DHL ((credit image/Pixabay/useche70)DHL has rolled out what3words location technology to its UK Parcel App. Customers can add their what3words address in the Delivery Preferences section of the DHL Parcel App. This enables them to specify deliveries to a very precise location – be it the front door, specific apartment complex entrance, or a tucked-away side passage. The DHL Parcel App gives customers flexibility over their delivery. DHL believes the addition of what3words will make the process even more efficient.

what3words is reimagining the way business can communicate location. It has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares. Each square given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, ///chemistry.cloth.woke points to the precise entrance of Brighton Palace Pier. It’s an easy way to find, share and navigate to precise locations, anywhere in the world. DHL customers can discover their what3words address via the free what3words app – available for iOS and Android. Or the online map at They can then save their what3words address in the DHL Parcel App, under Delivery Preferences. Their future orders fulfilled by DHL UK will be dropped off at that exact location.

The last mile

The eCommerce boom has led to a rise in deliveries. Analysts suggests as many as 85% of UK internet users place orders online. However, 74% of the UK population say guests, deliveries or services struggle to find their homes on a daily basis. Inaccurate addresses cost businesses time and money, and damage customer satisfaction. In fact, 56% say that they won’t shop with a retailer following a poor delivery experience.

The last mile accounts for up to 55% of the delivery cost. This is largely because street addresses and postcodes guide delivery drivers to a street or broad area. However, often not to the exact door the order needs to be delivered to. By using what3words address, DHL drivers can find delivery locations at the first attempt so routes can be better optimised. This helps DHL cut out the inefficiencies that create surplus emissions in the last mile.

Enhancing customer service

(credit image/LinkedIn/Chris Sheldrick)
Chris Sheldrick, CEO at what3words

‘New technology plays an important role in improving operations, reducing costs and enhancing customer service,‘ says Chris Sheldrick, what3words CEO. ‘DHL continues to innovate its approach, and we’re looking forward to helping their drivers find and make deliveries with ease. This will give customers the peace of mind that their parcel will arrive exactly where it needs to go.’

Around the world, what3words is used by logistics companies and at eCommerce checkouts to deliver goods exactly where they’re needed. Companies such as Premier Inn and Lonely Planet use what3words to help travellers find the hotel entrance or hard-to-find restaurant. The technology has also been built into in-car navigation systems including Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi. Enabling drivers to enter any destination with just three words. Emergency call centres are also embracing what3words at a rapid pace. Control rooms in the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Singapore, Canada, India, and South Africa all utilising the technology. Individuals are using what3words to meet friends at parks and beaches and to share running, hiking, and sports match locations with their teams.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

It’s such a simple idea. Divide up the world into 3 metre square space and assign unique identifiers for each space. This innovative addressing technology gives customers the ability to add their precise delivery location. The technology is already proving beneficial for deliveries across the globe. Tests in Dubai demonstrated that using what3words addresses improved delivery speeds by 42%. It also reduced the total distance travelled by drivers by 22% compared to more traditional navigation. With DHL using what3words location technology for their parcel delivery service, it will be interesting to see if others join the party.


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