Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DHL connects transport companies through digital freight platform

Steve Rogerson
January 31, 2017

DHL is connecting shippers and transport providers on demand through a digital freight platform.
Called Cillox, it accelerates the digitalisation of the logistics industry by connecting shippers and transport providers, increasing efficiency for both by enabling safe and convenient access to a highly fragmented market using a single digital freight platform.
"Our main objective is to make the platform as convenient as possible in order to simplify our customer's lives and we will continuously evolve the platform according to user needs and feedback,” said Amadou Diallo, executive vice president at DHL Global Forwarding. “I'm confident we will shake up the freight forwarding business, and the digital transformation of our industry will benefit all parties involved."
For companies with freight shipping needs, Cillox gives access to reliable and suitable transport providers for their particular cargo, without time-consuming negotiations and difficult comparisons of prices and services. Shippers get immediate access to pricing information based on their shipment characteristics, availability of lorries and last-booked rates. This enables a better comparison and booking of incoming quotes from transport providers.
Cillox provides the freedom of choice of a marketplace, as shippers choose and book the transport provider that best fits their requirements yet enjoy a single point of contact with Cillox.
For transport providers of all sizes, Cillox provides a platform to present their company's assets and capabilities to a large audience of shippers so they can find suitable loads to optimise the use of their lorries. A dynamic transport quote calculator – derived from a continuously growing real-time database combined with analysis of transacted data collected over the years – will help transport companies make competitive quotes for each shipment and succeed in winning the loads they need.
The scope of Cillox as a digital freight platform however does not end with matching supply and demand. It provides a single interface for tracking, documentation and payment processes, extracting the complexities of interfacing with many different parties. Shippers are able to track fulfilment progress and receive real-time notifications via their personalised dashboard in case of delays, ensuring an improved management of their supply chain and customer expectations.
Transport providers can manage transport jobs with their drivers directly via the platform. The driver mobile application matches the GPS position of lorries to the pick-up and delivery addresses of their routes, and reminds drivers to confirm crucial milestones or to document issues right when and where it matters. A document scanner integrated into the driver application allows drivers to scan and submit delivery documents with their mobile phone cameras, accelerating payment to transport providers to a matter of days.
DHL initiated a test phase of Cillox with customers from September 2016, which is now completed. The digital freight platform is ready to use for all companies and transport providers shipping road freight within Germany or from Germany throughout Europe. DHL says it will be continuously optimising the platform to ensure long-term customer satisfaction by extending its transport modes, services and geographical coverage.