An interview with Uwe Brinks, who has been the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DHL Freight since January.
Mr. Brinks, what are your first impressions of DHL Freight?
I have seen many dedicated and great employees in the first few weeks and have managed to get a good impression of how things are on location. Although, of course DHL Freight is not unknown to me. As Chief Production Officer (CPO) of the PeP (Post – eCommerce – Parcel) division, I was given a customer perspective: After all, DHL Freight transports more than a billion parcels for PeP between the 30-odd sorting centers.
What are the challenges that DHL Freight is currently facing?
Freight transport is one of the most important economic factors. Without efficient transport chains, nothing works in a globalized world. Whether we’re talking about the supply of fresh food or just-in-time processes in the industrial field – finely tuned logistics chains are an absolute prerequisite. That is why we at DHL Freight have to keep on addressing and fulfilling the specific requirements of our customers. This particularly includes quality: Transporting goods reliably and safely to the desired destination in the given time frame. The speed of delivery is also becoming increasingly important.
How do you plan to keep such customer promises?
For me, this requires operational excellence through efficient standardized processes and continuous transparency. With regard to speed, we will offer the Pan-European premium service DHL Freight Eurapid with its own product code and label for small consignments from 1 July 2017. This provides daily connections between 94 terminals in 23 countries and a prioritized handling of shipments. In selected postcode areas, we will offer our customers an additional service, namely delivery before 12 noon.
Does sustainability also play a role?
Of course. As in the PeP business area, where we pushed ahead the issue of electric mobility with the StreetScooter, I also see vast potential for DHL Freight to make an important contribution to environmental protection. A key issue here is the level of pollution in city centers. The first few cities have already imposed bans on old trucks, and more have been announced. Our customers are increasingly asking us about that – because only those who provide sustainable logistics solutions in the long run will remain first choice as a logistics provider. We have set ourselves the goal of increasing our CO2 efficiency by another 30 percent by 2025 and providing 50 percent ‘green services’.
Where will DHL Freight be under your leadership in three years?
At the end of the day, despite all the digital development, something physical has to be transported from A to B, and DHL Freight is the heart of logistics. What I specifically want is a clearly defined network with top services, an even level of capacity utilization — which includes the reduction of unpaired traffic – and a focus on the customer promise. We’ve got a powerful structure and thus ideal conditions in which to develop ourselves. In short: The goal is to make DHL Freight the best-in-class company in the market.