Geoff Walsh, Senior VP and Country Manager, DHL Express UAE talks to InBusiness.ae about the continuous success DHL has been building in the UAE for over four decades.
How is DHL’s performance in the Middle East compared to other regions?
DHL Express was the 1st express logistics provider in the UAE and we have been present in the market for over 40 years. Since then we have mirrored the region’s growth and we continue to invest in our facilities and capabilities to make sure that we remain the undisputed market leaders.
We are always looking for new ways to provide easy access to global markets with cost efficient and flexible logistics solutions, while ensuring clients have complete control and visibility across their supply chain.
We continue to invest in the MENA region in which 12 key locations have been significantly upgraded to meet customer and consumer demands. These include Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE, the largest logistics facilities in the MENA region.
What is currently stimulating the logistics sector in the UAE and what differentiates it from neighboring countries?
The region is continuing to see steady growth during 2017 in the logistics sector, which is partially allied with the continued support for the Expo 2020 event, the UAE’s 2021 vision and the 2030 industrial plans which are in place.
Late last year, we witnessed the launch of the first Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program in the region in the UAE. This makes the UAE one of only 63 countries worldwide that facilitate trade and customs and supply chains. Only a handful of companies have been chosen by the UAE government to represent certified economic operators, and DHL Express is the first and only logistics provider in the UAE to be chosen and certified. This certification means that we are recognized by customs as a trusted supplier and transportation company, and that the government views us as a market leader.
With regards to the rest of the MENA region, we also expect the logistics industry to expand and grow, thanks to the various initiatives in KSA with the futuristic Vision 2030 and the Egypt 2030 economic vision to support businesses and the country’s overall economy.
We are also seeing a large development in new technologies being introduced to the logistics industry. Five trends that we believe will shape the logistic industry over the short, medium and long-term – are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); Low Cost Sensors; Big Data; eCommerce and Self-Driving Vehicles.
Can you share some details about your expansion in this country?
We are currently underway to finish off our expansion in the Dubai Hub, a $17 million investment, located in Terminal 2. This will increase our build space to over 7000SqM and enhance our capacity to handle more than 5000 shipments an hour. It will feature a consolidated export; transit and import operation’s facility with on-site Customs’ Clearance and Bond Hold area feeding Inter-continental and Region-wide air- and land-network distribution. The facility will also include an automated conveyor system with in-line Dual-View x-ray screening of parcels and pallets and more than 170 cameras spread across the facility.
On a regional level, we have inaugurated our new SR100million ground and airside operation facility in Jeddah located in KAIA, which also features state of the art clearance capabilities to cater for the entire western region. The expansions in Jeddah and the UAE will positively affect many regions and countries around the world.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced in this region over the last few years?
The logistics industry is a fast moving sector with many challenges. However, we always make sure we are close to our customers and provide them with the highest quality service which always starts with our people being motivated and engaged. This allows us to remain the market leaders across the region.
At DHL we strive to offer our customers the best service possible and be insanely customer centric in everything that we do. One way to differentiate ourselves is through service leadership to achieve customer loyalty. Another element that we believe in is Continuous Improvement. We think there is always room for improvement; we do our best every day to see how we can do things better. We encourage employees to look into every aspect of the business and find ways to improve.
Because of this, we are constantly in a state of innovation and creation in an effort to meet future customer demands and cope with the changing logistical trends and expectations. We are always seeking new ways to provide easy access to global markets with cost efficient and flexible logistics solutions, while ensuring clients have complete control and visibility across their supply chain.
What is your growth strategy for the coming years?
During the first quarter of 2017, we have witnessed positive growth across the Middle East and we are expecting this to continue throughout the remainder of the year. Generally speaking, there has been a positive sentiment across the various industries and the economy seems to be gaining traction once again. Globally, 2016 was a really good year for our parent company, DPDHL, as revenues rose to €57 billion, with DHL Express having a strong contribution to this amount.