Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DB Schenker splits the world into squares

Steve Rogerson
October 16, 2018

DB Schenker is using three-word codes to deliver goods to any three-by-three metre square in the world.
This follows an investment in 2016 in UK-based What3Words, which has divided the world into these squares, each with a unique address made from three dictionary words. For example, ///smiling.always.seating refers to the exact three-metre square of the front door to the DB Schenker head office in Essen. It could even be used to pinpoint an exact stand or booth in a large exhibition.
This technology has been integrated into the eSchenker portal, improving operational efficiencies by allowing deliveries to be made to any precise square.
“Our cooperation with What3Words is another new service of DB Schenker’s connect strategy towards a fully digital eco-system,” said Markus Sontheimer, CIO of DB Schenker. “Especially with regard to trade shows or exhibitions, it provides our drivers with exact delivery points and thus allows us to serve our customers even faster and better.”
The integration will enable more than 110,000 DB Schenker clients, who make over half a million bookings a month, to optimise their supply chains by specifying pick-up and drop-off points using a three-word address.
“In a recent study conducted in Germany, we found that 73% deliveries struggle to find a home or business address,” said Clare Jones, CCO of What3Words. “And, in more than a quarter of cases, delivery drivers have to seek additional information in order to locate an exact drop-off point. What3Words solves this problem for both sides, improving efficiencies and improving customer experience.”
Logistics companies around the world face a global challenge: imprecise addressing. Large sites such as factories, warehouses or events spaces often have several access points, making it extremely hard to identify and navigate to specific drop-off locations or delivery entrances.
The eSchenker portal is paving the way in the logistics industry by adopting technologies such as What3Words, helping shipments get to their destination securely and on time, improving the standard of customer service.
Deutsche Bahn invested in What3Words in 2016, with the two companies working together on the future of logistics and transportation.
What3Words was founded by Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam and Michael Dent in July 2013. Sheldrick and Ganesalingam originally conceived the idea after Sheldrick struggled to get equipment and bands to event locations on time due to inadequate addressing while working as a concert organiser. The company was incorporated in March 2013 and a patent application for the core technology filed in April 2013.