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Developed by the DHL Trend Research team, the 2018/2019 Logistics Trend Radar is the result of analyzing current and emerging trends, as well as gathering direct input from partners including research institutes, tech players, start-ups and customers. Most of the insights have been collected first-hand from the 10,000 annual visitors to DHL Innovation Centers.

Matthias Heutger, senior vice president, global head of innovation and commercial development at DHL, said, “Our Logistics Trend Radar acts as a roadmap for innovation, helping to structure and catalyze further industry-leading research and projects together with our customers and partners. In this edition, we focus strongly on the digital revolution happening in the industry and its impact across four key elements defining the future of logistics: customer-centricity, sustainability, technology and people.”

According to DHL, customer centricity will be key to providing a faster and more convenient logistics experience. An ever-increasing amount of goods that can be purchased online – especially in the B2B market – is driving the need for B2B omni-channel logistics solutions. Customer demand is also driving growth in direct-to-consumer shipments of time- and temperature-sensitive goods. This Fresh Chain will require innovations in packaging, storage and delivery of goods such as groceries and pharmaceuticals. A key area for innovation in the last mile will be the integration of logistics services into smart home environments captured as the trend of Connected Life.

Sustainability will become a mandate to operate in the logistics industry, as governments, cities and solution providers commit to sweeping agreements to cut down on CO2 emissions and waste. Green Energy Logistics – the electrification of logistics fleets and facilities – provide huge potential for logistics to become more environmentally friendly. Smart Containerization in transportation will also be important in developing environmentally friendly formats for delivery in congested cities.


Royal Mail has bowed to pressure over how it charges for its redirection service, which critics say penalises modern families with different surnames.

Citizens Advice has urged Royal Mail to change the cost of mail redirections from a “per surname” to a “per household” basis.

Charging per surname to redirect mail penalises unmarried couples and spouses who keep their own names, as well as children and elderly relatives with different surnames who live in the same household, the charity said. The postal service said it agreed with Citizens Advice that there was a “need for a different pricing structure” and added that it was finalising new fees.

Royal Mail said: “We wrote to Citizens Advice last week, before the report was issued, to confirm that we will change the pricing structure of our popular redirections service away from a per surname basis or anything similar. We are currently working on the details of this new pricing structure and will share once finalised.”

Citizens Advice said more than half (55%) of people who have moved house within the last two years in the UK live with at least one person who has a different surname to them. Analysis by the charity also found that the Netherlands is the only other country in Europe to charge per surname.

The charity also called on Royal Mail to make its redirection service generally more affordable. It noted that the price of a three-month redirection had soared 74% since 2012 while second-class stamps only went up by 12%. People currently pay a fee per last name for mail direction of £33.99 for up to three months; £46.99 for up to six months; and £66.99 for up to 12 months.

Royal Mail, however, insisted that its redirection packages offered “excellent value for money”, noting that a six-month direction works out at 30p a day.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Many people rely on Royal Mail’s redirection service yet it’s designed for households of the past. Consumers are facing a double whammy. Royal Mail has drastically increased the price of redirection over the years, but hasn’t changed its outdated price structure that assumes families always share the same surname.

“As the dedicated universal service provider, it has a duty to make sure this service is fair and affordable.”

DURING the day, Leipzig’s airport is quiet. It is at night that the airfield comes to life. Next to the runway a yellow warehouse serves as the global sorting hub for DHL, a delivery firm owned by Deutsche Post of Germany. A huge extension, which opened in October, means it can sort 150,000 parcels each hour, says Ken Allen, DHL’s CEO. It was built as business soared. But the express-delivery industry faces a new challenge: the return of trade barriers due to the protectionist bent of Donald Trump and because of Brexit.
The slower-moving shipping and air-cargo business has long been in the doldrums as a result of slow overall growth in trade in recent years. Yet the rise of cross-border e-commerce has still meant booming business for express-delivery firms. On January 31st UPS revealed record revenues for the fourth quarter of 2016; FedEx and DHL are expected to report similarly buoyant results next month. Since 2008 half of the increase in express-delivery volumes has come from shoppers buying items online from another country.