Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DHL and Huawei cooperate on bringing IoT to logistics

Steve Rogerson
February 28, 2017

Chinese electronics giant Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding with logistics company DHL to develop a range of supply chain services using industrial-grade IoT hardware and infrastructure.
The IoT could generate up to US$1.9tn in additional value for the global logistics industry by 2025, believes DHL, enabling operators to monitor and optimise their supply chain processes with low-cost networked sensors and devices. Under the MoU, Huawei and DHL will collaborate on projects focusing on cellular-based IoT technology, which can connect large volumes of devices across long distances with low power consumption.
The greater connectivity should deliver a more integrated logistics value chain by providing critical data and visibility in warehousing operations, freight transportation and last-kilometre delivery.
“Spending on connected logistics is expected to more than double between now and 2020, and many logistics providers including DHL have already begun to explore internet of things applications in their supply chains, including everything from enhanced asset tracking to driverless delivery vehicles,” said Markus Voss, global COO for DHL Supply Chain. “This MoU will allow both Huawei and DHL to tackle complex operational and business challenges with a powerful combination of world-class internet of things hardware, networks and expertise in end-to-end supply chain management.”
The MoU will see Huawei make its IoT devices, connectivity experts and network infrastructure accessible to DHL and its on-going efforts to incorporate sensing and automation capabilities into its warehousing, freight and last-kilometre delivery services. Huawei and DHL will also collaborate on efforts to market and commercialise the results of their innovations, including pilot commercial projects in Europe and China.
“Relying on cloud-pipe-device collaboration, Huawei builds an open, flexible, elastic and secure platform, helping customers easily integrate and develop applications tailored to actual service scenarios.” said Yan Lida, president of Huawei’s enterprise business group. “This partnership opens up an opportunity to improve the efficiency, safety and customer service offered by global supply chains in previously-impossible ways, and defines how the internet of things will shape the fortunes of the logistics industry in the next few critical years of innovation.”
Huawei says it is committed to providing networks that connect devices and sensors everywhere as well as cloud computing infrastructure that optimally processes big data in the IoT space. In addition to DHL, Huawei has built partnerships with companies in the telecoms and manufacturing sectors that address trends and opportunities brought about by the IoT.