Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DHL launches smart trucking service in India

Steve Rogerson
June 5, 2018

DHL has launched a smart trucking service across an extensive line-haul express road network in India.
DHL SmarTrucking is the company’s first official move to accelerate the development of technology-enabled logistics around the world, under its newly formed board department Corporate Incubations, which was launched in April this year.
“Presently, road freight comprises the majority of the total freight movement and is the largest transportation segment in India,” said Juergen Gerdes, board member for Corporate Incubations. “With greater efficiency from DHL SmarTrucking, we expect to transport 100,000 tonnes of cargo and cover a distance of approximately four million kilometres across India daily.”
The company has appointed Neeraj Bansal, as CEO of DHL SmarTrucking. He will be responsible for leading the company’s growth in India.
 “Leveraging the potential of the infrastructural transformations in India’s logistics ecosystem and our innovations through DHL SmarTrucking, we can help Indian businesses reach customers and markets in a faster and more secure way,” said Bansal.
Following a successful three-month pilot that covered over 2.7 million kilometres, DHL SmarTrucking leverages IoT technology and data-driven insights for route optimisation. This reduces transit times by up to 50 per cent compared with the traditional trucking industry, and provides over 95 per cent reliability with ease of use, end-to-end consignment visibility, temperature-controlled capabilities and real-time tracking.
IoT-enabled sensors monitored through the company’s centralised control tower provide real-time temperature and consignment tracking. Information alerts and status updates are also sent to customers and DHL SmarTrucking’s operations teams through the customer portal and external and internal mobile applications. 
Using an agile model, drivers are rotated at predetermined stops located across the country, with the original driver returning to the point of origin with another truckload.
“This transportation model not only helps optimise efficiency but also reduces fatigue among drivers who spend less time on the road, enabling them to go home to their families every two to three days,” said Malcolm Monteiro, CEO of DHL eCommerce India. “Additionally, with the demand for temperature controlled transportation in India estimated to grow at 15 per cent per annum from 2016 to 2020, DHL SmarTrucking allows our customers in India to scale up and streamline their business operations to meet consumers’ needs.”
With temperature control capabilities that are compliant with international standards, services such as DHL SmarTrucking and DHL SmarTrucking Coldchain for temperature-controlled products, provide road freight options for all sectors, including the automotive, dairy, ecommerce, packaged foods, pharmaceuticals and fast-food industries.
DHL has broken ground on its new innovation centre in Rosemont, Illinois, which will offer insights into the future of logistics. Joining the innovation centre in Germany and Singapore, the Americas centre will exhibit the technologies and innovations in logistics that DHL is already implementing across the region, and will foster the development of future logistics and supply chain technology while serving as a regional platform for collaborative innovation. The opening is planned for summer 2019.

“With our third innovation centre worldwide, we will be able to create a platform for research and collaborative innovation between DHL customers, start-ups, academia, industry partners and innovation experts in the Americas region,” said Matthias Heutger, SVP at DHL. “This visionary innovation centre will further promote and nurture our worldwide leading position as the logistics innovation frontrunner in one of our key markets. It will also help us to further build on successful partnerships that we have established with technology leaders and innovative start-ups in the region.”