The Business Year

Geoff Walsh

UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Transport

Over 4,000 Offices in 220+ Countries

Country Manager, DHL Express UAE

Bio

Geoff Walsh is the Senior VP and Country Manager for DHL Express UAE, the market leader in the international express industry. Based in Dubai, heis responsible for all DHL Express operations within the UAE. His career with DHL spans more than 20 years. He joined the company back in 1996 as Operations Manager for the East Midlands in the UK, and since then has moved into several senior roles within DHL MENA such as Area Operations Manager, MENAT Road Network Manager, Oman Country Manager and lastly the Country Manager of DHL Saudi Arabia before arriving in the UAE. During his time he has overseen and vastly contributed to the expansion of the air and road networks of the DHL footprint in the Middle East over the last 16 years, along with market leading performance and service enhancements.

“The Middle East is the fastest growing region in the world, and this will be one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in the long term.“

What has made Dubai so successful as a transportation and shipment hub?

Dubai is known for its progressive infrastructure and logistics capabilities. Dubai recognizes trade as an enabler of growth for local and international businesses. They have made multiple resources available to make trade easy for all local and international organizations, such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone and many others. The free zones have enabled large multinationals to trade and operate out of their own warehouses with market leading transit times to anywhere in the world. One of the biggest markets in the region is Saudi Arabia, which is served easily through Dubai’s advanced infrastructure such as the airports and ports. Fruitful partnerships across the public and private sectors are enhancing the confidence of regional and international investors and boosting competitiveness of the local maritime sector, which is promoted by the pillars of research and development, innovation, and smart transformation. Dubai has also been key for investors due to its geographical location along with its advancement in regulations and customs.

Beyond Dubai’s advantages, are there any gaps that need to be addressed?

E-commerce has been a serious growth engine for the past couple of years worldwide, the region has just started catching up with the online trend. With that said, the e-commerce industry is booming and quickly catching up to Europe and the rest of the world. The e-commerce market in a mature market is around 15%, with Amazon buying Souq and Noon becoming an internationally known marketplace, the market in the region has grown in a short period of time to around 5%.

How will Expo 2020 impact your operations?

From a logistics point of view, Expo 2020 will have a significant and positive impact on the industry and its operations. This impact will be driven by the development activities and the deals that will take place during Expo 2020. The exhibition is expected to boost trade, logistics, and port operations across the UAE. The logistics industry will play a vital role to ensure that the business runs smoothly, which in return will increase the operations for the business. Expo will also showcase the country’s geographic positioning and access to the world’s fastest growing markets as well as DHL’s capabilities and market leading transit times.

What are DHL’s latest advancements in technology and innovation?

DHL is exploring how innovation in the logistics industry can support the future of transportation around the world and in the Middle East region. We have three innovation centers around the world in Germany, Singapore, and the US. We are looking at robotics, autonomous vehicles, and more. In robotics, DHL has tested Baxter and Sawyer, two smart and collaborative robots in its warehouses on co-packing and value-added tasks, such as assembly, kitting, packaging and pre-retail services. The advancement of technology in the logistics industry is driving the adoption of collaborative robots to improve efficiency in the supply chain. DHL is definitely ahead of technology. We have drones which we use in areas such as the rainforest or in areas difficult to access, sending medication. We are doing this in the Shetland Islands as well, where the sea is too rough. Technology certainly has a place, and in the Middle East, Dubai will be amongst the technological pioneers. Dubai is ahead of its time, and technology will drive positive change.

How important is sustainability?

Going green is one of our main priorities through working in a sustainable manner and ensuring our operations run in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Our contribution to greater sustainability around the world is green logistics. To realize a more sustainable future, we think it is important to think big. Our new climate protection target is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050. To help realize this target, we have established a number of ambitious interim goals across the main action areas of our sustainability strategy. The first is to increase our carbon efficiency by 50% compared to 2007 levels. Secondly, we are reducing local air pollution emissions by operating 70% of our own first and last mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions, such as bicycles and electric vehicles. Third, we are encouraging more than 50% of our customers to incorporate green solutions to amplify environmental sustainability across the supply chain. The fourth interim goal is to certify 80% of our employees as GoGreen specialists and get them involved in our environmental and climate protection activities. This includes joining partners to plant 1 million trees every year to protect our forests. Our mission is to connect people and improve their lives, which is why our environmental targets are broad in scope. Along with our climate protection measures, we work on reducing air pollution from local exhaust gases and particulate matter, as well traffic-related noise pollution. We also minimize our consumption of water and paper.

How is DHL positioned within the transport and logistics landscape?

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family of divisions offer an unrivaled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery and e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions to international express, road, air, and ocean transport and industrial supply chain management. DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, energy, automotive, and retail; a proven commitment to corporate responsibility; and an unrivaled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “the logistics company for the world.“ To meet the demands of over 1 million customers around the globe, DHL has over 4,000 offices in more than 220 countries and territories. They handle a total of 160 million shipments per year. DHL runs a fleet of more than 250 aircraft, operating 714 scheduled flights every day. Another 2,335 flights daily are operated for DHL by commercial aircraft. On the ground, almost 17,000 vehicles service a total of 120,000 destinations in all continents. We are conscious that we impact the environment and striving to have the greatest positive impact, environmentally, socially, and economically.

What are your goals for the near future?

The Middle East is the fastest growing region in the world, and this will be one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in the long term. We have invested heavily here and because, as a global company, want to keep the business growing. We are investing in Abu Dhabi at the moment, and building an airside service point, which will be equipped with new age technology. We want to be in everyone’s community and make it easy for everyone to connect to their loved ones at all times. Our 2018 expansion of the 13,100-sqm facility located in the Cargo Terminal at DXB has a capacity to manage up to 5,000 shipments per hour making trade easier and allowing people to connect all around the world.

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