Site visits have long been a standard practice in the world of contract warehousing, giving providers an opportunity to showcase their capabilities and clients a chance to vet the operation. But that all changed when the pandemic hit, bringing travel restrictions that made in-person site visits difficult.
Now, the German contract logistics services provider DB Schenker says it has found a solution: a technology platform that supports virtual reality (VR) warehouse tours, providing an alternative to physical travel. The company recently announced that it has partnered with California-based startup Avatour to host facility tours that offer virtual visitors a 360-degree perspective view with real-time sound and video.
Remote users view a video screen or don a VR headset while their hosts at a distant location hold up a small camera with lenses aimed in several directions. According to Schenker, the technology gives customers easy visibility into its operations, enables remote auditing, saves millions of dollars in travel expenses, and reduces greenhouse gas pollution by eliminating plane trips.
“The partnership with Avatour offers us a new dimension of digitization in the contract logistics business,” Todd Starbuck, DB Schenker’s executive vice president for business development, solution design, and customer management, said in a release. “It is essential for us and our operations to stay close to our customers,” he added.