May 17, 2020

DHL Express makes global online shopping easier with On Demand Delivery in Sub Saharan Africa

Dale Benton
3 min
DHL Express makes global online shopping easier with On Demand Delivery in Sub Saharan Africa

DHL Express , the worlds leading international express services provider, has announced the launch of On Demand Delivery for the Sub Saharan Africa (SS...

DHL Express , the world’s leading international express services provider, has announced the launch of On Demand Delivery for the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) region. The new service allows shippers and receivers globally to select from a range of standardised delivery options.

On Demand Delivery is currently deployed in 6 markets across SSA – South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mauritius &Tanzania, with plans to roll out to further countries in SSA throughout 2017.

On Demand Delivery offers shippers the choice to activate specific delivery options and have DHL Express proactively notify their customers via email or SMS about a shipment’s progress. Customers can then select the delivery option that best suits their requirements via the On Demand Delivery website. The service is specifically tailored to the demands of international e-commerce deliveries, where the majority of shipments are addressed to residential addresses and customers place considerable emphasis on flexibility and convenience.

“Globally, we have seen the share of e-commerce deliveries grow from about 10% in 2013 to more than 20% of the international volumes of DHL Express in 2016,” said Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “This has primarily been driven by the strong demand for high-value and premium goods in the global marketplace, as well as the emergence of start-up retailers who are growing beyond borders and therefore require a worldwide door-to-door delivery service. Our On Demand Delivery service was developed with the needs of our customers at the very core. E-tailers and their customers continue to evolve and we needed to ensure that our services continue to exceed customer expectations.

“On Demand Delivery isn’t just a new customer interface – it also represents an enhancement of our worldwide network, as we have tailored our last-mile operations to meet the specific demands of cross-border e-commerce deliveries. Thanks to On Demand Delivery, we can support the service offering of online shippers and improve the delivery experience for their customers, while improving our own efficiency, particularly for last-mile deliveries.”

On Demand Delivery is easy to use and benefits both shippers and receivers. The site is accessed from any smartphone, tablet or PC, and offers receivers up to six delivery options.

Shippers can incorporate their own branding into customer notifications. Receivers can schedule a delivery, arrange delivery to a nearby DHL Service Point or their own alternate address, and even request that a shipment is put on hold during a vacation. On Demand Delivery further improves first-time delivery performance, increases customer satisfaction, and makes the overall delivery process more efficient.

On Demand Delivery will be deployed to more than 100 countries across the globe in 2017, accounting for the majority of global trade and online retail activity, and is available in over 45 languages.

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Jun 19, 2021

Driver shortages: Why the industry needs to be worried

Logistics
SCALA
supplychain
Brexit
Rob Wright, Executive Director...
4 min
Logistics professionals need urgent solutions to a shortage in drivers caused by a perfect storm of Brexit, COVID-19 and compounding economic factors

While driver shortages are a global problem, with a recent survey from the International Road Transport Union suggesting that driver shortages are expected to increase by 25% year-on-year across its 23 member countries, the issue has very much made itself felt for UK businesses in recent weeks. 

A perfect storm of factors, which many within the industry have been wary of, and warning about, for months, have led to a situation wherein businesses are suddenly facing significant difficulties around transporting goods to shelves on time, as well as inflated operating costs for doing so. 

What’s more, the public may also see price rises as a result due to demand outmatching supply for certain product lines, which in turn brings with it the risk of customer dissatisfaction and a hit to brand and stakeholder reputation. Given that this price inflation has been speculated to hit in October, when the extended grace period on Brexit customs checks comes to an end, the worst may be yet to come.

"Steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole"


That said, we have already been hearing reports of service interruption due to lack of driver availability, meaning that volumes aren’t being transported, or delivered, to required schedules and lead times. A real-world example of this occurred on the weekend of 4-6 June with convenience retailer Nisa, with deliveries to Nisa outlets across the UK affected by driver shortages to its logistics provider DHL.

But where has this skills shortage stemmed from? 

Supply is the primary issue. Specifically, the number of available EU drivers has decreased by up to 15,000 drivers due to Brexit alone, and this has been further exacerbated by drivers returning to their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as changes to foreign exchange rates making UK a less desirable place to live and work. This, alongside the recent need to manage IR35 tax changes, has also led to significant inflation in driver and transport costs.

COVID-19 complications have also meant that there have been no HGV driver tests over the past year, meaning the expected 6,000-7,000 new drivers over the past year have not appeared. With the return of the hospitality sector we understand that this is a significant challenge with, for instance, order delivery lead times being extended.

It is little surprise, therefore, that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) earlier this month became the latest in a long line of industry spokespeople to write to the government about the driver shortage for trucks. The letter echoed the view held by much of the industry, that the cause of this issue is both multi-faceted and, at least in some aspects, long-standing. 

So, many in the industry are in agreement as to the driving factors behind this crisis. But what can be done? 

Simply enough, outside of businesses completely reorganising their supply chain network, external support is needed. In the short-term, the government should consider providing the industry with financial aid, and this can also be supported more widely with legislative change. 

Specifically, immigration policy could be updated to place drivers on the shortage occupations list, which would go some way towards easing the burden created by foreign drivers returning to their home countries. Looking elsewhere, government should also look for ways to increase the availability of HGV driver tests after the blockage created by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Looking more long-term, steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole. As it stands, multiple sources suggest that the average age of truck drivers in the UK is 48, with only one in every hundred drivers under the age of 25. We must therefore do more to increase the talent pipeline coming into the industry if we are to offset more significant skills shortages further down the line. 

On the back of a turbulent year for the supply chain industry, it has become increasingly clear that the long-foretold shortage of drivers is now having a tangible and, in places, crippling effect on supply chains. 

Drivers, and the wider supply chain industry, have rightly been recognised for the seismic role they played in keeping the nation moving and fed over the past year under unprecedented strain. If this level of service is to continue, we must now see Government answer calls to provide the support the sector needs, and work hand-in-hand with the industry to find a solution. If we do not see concrete action to this effect soon, we are likely to be in for a turbulent few months. 
 

Rob Wright is executive director at SCALA, a leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector

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