Packaging Up Success: How KOBIL Technology Solutions Delivered Continued Growth for DHL

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3.4 billion

parcels delivered across Germany in 2017


parcel growth enjoyed by DHL for three consecutive years

Introducing DHL

Formed in 1969, DHL is a global giant. It is now part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s leading logistics group. The business includes DHL Paket, DHL Express, DHL Global Forward, DHL Freight and DHL Supply Chain.


Despite its position of dominance, the rise of e-commerce forced DHL to confront new logistical challenges.

Between 2014 and 2016, global parcel volumes jumped from 44 billion to 65 billion (up 48%).¹ In 2017, an average of 41 parcels per person² saw parcel volumes in Germany grow 6% to 3.4 billion.³ These increases had a dramatic impact for DHL. It faced mounting costs from making repeat visits to recipients unable to take deliveries during standard work hours.

This profit-eating trend was particularly dangerous. Germany consumers often viewed the delivery of parcels to neighbors as unpleasant. But returning day after day, in the hope the recipient would finally be home, was a prohibitively costly practice for DHL. It realized it had to act – and fast.

¹ Business Wire

² Pitney Bowes

³ Pitney Bowes


The DHL Paketkasten, a safe and private parcel box available to rent from €1.99 per month or buy for €99, was soon introduced. It was a product that made a huge contribution to solving this problem. And it was powered by exclusive technology from KOBIL.

DHL Paketkasten enabled DHL drivers to both deliver parcels and collect returns without meeting anyone in person. But to maximize the commercial opportunities, DHL knew only the highest standards of security, encryption and usability – for both its own employees and parcel recipients – would be enough.

DHL Paketkasten owners, as well as DHL delivery staff, used the DHL app to open each parcel box. KOBIL was responsible for creating trusted digital identities and delivering a virtual key (VKey) to each app user.

These were transmitted using Digitanium, our end-to-end encryption channel. Two-factor authentication ensured on-going access protection, meaning only the assigned DHL driver and DHL Paketkasten owner could access each box.

With their identities confirmed, users then opened the DHL Paketkasten by communicating with its digital locking cylinder through near-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth or QR code technology. Multi-device support (smartphone and tablets) was also provided, complete with automatic synchronization and live signed receive and send authorization monitoring.

The automation and integration of key processes across the DHL core system saved valuable man-hours.

DHL Paketkasten owners even had the facility to share their VKey. So if, for example, they were away from home for a lengthy period of time, they could share their VKey to a trusted friend, relative or neighbor. They could then open the box and collect the delivery on the recipient’s behalf.


KOBIL's technology and security systems created a range of benefits for DHL in Germany.

By facilitating the DHL Paketkasten, KOBIL played a key role in improving DHL’s services and creating a distinct competitive advantage in a hard-fought sector.

It delivered significant cost savings by reducing repeat visits and improving processes. And it bred increased confidence in consumers who could enjoy a safe, convenient solution “on their doorstep” powered by encrypted communications, storage and the highest levels of security.

The delivery of this technology also created significant advantages for KOBIL. By extending our Smart Security Management Server with a comprehensive key management system, we were able to expand into new sectors and services with considerable success.