New DHL offering focuses on fast and flexible delivery service for online retailers

Entitled Parcel Metro, DHL said that this offering essentially provides what it called a virtual delivery network of local and regional delivery vendors and crowd-sourced drivers and vehicles to ensure last-mile flexibility and capacity.

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Last week express and logistics services provider DHL introduced what it describes as a fast and flexible delivery service for online retailers.

Entitled Parcel Metro, DHL said that this offering essentially provides what it called a virtual delivery network of local and regional delivery vendors and crowd-sourced drivers and vehicles to ensure last-mile flexibility and capacity. It explained that this is done through a bespoke software platform that selects drivers offering the appropriate service levels and sufficient capacity on specific routes that meet its quality standards.

And on the consumer side DHL explained Parcel Metro enables consumers to place orders and then choose from various delivery-time windows such as same day and next-day, as well as their preferred delivery destination. DHL added that through a mobile interface consumers can track shipments in real-time and also offer up specific instructions to couriers, reschedule a delivery, and also rate their overall delivery experience. It also said is able to bundle fulfillment and Parcel Metro delivery solutions for online retailers.

Parcel Metro is currently available in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, with DHL saying it plans to launch it in Dallas and Atlanta in the second quarter, San Francisco in the third quarter, and Washington, D.C. by the end of the year.  

“The [Parcel Metro] service complements our existing product portfolio, and provides a unique end-consumer delivery experience which is a typical expectation in e-commerce today,” a DHL spokesman told LM. “During the pilot phase, we have provided Parcel Metro services for apparel, sporting goods, consumer and beauty products retailers.”

The number of drivers participating in Parcel Metro varies by demand, and the service of tapping into the local and regional groups of delivery vendors as crowd-sourced individual drivers, the spokesman said, adding that DHL eCommerce has a strict set of guidelines for its metro couriers.

When asked how DHL previously handled these processes in the past, the spokesman said that Parcel Metro is the first time that DHL eCommerce is offering same-day and next-day delivery service that online retailers can offer their customers, and also said that . DHL eCommerce has been offering domestic deliveries in the U.S. since 2004.

“Eighty-six percent of consumers associate delivery as part of their total online shopping experience, according to research [Accenture Continuous Delivery study, published September 2017], thus it’s important for DHL to offer services that not only meet their needs, but do so in a highly consistent fashion,” said Lee Spratt, CEO, DHL eCommerce Americas, in a statement. “DHL Parcel Metro provides that consistency, and offers retailers the ability to extend their brand and messaging to consumers throughout the final mile delivery for a unique shopping experience.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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