DHL to trial Smart car trunk deliveries

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DHL Parcel has partnered with car manufacturer Smart to roll out a pilot project whereby Smart owners in certain German cities can have their packages delivered to the trunk of their vehicle.

The initial trial will begin this autumn in Stuttgart and will later be expanded to Bonn, Berlin and Cologne. The new solution is smartphone based, with the Smart driver and the DHL parcel courier using specially designed apps. The vehicle owner uses the Smart app to generate a single-use transaction authorization number (TAN), which they enter when stating their delivery address for purchases from an online retailer. For the car-drop to take place, the vehicle simply has to be parked in the vicinity of the owner’s home address.

The DHL parcel courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via an app, receiving time-limited access to the recipient’s car. The single-use TAN enables the courier to locate and open the vehicle within a set period of time. Having gained access to the trunk, the courier can either deposit a parcel or retrieve a shipment for return. Once the courier closes the trunk, the TAN authorizing them access is cancelled. A push message sent via the app notifies the car owner that the delivery has taken place. In May 2015, DHL partnered with Amazon and Audi to test a similar scheme for car owners in Munich.

Jürgen Gerdes, CEO, post, e-commerce, parcel at Deutsche Post DHL Group, said, “We are pursuing the goal of developing new ideas to supplement our diverse range of solutions to make it easier to send and receive a parcel, and to personalize the process to meet customers’ needs. Having successfully tested car-trunk deliveries as part of a pilot in Germany, we are using the knowledge we have gained to work with Smart to develop a new and attractive service for a young, extremely online savvy target group.”

Annette Winkler, CEO, Smart, said, “With the new service, we are expanding the ways in which our vehicles can be used to offer a broader mobility model that goes beyond the car itself. The pilot also kicks off our campaign to improve the quality of urban life.”

Smart owners wanting to take part in the pilot can go to www.smart.com/drop for information and submit their applications from September. Installation of the devices needed to participate in the pilot will be performed at local distributors, with Smart assuming the costs. When registering their car for the pilot with Smart, customers can also fill out the necessary DHL car-trunk delivery agreement in just a few steps.

July 27, 2016

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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