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Discovering Trends for Tomorrow's Logistics

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DHL City Logistics

The aim of the DHL City Logistics Program is to research urban logistics solutions.

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Research & Development is the central team of the Group for identifying future customer and sector challenges. Compared to Product Development it takes on a long term focus. With the help of applied research, it designs prototypes, pilots and protects the next generation of products and solutions. By that the base for sustainable product development is built and DHL’s thought leader status in logistics is protected. For DHL, thought leadership is an essential component of being prepared for the future. By understanding and evaluating trends and early indicators it helps us to develop innovative projects that have a real impact on our growth and competitiveness. To secure this position Corporate Patent Management is another part of the team dealing with all patent applications for DPDHL worldwide. On the pages below you can find out more about the Research & Development projects currently being undertaken by Solutions & Innovation.

R&D Projects

DHL City Logistics

DHL City Logistics Program - our know-how today ensuring your quality of life tomorrow

The aim of the DHL City Logistics Program is to research urban logistics solutions. We appreciate the vision of cities to become smarter, more sustainable and more resilient.


By improving freight-related traffic flows within cities we are reducing both the unit costs and the environmental impact of inner-city freight deliveries and improve the ease of doing business within cities, not least by ensuring continuity of supply goods and services. By leveraging our technological innovation, as well as our deep sector knowledge, world-class processes and DHL brand, our ambitions extend to the full provision of an entire city districts’ product and services requirements.

Patent Management

Corporate Patent Management (CPM)

Corporate Patent Management (CPM) consults Deutsche Post and the DHL Business Units in all IP/patent related questions and manages the worldwide IP/patent process and portfolio. In accordance with the Group strategy, CPM supports the units in the identification of their respective IP/patent needs and ensures the realization of required IP-services.


Our IP/patent strategy and comprehensive service portfolio builds on two strategic pillars: Ensure our Freedom-To-Operate and Protect our Innovations & USPs with IPRs. For more information please contact Björn Ulmer, Director Corporate Patent Management (

3D Printing

3D-Printing affects the logistics industry - which role do we want to take?

3D Printing as a new, potentially disruptive manufacturing technology that will have an impact on tomorrow's supply chain: from mass production to individual production, global to local manufacturing processes and from physical stock keeping to digital file storage.


The Research & Development team identifies potential new applications and develops new business opportunities for DHL on the basis of such a revolutionary technology as 3D Printing. It's not science fiction anymore - let's take a closer look at tomorrow's logistics industry.



The RAN project (RFID-based Automotive Network) is a research project founded by the "Bundeswirtschaftsministerium" (BMWi). The objective is to develop and utilize a RFID-based solution to cooperatively control the global flow of goods within the automotive industry.


The interoperability within the network of suppliers, logistics providers and OEM's by an automated and authenticated exchange of data is guaranteed by the development and implementation of a central infobroker system and the required standards. Besides the installation of RFID read points at more than 20 gates of the DHL Freight site Unterschleißheim next to Munich, Solutions & Innovation developed and implemented an own infobroker system to offer it to our customers as a Value Added Service.

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