25. June 2018 | Press release

First DIN SPEC for e-food retailing published: DPD Germany meets new standards for the shipping of groceries

  • DIN SPEC 91360 is an industry-wide standard for e-commerce with foodstuffs

  • With its DPD Food service DPD Germany offers a standardised service made to measure for the requirements of online grocery retailers

  • Advance delivery notification, express shipping and short storage periods ensure that perishable goods reach their destination fresh

 Aschaffenburg, 25 June 2018 – Germany's DIN Institute for Standardisation has for the first time published a uniform standard for the online retailing of foodstuffs. DIN SPEC 91360 was developed by the institute's project team together with numerous representatives of the industry. In addition to e-food retailers, associations and transport operators such as DPD were involved in the development of the new standard. With its DPD Food service DPD Germany already provides a standardised transport service which more than meets the requirements of DIN SPEC 91360. One example is a communication management system which goes well beyond the requirements of the standard.

"The DIN SPEC provisions will help to further increase the confidence which consumers have in the online retailing of foodstuffs”

Michael Knaupe, Director Customer Experience & Communication at DPD

"The DIN SPEC provisions will help to further increase the confidence which consumers have in the online retailing of foodstuffs”, states Michael Knaupe, Director Customer Experience & Communication at DPD Germany. "With made-to-measure services for our e-food customers we – as a parcel service – can make a major contribution to exploiting the vast growth potentials in this segment."

In particular DIN SPEC 91360 requires of transport service providers that they should offer a suitable information and communications management system, together with appropriate risk management. In addition the standard requires a service level agreement (SLA). DPD Germany satisfies all these requirements with its DPD Food service, which has been available since September of last year to all e-food shippers and provides coverage throughout Germany. Among DPD's customers in this field are companies such as HelloFresh, myTime and Gourmondo.

DPD Food is a tailor-made combination of express shipping, a delivery forecast accurate to one hour and advance notification. Because of the guaranteed express delivery time for DPD Food parcels, passive cooling of fresh foods is sufficient. This makes it possible, for example, to keep perishable groceries fresh for longer by using cold packs. With DPD's Predict service consignees receive an SMS or email on the day before the delivery informing them that a parcel is on its way. Depending on the express product which has been booked the message reads, for example: "Your shipment will be delivered by 12:00 hrs on Saturday." On the morning of the delivery the forecast is narrowed down to one hour (and the notification reads, for example: "Your DPD parcel will be arriving between 10:29 and 11:29 hrs".), a period which is reduced right down to 30 minutes in the course of the delivery. Thanks to a live tracking system which is unique within the industry, consignees can also see at any time on a precise online map how far off the driver still is, and how many stops he still has to make before the parcel is delivered.

Consignees who know they will not be at home when the parcel arrives can provide a deposit okay using the DPD App or on the paketnavigator.de online platform. Their shipment is then deposited in a safe place of their choice (for example in the garage or in the garden shed). Such an authorisation to deposit parcels can be provided on a one-off or a general basis, and retailers can also make this option available at the checkout stage. As a further delivery option, consignees can also redirect their food parcels to a neighbour of their choice.

The risk management which is specified by DIN SPEC 91360 also requires, for example, that DPD should make appropriate arrangements for ensuring that fresh foodstuffs are not contaminated and reach the consignee in an optimum condition. DPD applies operating regulations in order to ensure that food parcels which can't be delivered on the first attempt only remain within the DPD system for a short period. As a rule fresh foodstuffs are not returned to the shipper. Instead DPD works in close cooperation with Germany's federal association of food banks (Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e.V.), to ensure the charitable utilisation of perishable goods which can't be delivered within the required time span – for example if the consignee is called away at short notice and can't be located.

DIN SPEC 91360 can be downloaded here (free registration required).


E-food - a growth market

According to the GfK market research company, the online proportion of the grocery business is still only at the 1% level, but is registering growth rates of around 5%.This represents significant market potential, in that GfK data indicates that the revenues of grocery retailing in Germany rose to 183.5 billion euros in 2017 2.The DPDgroup E-Shopper Barometer revealed that 7% of German online shoppers placed orders for groceries online in the period from January to July 2017. Looking at Europe as a whole this is a very modest figure, because the development of this service is significantly more advanced on markets such as the UK (27%) and Spain (18%) 3.


2 Ebd.


Press contact

Unternehmen - DPD - Pressekontakt - Peter Rey

Peter Rey

Manager Media & Digital Relations


Image: DPD delivers fresh groceries throughout Germany – on behalf of customers such as HelloFresh, myTime or Gourmondo.