DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics arm of German transport and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group, said today it has embedded Descartes Systems Group Inc.'s Macropoint LLC transport visibility tool into its "Connected View" global visibility system now available in North America, a move the DHL unit's head of transportation said will enable it to provide deeper visibility into continent-wide shipment status than ever before.
By integrating MacroPoint with Connected View, the DHL unit can offer customers near real-time visibility from customer order through final delivery, regardless of whether the warehouse or truck fleet is within DHL's system or not, according to Jim Monkmeyer, president, transportation, for the Westerville, Ohio-based unit. All DHL Supply Chain would need from the customer is a purchase order number or stock-keeping unit (SKU), Monkmeyer said.
Cleveland-based MacroPoint, which was acquired by Canadian-based Descartes last month for $107 million in cash and stock, is considered a pioneer in business-to-business, location-based truck tracking services, where shippers, freight brokers, and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) track the locations of truck deliveries in real time. MacroPoint's North American network spans approximately 2 million truck assets and drivers and connects to vehicles through multiple pathways, such as on-board electronic logging devices (ELDs), GPS-enabled smartphones, mobile phones, and transportation management systems (TMS).
The DHL Supply Chain move reflects the transport and logistics industry's growing appetite for sophisticated visibility tools that track end-to-end shipment status in as close to real time as possible across multiple modes, and various handoffs between warehouse and transport provider. Monkmeyer, a transport veteran, said the level of detail provided by third-parties like MacroPoint and FourKites Inc. has revolutionized transportation and logistics by putting more data in users' hands than they could ever acquire with their own internal systems.
Separately, DHL Supply Chain said its brokerage operation, known as "Exel Freight Connect," has been re-branded as "DHL Transport Brokerage." The move creates brand uniformity and communicates to the marketplace that the brokerage operation could be a pathway to the unit's other services, it said.
DHL acquired U.K.-based Exel in 2005. The Americas headquarters of the former Exel has been in Westerville since 1992.