Aviation Turkey: First, please inform us about DHL Global Forwarding and its worldwide structure.
Ingo- Alexander Rahn : For DHL Global Forwarding air, ocean, and overland freight forwarding services are part of our core business. They include standardized transports as well as multimodal and sector-specific solutions, as well as customized industrial projects and customs services. Our business model is based on brokering transport services between customers and freight carriers. The global reach of our network allows us to offer efficient routing and multimodal transport options.
With our over 45,000 employees globally, we serve an established customer base that includes more than 50% of the Forbes 500 companies.
DHL Global Forwarding is part of the world’s leading logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, which employs approximately 590,000 people and does business in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. In 2021, the Group generated revenues of more than 81 billion Euros.
Aviation Turkey: What are DHL Global Forwarding's core activities and services in Türkiye? What makes your services stand out in the field of air logistics?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: In Türkiye, we offer transport and logistics solutions for customers from various sectors such as engineering and manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, automotive, retail, consumer goods, and e-commerce or perishables. Thanks to our colleagues' broad local expertise and extensive international network, we can connect Türkiye with the world like no other. Our transport and logistics solutions are tailored to the needs of our customers. Our service portfolio includes air and ocean freight, chartering, road and rail freight, industrial projects, warehousing including bonded solutions, customs clearance and consulting, and e-commerce solutions for the Turkish export market. Whatever solution is needed for a customer, we have the respective capabilities within our network to provide it.
Aviation Turkey: What are your logistics Solutions to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the company's supply chain?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: Technology and digitalization are crucial to boosting efficiencies and enabling decarbonization of the logistics and transport sector. We are leveraging several technologies – including AI, IoT, Blockchain, and other technologies to achieve this. At the beginning of 2020, we launched our digital customer platform, myDHLi. It’s the only fully integrated online platform for freight forwarding customers. The pandemic, in particular, has clearly shown how important data and transparency are in supply chains. To have a more transparent and resilient supply chain, digitalization and digital solutions play a vital role here. It allows for high data transparency and availability in near real-time so that issues and disruptions can be identified quickly, and counter-measurements can be taken. At the same time, it offers new opportunities for further process optimization. Our myDHLi platform provides customers with entirely transparent management of freight rates, offers, transport modes, carbon emissions, and all other relevant shipment data. A highly intuitive user interface makes it easy to use and ensures that customers have all relevant information to hand. Using well-established social media functions such as like, follow, and share allows relevant information to be easily accessed across organizations and trading partners. Customer experience is superior in online services for complete shipment visibility and control in one platform.
Aviation Turkey: One of your prior solutions is DHL Global Forwarding logistics and customs consulting. What are the outlines of these services?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: Thanks to our local expertise and global scale, we take the complexity out of customs by offering a one-stop solution to all our customers’ needs. The backbone of our customs services is a dedicated global network of experienced customs consultants. Our customs consultants can review our customers’ supply chain to help enhance customs activities, optimize duties, identify potential risk areas, and optimize internal controls and procedures to maximize internal compliance. In addition to our transport solutions, this is how we ensure a smooth and on-time border crossing of shipments without administrative burden for our customers. Referring to the question about digitalization, we in Türkiye focus on automating customs clearance as much as possible by using RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to save time and speed up the customs process.
Aviation Turkey: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive global disruption in commercial operations. The aviation industry has been slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic-induced downturn since 2021. Logistics has taken a significant role during the pandemic. How and to what extent has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted DHL Global Forwarding’s operations in Turkey?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every sector across the globe, including logistics. At DHL Global Forwarding, we took this challenge as an opportunity to impact the world positively. Our DHL teams worked around the clock to ensure that essential medical supplies and protective equipment reached front-liners worldwide. We also mobilized our network across 220 countries on vaccine distribution. The last-mile vaccine rollout was the most significant logistical challenge, given its unprecedented scale and speed — getting the vaccines from the airport to the patient required synchronization of the flow of goods, vaccination points, and storage specific to the local context. To achieve this scale, prioritizing employee safety was critical to business continuity. Only the most crucial DHL personnel worked on-site, while the rest worked from home. To make this process seamless, we had to get the home office and infrastructure in place, including ensuring fast internet connectivity. We deployed all precautionary measures for those on-site in compliance with government guidelines.
