Autonomous delivery innovator Clevon and DHL Express Estonia are moving toward expanding their partnership, which began in the summer of 2022. In the project’s first stage the carrier transported DHL Express internal packages between three offices in Tallinn. Business customers were soon added, followed by private customers. It is now an everyday service, and Clevon’s Autonomous Robot Carrier (ARC) is part of DHL Express Estonia’s vehicle fleet.
“Initially there was a lot of uncertainty because neither our nor DHL’s global team had previously tested such a solution,” stated Kristina Laaneots, managing director of DHL Express Estonia. However, over the past year our extensive collaboration has proven that this technology has great potential.”
Clevon’s CEO, Sander Sebastian Agur, also highly values the collaboration: “This has set a good starting point for growing DHL’s last-mile autonomous service in Estonia and elsewhere in the world.”
Clevon’s third-generation robot delivers packages on all business days to DHL Express customers across the whole of Tallinn. While access to the Old Town is strictly regulated, in collaboration with the City of Tallinn the robot carrier is allowed to operate without any restrictions. The fully electric ARC reduces both noise and air pollution in the UNESCO-listed Old Town and delivers packages in a swift, safe and convenient manner to DHL Express customers in the area.
The ARC has transported over 1,200 parcels during the year and traveled more than 4,400 miles (7000km). It continues to create a lot of positive interest among other road users and tourists, because this kind of technology is still rarely seen on public roads. End customers are very satisfied with the service and have rated it highly; they consider the robot fast and easy to use and are willing to receive their parcels with it in the future.
The collaboration aims to find the most suitable use cases and operational formats for robot couriers that will make last-mile package deliveries more cost-effective and, therefore, support the wider adoption of self-driving carriers.
Kristina Laaneots, managing director of DHL Express Estonia, confirms that the goal is not to replace human couriers completely but that both have a role to play in the service process: “Finding people for courier work is increasingly difficult, but we see an opportunity here for them to focus on offering premium services at a fair price while self-driving robots can help us deliver more packages faster.”
Agur said, “Clevon’s self-driving delivery technology has global demand. With partners like DHL and our strong team, we are making last-mile transportation autonomous and sustainable with determined steps.”