EXPRESS LANE TO THE TOP

Jamaica 2018 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Donovan James, General Manager of DHL Jamaica, on the company's notable achievements and Jamaica's logistics potential.

 Donovan James
BIOGRAPHY
Donovan James is the General Manager of DHL Jamaica, the largest subsidiary for DHL in the Caribbean. James also sits on the Board of Directors of Amber Connect, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) where he heads the Trade Facilitation Committee, and the Membership Committee within the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ). He is also the founder and chairman of TELiCON group, a major telecommunication engineering company operating in Jamaica and across various Caribbean markets. James is a doctoral candidate at the Mona School of Business, UWI.

DHL Jamaica celebrates its 30th birthday in 2018. What have been the milestones of its presence on the island?

During this period, we have become the express market leaders with superior local customer service, service quality, and island-wide reach through various retail partners that continue to work with us as a global logistics brand. Some of these partners we have joint service agreements with are the US, Canadian, and Dutch embassies; Passport Immigration & Citizen Agency (PICA); Jamaica Postal Agency (JAMPOST); and Western Union. Additionally, our cost effective retail “Express Easy" solution makes it easy and cost-effective for SMEs to ship internationally. In this timeframe, DHL Jamaica has also been awarded with numerous awards such as being named a Top Employer by the Global Top Employer Institute three years consecutively in 2015, 2016, and again in 2017. This speaks to the investment that DHL makes continuously in our human talent. Other notable awards, have been the Best of Chamber Award in 2015 in the large business category from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, and Jamaica Customer Service's Service Excellence Award for 2017.

Jamaica is striving to become a global logistics hub. How do you see the outlook of the logistics sector in Jamaica?

Significant growth is forecasted due to many opportunities for companies to enter the logistic sector, primarily providing e-commerce and B2C solutions. DHL Express is geared to handle the changes in logistics infrastructure to realize its full growth potential. Despite the recent introduction of ASYCUDA, the customs management system introduced by Jamaica Customs to make interaction with customs and processes simpler and faster, there are still opportunities to increase the amount for personal shippers to drive more shipment volumes into the country through e-commerce. This is definitely an area that must improve to make trade facilitation easier. This, in addition to related projects such as improvement of the seaports, airports, and highways to sustain the hub, will definitely result in more FDI and potentially drive down the cost of logistics, positively impacting our economy and GDP growth.

Do you expect that the privatization of the Norman Manley Airport will enable you to further develop your activities in Jamaica?

As an express courier service, improvements in air infrastructure and roadways will certainly impact our operations in a positive way and allow us to serve our customers better and to be more efficient doing it. DHL has worked closely with both the public and private sectors, and DHL stands to gain from the privatization of the airport, as it is expected that privatization will raise standards, facilities, and infrastructural development to world-class levels. This can only impact our growth positively and give us the ability to provide better and more efficient services as a result of improved gateways at the airport. We will also benefit from the construction of the North-South Highway and expansion of the Kingston Freeport Terminal.

What are DHL's main objectives in Jamaica for 2018, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Our main objective will be continuing to drive growth through quality by being the most insanely customer-centric organization in Jamaica, while driving service improvements in all areas of our operations. This will allow us to achieve significant revenue and shipment volume growth, and is part of our Focus 2020 Strategy. The main sources of this growth for us will come from new customer acquisitions with a focus on SMEs, e-commerce partnerships, and significant retail expansion. To ensure our objectives are met, we will continue to invest in our people, technology, and infrastructure. We believe in taking care of, training and motivating our people, who in turn take care of our customers and enhance their experience. Once the customers are delighted, they will take care of us and ensure DHL remains a sustainable business and market leader.