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DHL unveils route optimisation, supply chain automation tools


DHL has unveiled two new IT tools aimed to help companies optimise their supply chains.
Greenplan, a DHL-financed start-up, has created an algorithm which allows fleet managers to optimise delivery routes and stop sequences using their data.

The algorithm processes the target addresses and automatically takes into account a range of inputs, including emissions and range limits for different vehicle types.

The algorithm was developed by scientists from the University of Bonn alongside DHL logistics experts. DHL says it will offer decreased costs and lower CO2 emissions.

Clemens Beckmann, CEO at Greenplan, said: “We at Greenplan want to help make the industry more efficient and sustainable. With our smart and powerful algorithm, we are tackling the complex task of efficient route planning by offering a precise and reliable solution that can be integrated into existing systems.

“In contrast to nearly all tools on the market, Greenplan – for the first time – calculates routes according to historic traffic information available on street-level. This, in turn, enables our customers to save up to 20 per cent costs compared to standard route optimisation solutions and to lower their carbon footprint accordingly, simply by reducing kilometres driven.”

Last week saw DHL and logistics automation company Blue Yonder announce a new robotics deployment platform.

Built in the Microsoft Azure cloud, the platform is designed to reduce the integration required when bringing new automation devices into warehouse facilities.

Markus Voss, Global CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain, said: “Automation and collaborative robotics help us make operational processes more flexible, ergonomic and more attractive to our employees by replacing monotonous, repetitive and particularly strenuous activities. The aim is not to replace employees over time, but to assign the more attractive and interesting tasks to our human workforce.”

He added: “We have more than 2,000 operational sites across DHL Supply Chain, so we know how complex, time-consuming and costly it can be to integrate new robots into existing platforms and connect to our clients’ various warehouse management systems.

“This is exactly where the new platform is so effective. Our first implementation on the new platform with 6 River Systems at one of our Madrid sites is already showing a 60% reduction in integration times, but with subsequent deployments we foresee further improvements of up to 90%.”

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