DHL and Smart team up for car trunk delivery pilot
DHL Parcel and Smart will be working together on a pilot scheme which will allow Smart car owners to use their vehicles as mobile addresses for car drops. DHL and Smart have been developing and testing the system over past few months to ensure that they have a solution that will ensure high security standards for both the merchandise and the vehicles.
In a statement issued today (25 July), DHL said that an “expanded market” test will be conducted in the German town of Stuttgart in the autumn, and the car drop service will then be offered a few months later in Bonn, Berlin and Cologne.
“By attracting several hundred participants in each city, partners DHL Parcel and Smart aim to collect feedback under near-reality conditions,” said DHL. “Smart owners wanting to take part in the pilot can go to www.smart.com/drop for information and submit their applications from September. Installation of the devices needed to participate in the pilot will be performed at local distributors, with Smart assuming the costs.”
Jürgen Gerdes, CEO Post – eCommerce – Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL Group, commented: “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.
“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.”
For the car boot pilot, both the Smart driver and the DHL parcel courier using specially designed apps. The vehicle owner uses the Smart app to generate a single-use transaction authorization number (TAN) which they enter in the “c/o” box when stating their delivery address for purchases in an online shop.
The DHL parcel courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via an app, receiving time-limited 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. Having gained access to the trunk, the courier can either deposit a parcel or retrieve a shipment for return. Once the courier closes the trunk, the TAN authorizing them access is cancelled. A push message sent via the app notifies the car owner that the delivery has taken place.
Using a customer’s car trunk (or boot) as a delivery location is becoming a popular option. As previously reported, Volvo also recently launched its Volvo In-Car Delivery service in Sweden – and picked up the Retail Customer Access Award at the World Post & Parcel Awards, which took place in Warsaw in June.