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DHL to feature innovation capabilities at 2017 YPO EDGE in Vancouver

BRAMPTON, Ont.–DHL Express will be showcasing logistics trends and solutions at this year’s YPO EDGE conference, the company said.

Each year, business leaders from around the world gather for YPO EDGE to learn from some of today’s brightest and most innovative minds how to shape the world of tomorrow.

“As the global leader in the logistics industry, DHL invests significant resources on customer-centric innovations and the development of products and services that our customers need most,” said Andrew Williams, CEO, DHL Express Canada and a YPO member. “We’re proud that some of our most innovative technologies will be on display in Vancouver to help business leaders gain an edge in improving infrastructure, supply chain management and employee engagement.”

This year, the conference will be in Vancouver, where more than 2,500 attendees from 130 countries will gather for two days of thought-provoking discussion, inspiration and discovery.

DHL will exhibit futuristic technologies that will transform logistics operations including augmented reality “smart glasses” for warehouse assembly-lines and product picking; drones for delivery of time-critical goods like medicines; an end-to-end risk management platform that alerts customers about incidents and risks to their global supply chain, and a collaborative robot called “Sawyer” to support DHL with value-added tasks in warehousing operations.

Innovations that will be on display include:

Parcelcopter 3.0

To help transport goods to remote or geographically challenging areas, DHL Parcel launched a research project in 2013 on the use of a special drone, dubbed the Parcelcopter, which has been upgraded for use in alpine regions. Intended primarily for situations that mesh poorly with established infrastructures or where standard delivery methods are overly lengthy, the DHL Parcelcopter is seen as a tool for improving the lives of inhabitants in hard-to-reach areas.

Augmented Reality and Vision Picking

Digitizing manual processes on the shop floor and bringing customers one step closer towards Industry 4.0 is a growing focus for DHL. Through its Vision Picking program, pickers across different industry sectors – such as technology, retail, consumer and automotive – are equipped with advanced smart glasses which visually display where each item needs to be placed on the trolley, enabling hands-free order picking at a faster pace with reduced error rates. Initial tests have shown a significant increase in productivity and overall rise in employee satisfaction, proving that augmented reality can make an impactful difference.


DHL is bringing innovation to its global logistics and supply chain customers with this end-to-end risk management platform that alerts them about incidents and risks to their global supply chain – such as inclement weather, geopolitical issues and pandemics – in almost real time. Through a global mapping device, customers are able to anticipate and respond quicker to incidents to avert or minimize business interruption, maintaining their edge over the rest of the competition.

Collaborative Robotics:

DHL is currently testing a smart and collaborative robot in its warehouses on co-packing and value-added tasks, such as assembly, kitting, packaging and pre-retail services. “Sawyer” – as he is called – is a smart, adaptable solution that support warehouse staff and could help to enhance productivity at DHL facilities.

DHL is currently testing how to integrate several robots like “Sawyer” into various operational sites across the globe. DHL purchased Sawyer last year and its research entails 3D printing possibilities to create specialized grippers for the robot to allow for additional tasks to be completed in the warehouse. With robots like Sawyer, DHL is now able to leverage automation that can adapt to real world variability, change applications quickly and perform tasks like people do.

“This is an exciting time to be in the logistics field and we believe that our innovative ideas are key for our future success,” added Williams. “DHL has been at the forefront of this creative ecosystem where bright ideas turn into real solutions and we can’t wait to see what’s next.”


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