DHL Global Forwarding caters to 50 destinations in Africa, serviced by a vast air network connecting all major airports in Africa. But going forward, intra-Africa is vital, says Roger Olsson, CEO Sub-Saharan Africa, DHL Global Forwarding.
How is DHL Global Forwarding reorganizing its management structure in Africa to tap more of Africa’s potential?
Our mantra is to “Think globally, act locally” – we ensure that our global strategies are in place while our local experts work on expediting processes in freight forwarding, customs clearance and deliveries. We have continued support and training of our management teams and that remains a priority for DHL as we believe in equipping our people to ensure excellent service delivery. We are also constantly reviewing our service infrastructure, i.e. processes and other systems in order to provide our management teams with the best support to enable them in their quest to deliver the best quality.
What is your Africa strategy? What are your plans for airfreight growth in the region?
DHL’s strategy in Africa is to significantly grow our business by enhancing the customer experience and leveraging our group and network strength. We continue to focus and invest in the following sectors: oil & gas, mining, automotive, telecommunications and life sciences& healthcare. Intermodal solutions with sea-freight into Dubai followed by air freight to West, Central and Southern Africa are also amongst the wide scope of solutions being offered by us.
What are some of your plans, investment in resources to improve DHL’s airfreight volume and yield?
DHL has put in place unmatched capacity access to and from the African continent through our in-house carrier “StarBroker”. Future opportunities lie in the strong growing markets of Asia and Latin America going into Africa. DHL has also been working on several projects to grow our Air Freight product – Intra Africa. The significant one amongst them is the intra-Africa route development to support key lanes primarily for our Oil and Gas and Mining customers in West, Central and Southern Africa.
Could you tell us about some of the markets in Africa that you are aggressively going after to improve business?
There is consistent growth forecast for the region. Much of Africa’s economic growth is stemming from intra-regional trade. We see strong volumes out of West and Central Africa and are looking to serve new African destinations in the near future. Large demand for petroleum, oil and gas equipment, telecommunications infrastructure and projects and life sciences/pharmaceuticals is also propelling growth in the region.
Do you propose to do any investments in infrastructure facilities in Africa in the near future?
DHL will continue to make strategic investments in Africa to promote growth as well as get our facilities in line with global standards. We have been in Africa for more than 35 years, and we are continuing to invest in key services such as our air and ocean freight lines. In addition, we are also expanding our highly established African road network.
What are some of the specific challenges you face in Africa?
Political stability in several African countries remains a concern along with limited air cargo infrastructure and handling facilities. There are difficult customs regulations in some countries. Security during cargo handling is also a key area of concern. For landlocked regions, there are challenges to combine road freight with air freight in a quick, efficient and seamless manner.
What are your product and service innovations for the energy sector that is particularly key to many of African countries’ economy?
We have a core team trained to run the Centre for Excellence in order to render world-class service with IT based visibility tool in place. We offer full multi modal service solutions from cargo handling, warehousing to Door-to-Door service into Africa and Intra Africa.