Technological innovation and automation are driving speed in the logistics industry

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Staff Report

Dubai: DHL is exploring how innovation in the logistics industry can support the future of transportation around the world and in the region.

DHL completed a successful trial of the ‘DHL Parcelopter’ – an autonomous transport drone that drops packages to people’s doorsteps. This was the first time worldwide that a parcel service provider directly integrated a parcelcopter logistically into its delivery chain. The autonomous cross-country flights were successfully implemented under challenging alpine conditions – and could potentially herald a new era quick, safe and secure parcel deliveries.

The DHL has also piloted collaborative robots to support with value-added tasks in warehousing operations. DHL has tested ‘Baxter’ and ‘Sawyer’, two smart and collaborative robots in its warehouses on co-packing and value-added tasks, such as assembly, kitting, packaging and pre-retail services. The advancement of technology in the logistics industry is driving the adoption of collaborative robots to improve efficiency in the supply chain.

DHL has also successfully run a pilot test including robot technology for collaborative automated order picking in a DHL warehouse in Unna, Germany. The robot called EffiBOT from the French start-up Effidence is a new, fully automated trolley that follows pickers through the warehouse and takes care of most of the physical work. DHL anticipates that assisted order picking is only one part in the automation revolution that will transform the world of logistics in the near future.