As undesirable as the pandemic was for us personally and in business, it also provided us with key learnings and reminders. For example, the pandemic has shown the importance of well-functioning logistic solutions, and it has jump-started work from home, which otherwise would have taken much longer.
Aviation Turkey: What are your predictions for air logistics in Türkiye in terms of growth, challenges, and opportunities?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn : In the short term, the global economy is affected by the ongoing war, the related uncertainty, the increase of costs, especially energy costs, and the related inflation globally. Some countries are impacted harder than others. In this environment, the global GDPs are expected to be under pressure and Türkiye will not be an exception. Since the Turkish export depends mainly on imported goods for further production, it will be key to further exploit and drive innovative solutions in logistics by eliminating inefficient processes and planning carefully.
In the mid to long-term, Türkiye is in a good position for further growth due to its geographical location, modern infrastructure, well-educated workforce, and production capabilities in many industry sectors.
Aviation Turkey: We expect that high worldwide inflation will continue into 2023. Demand drive remained low mainly due to inflation experienced by major economies; export orders are still low in emerging economies. Jet fuel price touched $148/Bbl in Sep '22. Given these obstacles, what are your approach and short and long-term forecast on air freight demand?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: Currently, there are predominantly two challenges the logistics sector is facing – trade lane disruptions and sustainability. The coronavirus pandemic mainly causes trade lane disruptions in air and ocean freight with regional lockdowns and the war in Ukraine. In terms of sustainability, we must not lose focus of the decarbonization of global transport, despite the challenging market conditions. We are addressing these challenges through early intelligence by using appropriate tools and technologies to plan around disruptive events like oil price fluctuations or geopolitical tensions.
Aviation Turkey: Shifting demographics, technology advancement, digitalization, and the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly transforming work in the logistics industry. An automated and augmented future will shape the future, with technology reducing manual tasks and improving efficiencies along six supply chain segments. What are DHL Global Forwarding's digitalization activities? How is DHL Global Forwarding addressing the future of logistics in terms of technology and innovation?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: After the industrial revolution (second half of the 18th century) and the development of the standard container (TEU, in the 1960s) in ocean freight, digitalization is the next big thing for the global economy and logistics. Digitalization affects almost all aspects of life and has the potential to transform countries and their societies, industries, and global trade. As with many other industries and sectors, digital transformation in logistics is gaining momentum. Digitalization is a driver for customer centricity. As already briefly mentioned, we are leveraging several technologies – including AI, IoT, Blockchain, and other technologies to improve efficiency and transparency for our customers and further drive the decarbonization of the logistics sector. An important role plays our digital customer platform, myDHLi, which we launched at the beginning of 2020. It’s the only fully integrated online platform for freight forwarding customers. (see above)
DHL has four Innovation Centers in Germany, Singapore, USA, and the United Arab Emirates, pioneering the future of logistics and driving customer-centric innovation around the world. This global network makes it possible to take regional socio-economic differences into account and actively participate in local innovation ecosystems. Since 2015, over 70,000 visitors came together to exchange with DHL experts and each other – partly virtually due to COVID. These creative hubs host workshops, innovation center tours, events, and collaborative innovation projects to better understand customer needs and identify actions to solve key supply chain challenges.
Aviation Turkey: Could you please enlighten me about your "GoGreen" concept? What solutions does DHL Global Forwarding offer to minimize and avoid logistics-related emissions, waste, and other environmental impacts along the supply chain?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn : We recently launched our GoGreen Plus service. It offers sustainable alternatives to our core transport products, such as sustainable aviation or marine fuel. The service is based on the displacement principle: the more customers book the service, the more alternative energy or clean technology is used - making transport chains greener step by step. Customers can easily choose and book these solutions via our digital customer platform, myDHLi. To reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, we at Deutsche Post DHL Group will spend EUR 7 billion on sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030.
Aviation Turkey: Would you like to add anything as a message to our readers?
Ingo- Alexander Rahn: I would like to use the opportunity to greet all the logistics staff for helping our world function, especially in hard times. Innovation, digitalization, and automation are all topics we need to further improve solutions and make them faster, more resilient, and cost-effective. The most important factor in logistics however is the human doing all of the above work.
Special thanks go to DPDHL for being a people-oriented global logistics company investing a lot in its employees and makes them feel valued. The best service comes from engaged and motivated staff