By Ben Meyer / www.americanshipper.com / July 26th, 2016
The parcel carrier has partnered with automobile manufacturer Smart to conduct a market test in Stuttgart, Germany this fall on a service that will deliver packages directly to the trunk of a customer’s Smart car.
Deutsche Post DHL this fall will conduct market tests for a service that would deliver packages directly to the truck of a customer’s car, the company said in a statement.
The German shipping conglomerate’s Post-eCommerce-Parcel division has partnered with automobile manufacturer Smart on the pilot program, which will begin in Stuttgart and be expanded to Bonn, Berlin and Cologne a few months later.
Starting in September, Smart car owners will be able to use their vehicles as mobile addresses for parcel delivery. Under the pilot program, Smart has agreed to assume the cost of installation for the devices needed to participate in the mobile delivery service.
The companies have created a joint smartphone-based application for both customers and DHL parcel couriers in which vehicle owners can generate a single-use transaction authorization number that they then enter into the “c/o” box as the delivery address. In order for the delivery to be completed, the customer’s vehicle must be parked in the vicinity of the owner’s home address.
The DHL parcel courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via the app, and receives limited time access to the recipient’s car. The single-use TAN the online shopper enters when placing their order enables the courier to locate and open the vehicle within a set period of time. Once the courier closes the trunk, the TAN authorizing them access is cancelled and a push message is sent via the app to notify the car owner that the delivery has taken place.
“As a leader of innovation in the parcel sector, with DHL Parcel 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,” Jürgen Gerdes, CEO of the Post - eCommerce - Parcel unit at Deutsche Post DHL Group, said of the program. “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.”
“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,” added Smart CEO Annette Winkler. “The pilot also kicks off our campaign to improve the quality of urban life.”
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