A red and white DHL airplane is being loaded at the airport

FOR A BETTER TOMORROW

The future has already begun

Our visions shape the future of logistics - with innovations pointing the way to a more sustainable and better tomorrow. Our solutions like the StreetScooter and Parcelcopter show today how logistics will work in the future.

An electric DHL delivery vehicle stands in front of a city skyline, a DHL delivery drone is hovering above it
A DHL employee stands in front of an electric DHL delivery vehicle and holds a package in his hands

E-Mobility in logistics

Our innovative, economical and environmentally friendly answer to conventional commercial vehicles – the StreetScooter.

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A man wearing a virtual reality headset, gesturing with his hands

Augmented reality in logistics

Is a digital gimmick revolutionizing our business?

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A young engineer working in front of a laptop, looking at a part of a robot

Robotics in logistics

Robotics technology is arriving in slow, yet cautious and well-considered stages.

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Close up of a DHL scanning device in the hands of a courier

Internet of Things in logistics

With the advent of IoT, internet connections now extend to physical objects that go beyond the classic computer.

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Close up of the back part of a DHL delivery drone

Drone technology in logistics

Parcelcopters are designed for delivering packages in hard-to-reach areas.

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Drone delivery service in China

A new era of air cargo

DHL Express and leading drone manufacturer EHang have started a strategic partnership to develop fully automated and intelligent drone delivery solutions for China’s metropolitan areas.

In the pilot project in Guangdong Province, the typical delivery time was reduced from around 40 minutes to just eight. This not only makes it possible to reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint, but also enables cost savings of up to 80 percent.

How drone delivery works

The upper part of a drone landing platform
The left part of a DHL delivery drone
A DHL drone with cargo box underneath stands in front of garage doors

Ready for takeoff

Every day, shipments are prepared for pickup at the DHL Service Center in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

A DHL delivery drone flies over urban outskirts

Efficient transport

The shipments are transported by drone from the service center to the customer's location eight kilometers away. Traffic jams and difficult road conditions are irrelevant.

A DHL delivery drone lands in an opened parcel station

Automated delivery

Completely autonomous loading and unloading processes on intelligent parcel boxes increase efficiency as well as profitability and reduce energy consumption.

Two people are sitting in front of computers in a control center with a big digital map in the background

Complete control

At Guangzhou's EHang Command and Control Center, all drone flights are coordinated and monitored.

Close-up of a pending DHL delivery drone in front of trees

Innovative technology

The Falcon drone has intelligent, fully automated route planning. It can carry up to five kilograms of additional weight per flight.

OUR INNOVATION STORY

Logistics for a connected world

Innovation is an essential part of our DNA. The history of DHL began with the innovative business idea of transporting shipping documents from San Francisco to Honolulu by plane in 1969. The key advantage: the customs clearance of the corresponding ship cargo could begin even before the ships actually arrived. This is how DHL invented the international express service.

Taking important documents as hand luggage on board an aircraft accelerated the logistical process enormously and was the reason for the success of our company. It is the starting point for a large number of innovations that have made DHL one of the world's most important logistics partners over the past 50 years.

A red and white DHL delivery vehicle of the 80s stands in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

DHL: born in 1969

1969-1979: Pioneering

From its inception, DHL has passionately invested in innovative ideas and bravely ventured into new lands. This tenacity fueled our fast growth - operating in a new country every two months and a new city every eight days. Our employees and colleagues traveled to far-flung countries with vastly different cultures and languages, finding opportunity in the face of industrial monopolies, government agencies and competitors.

DHL employees in their uniforms in front of red and white delivery vehicles in the 80's

Reshaping ourselves to fit a new world

1980-1989: Adaptation

With the world forever changing, DHL’s business model has always had to adapt fast: We reacted to the invention of the fax machine by transforming from an express courier service to package delivery. In answer to airport congestion, we built our aviation fleet and developed large-scale networks in the US and Europe.

DHL executives holding up models of delivery airplanes in the 80's

A time for breaking down barriers

1990-1999: Globally Local

By this time, DHL had expanded into almost every country in the world. We started “thinking global but acting local”, applying local solutions to bridge global distances. We set up our first express logistics centers to manage next-morning deliveries worldwide and introduced Import Express to make shipments from anywhere to anywhere.

DHL employees in their uniforms in front of a red and white DHL airplane in the 80's

An immersion into the digital world begins

2000-2009: Evolution

This was the decade that saw DHL evolve its services towards digital. In a world where the rapid growth of e-commerce intersected with global trade, we revolutionized how customers and DHL engaged with one another. Using the power of social media and websites, we began to build meaningful connections with our customers more and more online.

Wind turbines in front of a blue sky

A commitment to our environment

2010-2019: Sustainability

In the last decade, our sustainability initiatives have officially been integrated into the heart of our corporate strategy. This has encouraged a wealth of innovative ideas like our StreetScooter: a DHL-designed electric vehicle which has made eco-friendly deliveries a reality. Examples like this all support our company-wide initiative to improve carbon efficiency by 30% - which we met in all our air and road operations, and in all of our buildings and facilities, in 2016.