Long roads, hard winters: the terrain definitely shapes the challenges facing DHL Freight in Sweden. But the service offered there is out-of-the ordinary in every way, going beyond the usual portfolio.
Sweden is one of the most important countries in the DHL Freight network, as these figures show:
- 25 terminals
- 35 offices
- 2,300 employees
- 2,250 vehicles on the road daily
- 100,000 shipments a day
- > 32,000 tons of freight a day
DHL Freight also covers the length and breadth of Sweden’s large territory. The hub network extends from Luleå in the north to Malmö, a short bridge crossing from Copenhagen, although deliveries are made to even more northerly addresses. This represents a distance of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), the same distance between Stockholm and the suburbs of Rome!
This shows just one of the major challenges of working in Sweden. It’s not uncommon for domestic shipments to take as long as international freight does on the European mainland. To top it off, unless the freight is being routed through Norway or Denmark, international shipments also usually have to be sent by ship. Then there’s the climate, especially in winter. Falling snow is quite normal in Sweden’s cold, damp climate and the temperatures in the northern regions sometimes drop below -10°C (14°F). Getting the packages to their destination is an achievement itself, let alone punctually. “Our drivers on the northern routes face major problems, but they usually handle these quite well so that we can cover our routes reliably,” says Pekka Stenqvist, CEO DHL Freight Nordics & Baltics, of his team’s performance.
DHL Freight in Sweden also offers domestic delivery to private customers. Shipments weighing up to 20 kg (44 lbs.) are delivered to any of the 1,300 service stations around the country, while larger packages of up to 500 kg (1,100 lbs.) can be delivered directly to customers´ homes. The same applies to picking up packages.
Other services offered by DHL Freight in Sweden include special transports, flower delivery, and custom logistics solutions for the shoe and fashion industries. DHL Freight also offers warehousing solutions, allowing clients to store their goods at DHL Freight hubs for longer periods of time until delivery is requested. This is also unique to the operation in Sweden. The Specialties department handles special transport requests that lie off the usual route network.
Central Interface in Scandinavia
Sweden receives deliveries sent from its neighboring states towards Germany and then on to the countries of Central Europe. Shipments heading towards Russia may instead be routed via Finland or the Baltic states, depending on their origins and destinations. Sweden’s geographical location also means it handles shipments to/from Norway and Sweden. DHL Freight subsidiary Gerlach Zolldienste GmbH handles customs at the client’s request, thus keeping the paperwork for the client to a minimum. The experienced customs specialists are also good at identifying well in advance any issues that might arise and usually offer solutions to keep the shipment moving.
DHL Freight is also active outside its own business across Sweden. As Pekka Stenqvist says, “Of course, we are also engaged with the communities we live in. This includes charity projects and major sponsorships. One highlight is Vasaloppet (the Wasa Run), for which we have been the logistics partner for many years.” But that is not quite all: The environment is always at the top of the things-to-improve list. Accordingly, Sweden is more often than not at the helm of projects within the company-wide environmental protection program GoGreen. One recent example is the involvement in a small test run to determine the extent to which waterways in large cities can be used for freight transport. While this may be a project tailormade for the country with it’s unique geography, it demonstrates the self-image of DHL Freight Sweden: To pave the road for the future.
Sweden by the numbers
- Population: 10.1 million
- Area: ca. 450,000 km2 (174,000 sq. mi.)
- 2017 Economic growth (expected): approx. +3.2%
- 2017 GDP (expected): approx. $511 billion