DHL Freight Denmark started a delivery-by-night project back in 2017 based on shipping deliveries to construction sites, factories, and other locations on an urgent basis. The deliveries happen between midnight and 7 am. The project has brought many pros that can be found and used as inspiration for the industry.
Shipments on-time and on-target
DHL Freight Denmark has for several years now been cooperating with Solar and delivered their products during the night, so everything is ready and delivered before the next work-day. Through the DHL Freight Control Tower, Solar can follow the production at night. This is also the platform where the DHL drivers during the night can report if any challenges occur. This is an important tool and factor for Solar, as they can act proactively towards their customers and catch them already in the morning before their technicians arrive for their products.
Through the years of delivering at night a significantly high delivery performance has remained. On a daily basis, DHL Freight visits around 1600 customers at night throughout Denmark with delivery before 7 am. Solar requires that 99,5% is delivered on time, but currently, DHL Freight is at 99,8% delivered on time. With the great demand for capacity, we have been able to maintain our service partners, thus ensuring that the driver quality is stable and well-trained.
Less CO2 emissions
One of the advantages of night delivery is also how the streets are far less busy in the middle of the night compared to the day. This enables a more effective delivery due to the reduced traffic, but an even more important advantage to highlight here is how it also means less CO2 emissions. This happens as less traffic means less idling, accelerating, and decelerating.
In many countries, such as the UK and the US, the transport sector is responsible for emitting more greenhouse gases than any other, including electricity production and agriculture. On a global level, transport accounts for around a quarter of CO2 emissions, and as e-commerce and home-delivery options only continue to increase, this topic is also important to prioritize. Therefore, night deliveries are a small step in the right direction to make a difference in our carbon footprint.
Solar and DHL Freight have created a strong network, and some of the new initiatives that are being looked into are how to make distribution greener (GOGREEN). By having operations drive at night, we are not a nuisance to the rest of the traffic, and our drivers can as mentioned increase their fuel economy. Therefore, most of our network at night is also newer cars that do not emit the same amount of CO2.
Save costs on warehousing
By delivering at night-time it is also possible for customers, especially bigger brands, to order the products needed from day-to-day and load the products directly from factory to our vans to their store. In other words, the customers save costs on warehousing and can order more precisely what they need from day-to-day, which is also a huge advantage in the eyes of the end-customer. This service is highly used by both the construction- and clothing industries. For the construction industry, shipments with for instance replacement parts are delivered directly to the construction site and placed in a locatable place during the night. For the clothing industry, the shipment most often is delivered at 7 am as the first employee of the store arrives and receives the ordered products.
The trend and demand continues to increase
We see that more and more customers are finding this service interesting, which makes it a trend that is increasingly demanded. In the future, night deliveries will probably become more and more normal, which can be seen as a positive development for many people. First of all, for the B2B industry as this shortens the supply chain. Second of all, for the environment, as less traffic in the night means less CO2 emissions, and in the end, if more deliveries are moved from day to night, this will also have an effect on the traffic during the day – positive for both the environment and the people who are often stuck in traffic. DHL has become an important piece in the night segment and has as well been noticed by other major customers that follow the trend. We have a strong product and hope the concept will expand even further in the coming years.