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Transportation

Getting on the Road to Streamlined and Sustainable Routes

Trimble technology helps optimize deliveries to reduce emissions and enhance customer satisfaction

In the transportation industry, it isn’t good enough to simply get from point A to point B—it is crucial that fleets optimize their routes to more effectively manage driver time, improve customer satisfaction and reduce fuel use and equipment wear. 

Transportation organizations such as DPD Germany are increasingly turning to technology to achieve this synergy and to help make the supply chain more efficient, sustainable and productive—both for the people who rely on it and for our planet.

DPD Germany is a franchise of the international parent company, DPDgroup, which is one of the largest parcel carriers in Europe. With their corporate headquarters located in Aschaffenburg, DPD Germany’s parcel supply chain covers 80 franchise depots, 9,500 employees and over 13,000 drivers, all involved in the delivery of approximately 2 million packages to businesses and consumers per day via a mixed fleet of vehicles that includes electric vehicles.

DPDgroup is a strong leader in driving emissions reductions, with a vision to become the international standard in sustainable delivery by 2030. To date per parcel, DPDgroup has reduced its CO2 emissions by 18.8 percent since 2013, and is on-track to reach a 30 percent reduction by 2030.

One of DPD’s most innovative and popular service offerings is called Predict, which allows parcel recipients to track the progress of their delivery in real-time, and provides an estimated one-hour delivery window and updated notifications along the way.

Trimble Maps’ portfolio of solutions has played an integral role in not only helping calculate this one-hour delivery window, but also providing turn-by-turn navigation to DPD drivers on the road. The end result? Less overall travel time, more successful first-time deliveries and fewer emissions.

DPD was the first, and still is the only parcel carrier in Germany, that provides recipients with an estimated one-hour delivery window. With millions of packages delivered to consumers every day, it’s crucial that DPD works with leading technology providers like Trimble to ensure that routes are calculated accurately, to ensure the greatest chance of success for first-time deliveries.

“We calculate a one-hour delivery window for every parcel,” said Matthias Dobrick, project manager operations, at DPD Germany. This market-leading service is made possible in part by the integration of Trimble Maps’ route optimization and mapping web services platform, known internally as DPD Maps. 

Accurate delivery windows and real-time notifications provided by the Predict service, powered in part by Trimble’s technology, helps DPD Germany make more successful deliveries on the first attempt, reducing mileage, time and fuel spent on future attempts. Because recipients have more visibility into and control over the delivery window, they can reschedule deliveries as needed for future days/times or perhaps to a convenient drop-off location. This reduces emissions created by multiple return trips. 

DPD Maps calculates an optimized route for drivers, who are then able to manually sort the stops and change the route to best fit their preferences. Once routes are locked in, Trimble’s commercial application, CoPilot® in-cab navigation, provides real-time directions to ensure that drivers arrive at each stop safely and on time—again, reducing emissions caused by taking wrong turns or missing a stop.

Once a driver’s route is complete for the day, DPD has the ability to compare the actual route taken with the optimized route DPD Maps calculated in an easy-to-understand view that can be quickly drilled into by driver, depot and delivery time windows.

DPD Maps allows the company to visualize, share and discuss results with different stakeholders within the organization, and as a web-based service, it is easy to maintain and enhance. The solution runs every route and optimizes it, providing a detailed view on the map about each stop and an overlay of each of DPD’s millions of stops, highlighting areas for improvement.

“We can see things like if a driver had used the optimized route, they could have saved an hour,” Dobrick explained. “We give this information to the depots as a service so they can better negotiate prices with subcontractors.”

Dobrick acknowledges that many drivers prefer to plan their own routes—so giving drivers the flexibility to plan out their day as they see fit gives them the control over their schedule; while the solution gives the back-office access to the data that allows them to determine if there are cost or time savings that could be realized by using more optimized routes.

“We don’t force drivers to use the optimized routes, that’s not our business…we offer this to depots and say, ‘If you find a route that loses an hour every day, you may want to talk to that driver about the optimized route, and that could save you some money,’” Dobrick said. 

When it comes to sustainability, Jean-Claude Sonet, executive vice president, marketing, communications and sustainability, said it best: “At DPDgroup, we are pioneering a truly sustainable business. It’s what drives us every day. We aim to be a force for good in the world, joining forces with customers, consumers, suppliers and other stakeholders to make a positive difference to people, to our planet and to the communities we operate with. Because wherever we live on Earth, we all share the same address.”