackers, it is now possible to digitize the management and localization of these resources – even across Europe. Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and founder of Sigfox, is delighted with the collaboration with DHL: “Our cooperation with Alps Electric to meet DHL’s expectations has been a great experience and paves the way for the future industrial IoT. Mass production requires long processes for design, development and testing. This project is an important milestone on the way to billions of connected devices on the Sigfox 0G network. We therefore see enormous potential in this partnership.”

Sascha Kunzmann, Senior Manager at Alps Electric Europe, is also convinced of the future viability of the cooperation: “Together, we can show that through very close cooperation between the three partners, consistent optimization of every single aspect of the tracking devices can achieve a long service life of more than 10 years at a fraction of today’s costs. This is what makes tracking for very large quantities economically viable in the first place.”

"The transparency we gain from using the new devices will help us to further increase the quality of service for our customers and reduce operating costs through better management of operating resources."

Thomas Schneider
Chief Production Officer Post and Parcel Germany at Deutsche Post DHL Group
AT A GLANCE

Digitalization of roller containers with long-life IoT trackers

Project:

Equipping roll containers with long-life asset trackers to optimize logistics processes, increase transparency and reduce operating costs by precisely monitoring the location and movement of operating equipment.

Industry:

Logistics / Parcel / Post

Challenge

Solution

Benefit

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