DHL Freight, one of the leading providers of road freight services in Europe, is deploying 30 new trucks as part of the pilot phase of its driver recruitment initiative. These state-of-the-art trucks, which are manufactured by MAN, have a total weight of 12 tons, are equipped with a turning assistant to increase safety. Fifteen of the vehicles are also fitted with rooftop solar system developed by DHL's start-up TRAILAR. The new vehicles will provide drivers with the latest life-saving equipment and provide DHL Freight with sufficient transport capacities during peak seasons - mainly on the first-mile and last-mile legs. DHL Freight's driver recruitment initiative is being piloted at five locations in Germany and has attracted 50 new drivers so far, with the overall aim to create up to 500 new jobs in Europe.

"The demand for overland transport is continuing to rise. At the same time, the road freight industry is facing an increasingly urgent shortage of drivers. We are approaching this issue proactively by implementing a new working model to address drivers' needs," explains Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight. "With new recruits and a flexible deployment model, we can ensure that we have the capacity to provide reliable service for our customers year-round. We are very pleased with the response so far and have already welcomed 50 new drivers at participating locations."

In line with DHL's environmentally friendly GoGreen program, 15 of the 30 trucks are equipped with rooftop solar system developed by DHL's start-up TRAILAR. The thin, flexible solar matting is installed on the roofs of rigid vehicles and connected to the vehicle battery. The solution produces sufficient energy for functions such as tail lifts operations and air conditioning, saving up to 5 percent on fuel consumption. TRAILAR can save up to 4 tons of CO2 per fitted asset per year. The new vehicles are also equipped with the latest safety technology, including a turning assistant. This life-saving technology helps to prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents that occur as trucks make right turns.

DHL Freight's driver recruitment initiative was launched in November 2018 as a pilot project at German branches in Erfurt, Koblenz, Malsfeld, Maintal and Sehlem. Through the project, DHL Freight aims to lay the foundation for a long-term increase of capacities to manage the rising demand for transport. Using a rotational system, the initiative increases the attractiveness of a driver position as well as the flexibility with which drivers can be deployed. Rather than being continuously on the road, employees take on warehouse-based responsibilities during quieter periods and may be deployed as drivers during peak periods. Following a successful pilot phase, DHL Freight plans to launch the initiative Europe-wide, creating up to 500 new jobs.

TRAILAR is a DPDHL-owned start-up begun within DHL's Start-Up Lab and was founded by DHL employees. The Start-Up Lab incubator program supports DPDHL Group employees and departments in testing and scaling ideas for new logistics business models and technologies. With its innovative system, TRAILAR creates a sustainable, efficient and cost-effective solution for a new fuel conservation technology based on light-weight and durable photovoltaic modules.

Source: Deutsche Post DHL