May 17, 2020

The December edition of Supply Chain Digital is here

DHL Express
phil couchman
undercover boss
dhl express uk
Freddie Pierce
2 min
DHL is our lead feature, Tesco our lead company report
TheDecember edition of Supply Chain Digitalis hot off the digital press, just click in the top right hand corner of this page to peruse our offerings...

The December edition of Supply Chain Digital is hot off the digital press, just click in the top right hand corner of this page to peruse our offerings.

This issue is jam-packed with insight and innovation, featuring big industry names and some of the latest exciting developments, reflecting the varying world of logistics and the technology that is increasingly at the forefront of these changes.

In our lead piece, Phil Couchman, Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s largest express delivery company, DHL Express (an arm of the €50 billion plus turnover global giant Deutsche Post), talks about what he learnt from his time on TV show Undercover Boss, how his company is adapting to a changing market and offers us his insight into the future of the industry.

Technology takes centre stage as we look at how and why one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK, Morrisons, rolled out electronic tablets – identical to those used by consumers – across its warehouses, stores and supply chain, replacing a paper-based inventory system.

This is a follow up to a piece about industry-specific, ruggedised hand-held devices adapted for use in the supply chain that we ran in October’s edition. This article, therefore, shows the opposite side of the coin, highlighting the reality of where devices like iPads are being utilised in the supply chain.

We are also joined by industry whizz-kid and author Charles Chase, pioneer of sales forecasting solutions who currently works for SAS, innovating Demand Driven Forecasting solutions for the likes of Nestlé and Miller Coors.

As we approach the end of the year, this is an issue gleaming with the light of an advancing industry.


2014 is going to be a cracker. 

Joseph Wilkes. 

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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