DHL is anticipating future developments and is constantly adapting its products and also its infrastructure to meet upcoming challenges. And these are huge, from changing demands within the supply chains up to political regulations.
Logisticians must be able to look into the future. Why? Because we are not only among the first to notice alterations in production processes, storekeeping habits or product cycles, but also need to be the fastest to act on these changes. For us, this means to permanently rethink our service offerings and provide future solutions at the earliest possible time. The start of DHL Freight Eurapid one year ago is a visible sign of these reflections, as well as the now introduced Fixed Delivery Day option. This option has been tailored to our strategy and gives you as our customers the freedom of decision: You decide at what point in time you receive your delivery. As fast as possible, but not sooner than requested. So that our customers do not need to find additional storage capacity. Through this fine tuning we get one step nearer to our goal of being the undisputed leader in the market of overland transportation – in line with our strategy FREIGHT 2020.
Besides service offerings in line with the market demand it is just as important to provide a corresponding infrastructure. Specifically, that means to steadily improve our network where necessary, Bremen being one example, and also building new branch offices. In Hanover we will maintain our own test facility when the Terminal of the Future will be ready to start operations. In Vienna, we will merge our currently distributed facilities at the future DHL Airport Campus, which at the same time will be a prime example of inter-divisional cooperation: Under one roof DHL unites road-, air- and sea freight and thus enables interchanges with lightning speed between the different types of transportation. And with the commissioning of our warehouse in Manisa we strengthen our connection to the economically strong areas in Asia Minor. As you see, we are always on the move.
Recruiting drivers ourselves
Considerably less movement on the other hand is visible on the job market for truck drivers. There is a vast skills shortage in this important segment. And while digital technologies like autonomous driving or truck platooning might be of help one day, we need more people behind the steering wheels right now. With a set of measures we want to contribute to make the job more attractive as a whole. Besides that, we will intensify our own recruiting efforts to be more independent from market fluctuations. In this regard, politics for sure should be asked to further engage, because without any drivers not only trucks will be at a standstill, but the economy as a whole.
Difficult political guidelines
Whereby an observer might get the impression that the legislators are virtually working towards such a standstill. As the bickering about the mobility package in Brussels and the steady enlargement of toll obligations are neither conducive to an attractive professional environment, nor to facilitate a better functioning market. Notably the accumulating delay of unitary provisions about the drivers social situation are leading towards a distortion of the competitive environment.
The expansion of the toll collection in Germany and the generally European trend towards rising toll fees leaves carriers like us no alternative option but to factor in the rising costs when calculating freight rates. This artificial price increase in logistics can hardly be desired, particularly with regard to the insecurities contained in the economic forecasts. But, and that has to be said, we are still living in one of the most superbly interconnected economic areas of the planet. This is clearly shown by the Logistics Performance Index of the World Bank, which lists eight European states among the ten best logistics nations across the globe. And Germany is in the lead. For us, this is mandate enough also to drive up to the top of logistics companies for you – and we are well underway!
Uwe Brinks, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DHL Freight