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DHL opens Singapore centre for logistics technology innovation

DHL has opened a centre in Singapore to research technologies that can be used in the logistics industry

German logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL has opened an innovation centre in Singapore that will focus on future logistics technology.

The company’s first innovation centre outside Germany will develop technology such as self-driving vehicles, robotics, internet of things and augmented reality.

The Asia-Pacific Innovation Centre (Apic) will be situated in DHL’s Supply Chain Advanced Regional Center building in Singapore’s Tampines LogisPark.

“By analysing social, business and technology trends, and converting our innovations into marketable solutions, we will make our customers more successful,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

DHL said the centre will test out futuristic technologies. These include smart glasses for warehouse assembly lines and product picking; drones for delivery of time-critical goods, such as medicines; vehicles that use machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors for maintenance to boost vehicle uptime; and driverless transportation.

The centre will also carry out research on emerging trends in Asian logistics and economic activity.

“Singapore’s position as an innovation hub, its excellent infrastructure and its sophisticated workforce make it an excellent base from which we can achieve strong and consistent growth in the region,” said Bill Meahl, chief commercial officer at DHL.

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Lee Eng Keat, director, logistics and natural resources, at the Singapore Economic Development Board, said: “With DHL as a strategic partner on this journey, Singapore is well positioned to serve the needs and harness the opportunities presented by the dynamic supply chain landscape and emerging technology and trends globally.”

Peter Schumacher, CEO at businesses advisory The Value Leadership Group, which specialises in offshore development advice, said: “Singapore is a huge logistics centre for sea and air freight, and a regional hub for DHL. Revenue from the Asia-Pacific region is on par with the US market and growing faster. Its innovation agenda around robotics, IoT and self-driving vehicles is closely intertwined with physical logistics. Singapore is among the best places in the world for what Deutsche Post DHL is planning to do.”

Singapore has a good reputation for technology innovation. In IDC’s Top Smart City initiative in Asia-Pacific for 2015 report, it was praised for its intelligent transport systems initiative, smart water sensors for water management, national environmental agency smart mapping for dengue and control, and education scheme FutureSchools@Singapore.

The Singapore government is pitching to make the city-state a centre for the development of smart city and internet of things technology. ....................................................

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