DHL trials parcel delivery to Smart car trunks


This autumn, DHL Parcel and Smart are piloting deliveries to the trunks of Smart cars, with the vehicles serving as mobile addresses for car drops. The project partners have worked in recent months to develop and test a solution to ensure high security standards for merchandise and vehicles.  

An expanded market test will be conducted in the German city of Stuttgart in autumn this year. The car drop service will be offered a few months later in Bonn, Berlin and Cologne, Germany. By attracting several hundred participants in each city, partners DHL Parcel and Smart aim to collect feedback under near-reality conditions. Installation of the devices needed to participate in the pilot will be performed at local distributors, with Smart assuming the costs.

The joint solution from Smart and DHL Paket is smartphone based, with the Smart driver and the DHL parcel courier using specially designed apps. The vehicle owner uses the Smart app to generate a single-use transaction authorization number (TAN) which they enter in the “c/o” box when stating their delivery address for purchases in an online shop. For the car drop to take place, the vehicle simply has to be parked in the vicinity of the owner’s home address.

The DHL parcel courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via an app, receiving time-limited access to the recipient’s car. The single-use TAN the online shopper enters when placing their order enables the courier to locate and open the vehicle within a set period of time. Having gained access to the trunk, the courier can either deposit a parcel or retrieve a shipment for return. Once the courier closes the trunk, the TAN authorizing them access is cancelled. A push message sent via the app notifies the car owner that the delivery has taken place. 

“As a leader of innovation in the parcel sector, with DHL Parcel we are pursuing the goal of developing new ideas to supplement our diverse range of solutions to make it easier to send and receive a parcel, and to personalize the process to meet customers’ needs,” said Jürgen Gerdes, CEO Post – eCommerce – Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Having successfully tested car-trunk deliveries as part of a pilot in Germany, we are using the knowledge we have gained to work with Smart to develop a new and attractive service for a young, extremely online savvy target group.”

Source: Deutsche Post DHL Group

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