DHL Innovation Center Americas in Chicago - Drawing
Source: DHL

New Chicago-Area DHL Innovation Center to Promote Future of Logistics


DHL will expand its global innovation footprint to The Americas region by breaking ground for its new Americas Innovation Center in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago which borders O’Hare International Airport.

The new center will offer unique insights into the future of global logistics, vitally important as more small and medium-sized businesses are looking for creative solutions in future logistics and supply chain operations.

The Chicago area Americas Innovation Center will join the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf, Germany, and the Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Singapore. DHL expects to open the new center by the summer of 2019.

“With our third Innovation Center worldwide, we will be able to create a platform for research and collaborative innovation between DHL customers, startups, academia, industry partners and innovation experts in The Americas region. This visionary innovation center will further promote and nurture our worldwide leading position as the logistics innovation frontrunner in one of our key markets. It will also help us to further build on successful partnerships that we have established with technology leaders and innovative start-ups in the region.”

Matthias Heutger, SVP, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development at DHL

DHL’s Logistic Innovations Footprint in The Americas

As a global leading logistics firm, DHL continuously evaluates its innovative customer-centric solutions, already implementing advanced technologies in all of its operations to boost productivity and serve the evolving needs of customers.

DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics specialist within Deutsche Post DHL Group, has seen average productivity increases of 15 percent in trials of augmented reality technology in warehouses.

For example, DHL has tested smart glasses that provide visual displays of order picking instructions and item locations and they deployed drones with surveillance cameras to ramp up security at warehousing sites in Brazil and Mexico.

Robotics ranked the most important physical technology with 63 percent in a recent global survey by DHL of about 350 supply chain and operations professionals, also play a significant role in DHL’s innovation activities.

DHL Supply Chain uses collaborative robots designed to help with repetitive and precise tasks, such as picking and packing, in a number of its North American warehouses.

DHL Global Forwarding, the specialist division in air and ocean transport, and DHL Express, the world’s largest international express delivery company, also use virtual reality and artificial intelligence in countries like the United States and Chile for employee training programs and to optimize customer service.

The DHL Americas Innovation Center to Exhibit Future of Logistics

The new Americas Innovation Center will house DHL’s logistic innovations and robotics and will offer customers and partners a view into the future of logistics.

DHL plans to showcase visions of what the world and its transport infrastructure might look like in 2050 as well as the latest technology trends in robotics and automation.

Also on display will be artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality, all of which are already being tested or implemented by the Group.

“Rosemont is a central destination for businesses to meet and connect thanks to our strategic location between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the City of Chicago, and we’re thrilled to have DHL mark our Village as a new destination for technology and innovation. Companies look for ideas on the newest trends in this digital era, and now they can come here to look into the future of logistics.”

Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens

On a surface area of 24,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility will be able to host trend and innovation events for up to 300 guests with high-tech features, futuristic designs, an impressive foyer.

No details are available yet on how to visit the DHL America’s Innovation Center. But in Germany, guided visits are available to customers and partners by contacting their DHL business representative or account manager.

Innovative Global Logistics Key to Cross-Border Trade

Most small businesses use postal services for global shipping. It is easy, often build into marketplaces, and relatively inexpensive.

But logistics companies such as DHL increasingly are becoming more important in serving even small business customers.

Supply-chain solutions may need to include pooling of shipments, global fulfillment warehouses, and express services as consumers around the world are no longer willing to wait 7 to 10 days or longer for a parcel.

This provides delivery choices to consumers, without having to worry about where a company is located.

Expedited and discounted express choices are becoming more popular among consumers as eCommerce competes with traditional retail in instant gratification.

And on a global scale, DHL and other logistics companies can fill the role of reliable express shipments much better than postal services.

This is also the area of global logistics which requires innovation to keep costs low and improve delivery speed to bring cross-border trade closer to every customer, no matter where they are located.

With this future in mind, DHL’s Innovation Centers are designed to help customers explore and discuss solutions for logistics challenges of today and tomorrow.

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