TBY talks to Geoff Walsh, Country Manager of DHL Express UAE, on providing quality service, driving enhanced connectivity, and his outlook for the logistics sector.

Geoff Walsh
Geoff Walsh is the Country Manager of DHL Express UAE, the market leader in the international express industry. Based in Dubai, he is responsible for all DHL Express operations within the UAE. His career with DHL spans more than 20 years. He joined the company 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.

What are the particularities of the UAE market compared to DHL's multitude of other operations?

We drive our focus and strategy through four main pillars: motivated people, great service quality, loyal customers, and a profitable network. Our people are the core and backbone of this organization and we make sure that we have engaged and motivated employees, who can then deliver great service quality for our customers. We listen to them and make sure they have a good and prositive working environment. We are a truly global organization with a network that spans across 220 countries; however, we have a Global Standard Operating Procedure, which ensures that customers across the globe receive the same high-quality experience regardless whether they are in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or the UK. Additionally, our IT platforms have all been merged, giving each customer an easy and uniform experience. We try to treat every customer with great care whilst being respectful of local laws, religions, and customs, and adapting accordingly.

What is DHL doing to contribute to the UAE's national energy goals?

DHL has been in the UAE and wider MENA region for 40 years, and we have managed to mirror the growth of the country by partnering and working with both the public and private sectors. Today the UAE is a logistics hub that connects East with West, and acts as a gateway into Africa, as a result of the world-class facilities and infrastructure of the UAE. Corporate responsibility is an important aspect of DHL's mission, and we want to add real value to communities here and around the world. We have a large variety of programs geared toward social responsibility, and we always strive to do as much as we can. In terms of environmental awareness, we are also continually looking at the performance of our vehicles, and we are analyzing our routes to see if we can minimize vehicle emissions. Between 2007 and 2020, DHL aims to reduce its global emissions by around 30%. To achieve this, we are adding newer and more efficient aircraft that have far smaller environmental footprints. As a company, we are always looking at what we can do for the environment, and though it can be challenging, we view it more as a responsibility.

How would you evaluate DHL's relations with Dubai's government institutions?

The UAE has officially launched the Authorized Economic Operator program. This makes the UAE one of only 63 countries that facilitate trade and customs and supply chains. Only a handful of companies have been chosen by the UAE government to represent certified economic operators, and DHL Express is the first and only logistics provider in the UAE to be chosen and certified. This relates back to the large amount of support we receive from the government. This certification means that we are recognized by customs as a trusted supplier and transportation company, and that the government views us as a market leader.

What is your outlook for the logistics sector in Dubai?

Thanks to its multimodal transport infrastructure, the UAE is a real a logistics powerhouse. Sea, air, rail, and road come together to make Dubai the perfect place for logistics businesses. Therefore, the future is bright, and I predict growth, especially with the plans and preparations for Expo 2020, UAE Vision 2021, and the 2030 strategy. The rest of the world is really at our fingertips here, and it is extremely easy to service. The UAE is also driving enhanced connectivity with Asia and Africa by introducing various strategic logistics solutions. I am optimistic about what the future holds for the logistics sector in Dubai, and investment opportunities will continue to grow. With a government that is so understanding and so dedicated to driving growth and spurring business, the future is extremely bright.