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Chancellor Merkel previews DE-AU business logistics mobile app

Consumers and businesses to benefit from parcel delivery innovation by DB Schenker and NICTA

(Sydney, 17 November, 2014)  Millions of consumers across Australia and thousands of small businesses frustrated by delivery and payment delays will benefit from a new mobile app being jointly developed by German logistics provider DB Schenker and NICTA (National ICT Australia).

The collaboration to develop the free app, PanDA (Pickup and Delivery Assistant) was unveiled today in Sydney in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a visit to NICTA headquarters following the weekend’s G20 conference.

Dr Merkel is a physicist by training and, in her pre-political life, was a research scientist by profession.

The mobile app, due out in early 2015, will ensure accurate tracking of packages in the final leg of delivery while enabling small delivery companies to provide “proof of delivery” (POD) which triggers payments for their work across regional and remote Australia.

Ron Koehler, CEO of DB Schenker in Australia, said it was a proud moment to announce the collaboration with NICTA in the presence of Chancellor Merkel.

“DB Schenker, as one of the world’s biggest logistics providers, has had a presence in Australia for more than 50 years. So it was a great opportunity for us to present to the Chancellor during her visit this important joint collaboration that will ultimately assist so many Australians.” Mr Koehler said.

For decades Australian logistics and supply chain companies have struggled with inefficiencies in the “last kilometre” delivery of goods and shipments to far flung customers – relying on manual and paper based “proof of delivery” and therefore delays in payments.

The DB Schenker mobile app will “complete the circle” of transaction information allowing local operators, often one-person businesses, to automatically confirm delivery and trigger payment within 24 hours.

With Australia’s large distribution footprint, the physical POD reconciliation is most often done after a long, multi-stop delivery trip. 

This could mean, done manually, at least 6-10 days before the system recognises a completed transaction. The PanDA app will cut delays by 75%, allowing merchants better revenue recognition and cashflow.

Mr Koehler said it is a national problem that has grown substantially in recent years with the explosion in e-commerce and online shopping together with client expectations.

“Using GPS technology, we can track deliveries kilometre by kilometre across the country. But that final kilometre, or step, in the delivery process, has been a stumbling block in the full completion of any transaction and delivery,” Mr Koehler said.

“Our mobile app is specifically designed for truck drivers providing low-cost connectivity, via the cloud, to assist them in the pickup, delivery and payment processes.”

“It will allow the driver or transport company to enter travel details, GPS coordinates and vehicle identifiers at any time during the transport process to indicate any delays, which may be caused by traffic conditions, road closures or mechanical breakdowns.

“On arrival at the destination the driver scans a bar / QR code, including Proof-Of-Delivery signature or printed name. We replace the burden of processing the paper from the truck driver’s home office with our app.  After delivery has been made, we can fast track electronic payment to the driver’s account.”

Australia has more than 46,000 transport companies of which 70 per cent are small operators.

“Historically, the end customer is not warned if a delivery will arrive late and due to slow business processes, the product owner and Schenker receive late notification of proof of delivery. As a result the trucking owner receives payment later than necessary,” Mr Koehler said.

“Product owners and shippers complain of the difficulty of obtaining good supply chain visibility, particularly in that final delivery leg.

Mr Koehler noted that product owners devote considerable resources to final-delivery related problems.  

“Many transport companies and product owners alike have built call-centre infrastructure with staff operating 24/7 to manage customer and supplier queries. 

“The App will make an enormous difference to the efficiencies and cost savings as well giving the end-customers peace of mind that their parcel is about to arrive.”

Note: NICTA (National ICT Australia) is Australia’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence and the nation’s largest organisation dedicated to ICT research. NICTA’s primary goal is to pursue high-impact research excellence and, through application of this research, to create national benefit and wealth for Australia. 

DB Schenker Australia - Key facts at a glance

  • 7 Freight Forwarding operations; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland & Christchurch.
  • 20 Logistics sites across all states including Darwin and Canberra combined capacity of more than 216,000 square metres.
  • Supply chain solutions for electronics, industrial, chemical, automotive, healthcare, consumer, aeroparts, projects and oil & gas transportation.
  • Employs 1,100 people across Australia
  • 50,000 Tonnes combined export / import airfreight per annum
  • 80,000 TEU (Twenty equivalent units) ocean shipments per annum
  • 450,000 orders per annum delivered to end customers

About DB Schenker:

DB Schenker is the transportation and logistics division of Deutsche Bahn. It is the world’s second largest transportation and logistics service provider based on sales and performance.

In the financial year 2013, over 95,000 employees in 130 countries generated sales of around 19.8 billion Euros, more than 50 percent of the DB Group’s sales. Through its Transportation and Logistics Division, DB holds top positions in global air and ocean freight and has Europe’s most extensive national transport network and the rail expertise of Europe’s largest rail freight company.  With around 2,000 locations in the world’s most important economic regions, DB’s logistics division has a global network geared toward customer service, quality and sustainability.

Enlarge imageSchenker Australia, Schenker Australia
Enlarge imageSchenker Australia, Schenker Australia
Enlarge imageSchenker Australia, Schenker Australia

Last modified: 20.11.2014


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