Reacting to the explosion of e-commerce, DHL has introduced DHL Parcel Metro, described as a “fast and flexible service” for online retailers mean to help meet fast-growing consumer demand for same-day and next-day delivery.
DHL said the new service is part of its continuing innovation efforts to develop strategies and tools to improve e-commerce logistics, including robotics and augmented reality.
DHL said Parcel Metro creates a “virtual delivery network” of local and regional delivery vendors and crowd-sourced drivers and vehicles that will ensure maximum flexibility and capacity for the last-mile, which has become a key aspect of e-commerce delivery for major carriers. This is made possible thanks to a bespoke software platform that selects drivers offering the appropriate service and quality levels, plus sufficient capacity on specific routes.
Where consumers are concerned, the service is meant be a seamless, all-in-one process. Once they place their orders, consumers can select from a range of delivery windows–two-hour, same-day and next-day–and their identify their preferred delivery destination. Then they can tap into a mobile interface retailers can customize to their branding, to track their shipments in real-time, communicate special instructions to their courier, reschedule a delivery and even rate their delivery experience.
DHL eCommerce can also bundle fulfillment and Parcel Metro delivery solutions for online retailers.
“Eighty-six percent of consumers associate delivery as part of their total online shopping experience, according to research, thus it’s important for DHL to offer services that not only meet their needs, but do so in a highly consistent fashion,” Lee Spratt, CEO of DHL eCommerce Americas, said. “DHL Parcel Metro provides that consistency and offers retailers the ability to extend their brand and messaging to consumers throughout the final mile delivery.”
The service is already available in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and will launch in Dallas and Atlanta in the second quarter of this year, with San Francisco to follow in the third quarter and Washington, D.C., to be added before the end of the year.
“E-tailers today recognize more and more that the customer experience and their ability to build customer loyalty is won and lost in how well the orders are fulfilled and delivered,” DHL eCommerce CEO Charles Brewer, said. “The DHL Parcel Metro solution provides a technology solution to the last mile opportunity. Our digitalization journey is all about how we can add value to our customers, to our employees and to our shareholders. DHL Parcel Metro is part of a number of innovations we are actively implementing, including augmented reality glasses for greater pick accuracy, “follow me” robots and autonomous vehicles.”
In reporting a group revenue increase of 5.4% to 60.4 billion euros ($74.38 billion) for fiscal 2017 earlier this month, DHL said revenue in the eCommerce-Parcel division was up 6.4% to 18.2 billion euros ($22.41 billion).