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Deutsche Post-DHL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese hi-tech manufacturer Huawei to develop Internet of Things (IoT) supply chain solutions.
DHL claims IoT could create $1.8 trillion in efficiency savings for the global logistics industry within the next eight years.
Chief operating officer of DHL Supply Chain Markus Voss said he expected spending on connected logistics to more than double between now and 2020.
“Many logistics providers, including DHL, have already begun to explore IoT applications – everything from enhanced asset tracking to driverless delivery vehicles,” said Mr Voss.
“This MoU will allow both Huawei and DHL to tackle complex operational and business challenges with a powerful combination of world-class IoT hardware, networks, and expertise in end-to-end supply chain management.”
A spokesperson for DHL told The Loadstar the MoU would cover all its business units, with Huawei providing IoT devices, connectivity experts and network infrastructure. The agreement will see Huawei and DHL develop cellular-based IoT technology capable of connecting multiple devices across long distances with minimal power consumption.
It is hoped that these developments will deliver a more integrated logistics value chain by providing critical data and visibility in warehousing operations, freight transport and last-mile delivery.
Yan Lida, president of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said the MoU would “define how the IoT will shape the fortunes of the logistics industry in the next few critical years of innovation”.
The agreement follows DHL’s launch last year of a $95m centre in Singapore that features almost-entirely automated picking and storing infrastructure, which, it claimed, had increased efficiency by more than 20%.
Just before the opening, DHL Supply Chain had begun the second phase in the roll-out of augmented reality technology in its warehouses, where goods pickers are equipped with advanced smart glasses which visually display where each picked item needs to be placed on the trolley.
“It enables hands-free order picking at a faster pace, with reduced error rates”, the company said.