DHL Global Forwarding launches new one-stop digital portal

5/22/2020

The world’s largest freight forwarder DHL Global Forwarding (DGF) has launched a new one-stop digital platform that it claims offers new levels of pricing, tracking and shipment transparency.

myDHLi merges existing services such as myDHLi Quote + Book and myDHLi Analytics with new services including social media follow and share functions, and a tracking option that uses end-to-end information to make shipments across air and ocean visible “nearly in real-time”, according to DHL.

Developed for an undisclosed sum but described as “not cheap” during a launch presentation earlier today, the company claimed myDHLi offers an intuitive user interface that gives customers “all relevant information at hand”.

The launch begins with a pilot phase including selected customers from five continents (North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa), before being rolled out “in waves to ensure a smooth region-by-region transition”.  

It said the previous customer portal, DHLi, will be available until the myDHLi roll-out is complete.

As reported by Lloyd’s Loading List in 2018, the transport management system backbone of myDHLi is CargoWiseOne, an off-the-shelf platform designed by CargoWise and then enhanced to suit DHL’s needs. 

It replaced the doomed NFE or New Forwarding Environment, an ambitious but ill-fated IT renewal project that DGF abandoned in late 2015, leading to a write-off of around €345 million.

“We have been working since 2016 on renewing our transport management system,” said Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, in a presentation earlier today. “We decided to move to a system named CargoWiseOne.

“That’s the system which we use internally which then later feeds myDHLi. So, the data that we use internally is shown to customers like a window [so he/she can] see his data in our systems.”

CargoWiseOne already handles 97% of DHLGF’s ocean shipments and 31% of its air freight volumes and has been rolled out globally except for two countries where coronavirus lockdowns prevented implementation. “Air freight, of course, will be the priority for 2020,” added Scharwath.

“I believe that with the investments that we are doing right now, not only in myDHLi, but also in the CargoWiseOne rollout, we are setting the base to make us more digital internally and also externally.

“It's all about working easier together, making things simpler. CargoWiseOne makes our way of working simpler internally and myDHLi makes it easier for customers to work with us, giving the transparency and also different alternatives for communicating with us. 

“And of course, if a customer wants to communicate with us the manual, old-fashioned way using a phone or a fax or an e-mail, we, of course, are also happy to work in that way with our customers.”

He said that despite accelerating digitalisation and super-fast connectivity, customers also had made it clear they wanted reduced complexity. “And that is exactly what our tool does," he added. 

"We have created a one-stop customer portal that is tailored to the needs of our customers. By combining services like online quotation and booking with shipment tracking, document accessibility, and data analyses we are creating not only 360-degrees visibility, but also have laid the foundation for customers to manage their logistics – anytime and anywhere.”

Scharwath said digitalisation had the potential to improve the daily business of shippers and freight forwarders simultaneously. 

“This is even truer during unpredictable and challenging times such as those we are currently facing with COVID-19, and which might now act as an accelerator for digitalising the industry,” he added. “That is what digitalisation means to us and why we made it a cornerstone of our strategy 2025."