Speech by board member Frank Appel
At the topping-out ceremony of the DHL Innovation Centers on April 26, 2006 in Troisdorf
Check against delivery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The topping-out ceremony for our new DHL Innovation Center is a demonstration of the unprecedented history of innovations undergone by our Group in recent years. From a former public authority, unlikely to be spoken of in the same breath with innovation, Deutsche Post World Net has evolved into the world's leading logistics corporation. It employs some 500,000 in 220 countries and territories and offers a unique service range of integrated solutions.
Today's global economy is characterized by ever-faster change. Logistics is one of the drivers of this global process, whereby one way in which it supports the expansion of existing market share and the capture of new markets is through continuously increasing the efficiency of goods and information flows throughout the manufacturing process.
We therefore see openness to new ideas and technologies, as well as investment in such innovations as RFID technology as indispensable, if we want to continue offering our customers state-of-the-art integrated and customized logistics solutions.
We have already taken innovative steps in the past. Just let me mention one of our most recent pilot projects, the "Green Parcel". In simplified terms, the emissions from the parcels are off-set through carbon reduction projects such as Natural Gas vehicles and external off-set projects.
Together with global corporations such as IBM, Intel, Philips and SAP, Deutsche Post World Net has now launched the "DHL Innovation Initiative" to drive forward new technological developments in logistics and to bring them to hands-on maturity. Our Group is investing in the two-digit millions in this strategic partnership of expertise from the worlds of logistics, technology and IT as well as from the concentrated strengths of global experts.
Our DHL supplies more than four million customers across the world via an international network in more than 5,000 locations, from where ideas can now flow into the new global "DHL Innovation Center" and undergo optimization. In the process, the two basic logistics streams, that of physical goods and the increasingly important one of information, are depicted under the motto of "Global Flow."
Starting in the fall of 2006, over an area covering more than 1,200 square meters, visitors will be able to interactively experience the entire value-added chain, from ordering and warehousing through to delivery and billing. In a research and development area of over 800 square meters, logistics and technology experts will research new technologies and work together on innovative solutions. In addition to RFID, among the focal research areas will be geodata technology for route and network optimization and further GPS applications.
The DHL Innovation Center wants to address the most varied of target groups. Business units from the global DHL regions can tap the Center's know-how and contribute their own. Customers, deciders from politics, business and society, visitor groups as well as journalists and investors can obtain information on the latest developments in logistics and experience them directly.
The DHL Innovation Center will also significantly contribute to putting our Corporate Values into practice. These Values are directed, among others, toward customer satisfaction and entrepreneurship.
Today's topping-out ceremony is a very important milestone toward a completely new type of innovations center, which will open its doors in a few months here in Troisdorf, very close to Deutsche Post World Net headquarters.