DHL introduces SMS and WAP tracking services

DHL customers can now track and trace packages anywhere in the world with a new service launched that allows them to access information directly from a mobile phone.

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By  Barnaby Chesterman Published  November 13, 2000

DHL customers in the UAE will be able to track their packages anywhere in the world within a minute, by sending a simple text message.

The new service offered by the air express supplier uses WAP and SMS technology to allow customers to track and trace packages. “This is designed for users of any kind of mobile phone which supports the sending and receiving of text messages,” explained David Wild, general manager DHL UAE. “The SMS tracking reuses the DHL Web Trace applications, data and business rules to track shipments with single airwaybills.”

Once users select ‘Send SMS’ on their mobile, they simply key in a DHL airwaybill number and send the message to the DHL SMS Tracking number. Within a minute, they will then receive a reply with the latest status of the consignment. And this for the cost of a single text message, customers only have to pay for the original SMS message sent.

Due to the limitation of SMS to only 160 characters per message, only the latest checkpoint information is available to the user, but DHL are planning further enhancements. “Possible future enhancements include the creation of a ‘character airwaybill’ and the tracking of multiple airwaybills with one message,” said Wild.

DHL’s second generation WAP Tracking Services allows customers to access a slimmed down version of the company’s corporate website, www.dhl.com from any WAP enabled mobile phone or device. This provides news headlines, as posted on www.dhl.com, such as news of customs delays or air traffic control dispute.

“With the impending commercial introduction of Etisalat’s WAP gateway, scheduled for the New Year, the time is right to launch the service in the UAE,” said Wild.

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