"With our third Innovation Center worldwide, we will be able to create a platform for research and collaborative innovation between DHL customers, start-ups, academia, industry partners, and innovation experts in the Americas region," commented Matthias Heutger, SVP, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development at DHL. "This visionary innovation center will further promote and nurture our worldwide leading position as the logistics innovation frontrunner in one of our key markets. It will also help us to further build on successful partnerships that we have established with technology leaders and innovative start-ups in the region."
DHL's logistic innovations footprint in the Americas
As a global leader in logistics, DHL continuously evaluates its innovative customer-centric solutions, already implementing advanced technologies in all of its operations to boost productivity and serve the evolving needs of customers.
DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics specialist within Deutsche Post DHL Group, has seen average productivity increases of 15 percent in trials of augmented reality technology in warehouses, with smart glasses that provide visual displays of order picking instructions and item locations. It has also deployed drones with surveillance cameras to ramp up security at warehousing sites in Brazil and Mexico.
Robotics, ranked the most important physical technology with 63 percent in a recent global survey by DHL of about 350 supply chain and operations professionals, also play a significant role in DHL's innovation activities. DHL Supply Chain uses collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive and precise tasks, such as picking and packing, in a number of its North American warehouses.
DHL Global Forwarding, the leading specialist in air and ocean transport, and DHL Express, the world's leading international express delivery company, also use virtual reality and artificial intelligence in countries like the United States and Chile for employee training programs and to optimize customer service.
Visions, Trends, Solutions - A physical representation of innovation in logistics
The new Americas Innovation Center will house DHL's logistic innovations and robotics, and will offer customers and partners a peek into the future of logistics, showcasing visions of what the world and its transport infrastructure might look like in 2050, as well as the latest technology trends in robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality - all of which are already being tested or implemented by the Group.
"Rosemont is a central destination for businesses to meet and connect thanks to our strategic location between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and the City of Chicago, and we're thrilled to have DHL mark our Village as a new destination for technology and innovation," said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. "Companies look for ideas on the newest trends in this digital era, and now they can come here to look into the future of logistics."
On a surface area of 24,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility can host trend and innovation events for up to 300 guests with high-tech features, futuristic designs, an impressive foyer and inspiring meeting spaces that will be available to the public.
"Inspire, connect and engage - these are the main goals we pursue with our innovation centers. While inspiring our visitors in a unique environment and connecting them with logistics and innovation experts, we aim to support strategic customer engagement that has the potential to create new business and leverage thought leadership to explore the different ways in which technological development can benefit DHL and our customers in the future. Our new Americas Innovation Center - in close proximity to some of the world's most dynamic technology and innovation hubs - will help us to shape the future of logistics," added Heutger.