OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Kuwait 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

The rapid growth of e-commerce has been a great opportunity and challenge for shipping companies, and DHL is innovating to respond to the task.

Amr Tantawy
BIOGRAPHY
Amr Tantawy began his career in 1987 in hotel industry in Egypt and MENA. After joining DHL Express in 1991, he held a variety of positions in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. In July 2000, he became Yield Support Manager for Southeast Europe and North Africa before serving as Project Manager, Business Development and Freight and Logistics Manager. Tantawy has a bachelor’s from Ain Shams University, where he majored in accounting. He received his master of business administration with major in international business from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

How are you using new technologies to improve DHL's internal processes?

New technologies are helping DHL improve the service it provides to its customers. For example, new technology is helping speed clearance of the shipment by integrating the systems of customs. There is visibility on all of the shipments before arrival, which allows us to get approval on the shipment and save time off clearance. We are also integrating technologies in our on-demand delivery (ODD) service. This is a way for our customers to arrange timing and location of the delivery. With an increase in B2C business, these shipments are going to home addresses where our customers are not available at all times. We, therefore, give our clients the option to arrange or give a time window to request the delivery of their shipments. In fact, Kuwait is the biggest and most advanced B2C market in the GCC. Hence, it is highly important for us to adapt our operation according to this new trend where people want to get regular updates on their shipments. We are using technology in every way we can to improve service. However, since DHL has such a global operation, we do not usually have that much flexibility when it comes to applying services and technologies adapted to the country we operate. All the processes and systems need to be aligned at an international scale. Not every country will be able to implement the system it wants—it has to be a part of a global solution. Nonetheless, it is not stopping us from implementing new technologies as long as we can sustain the level of service we are applying.

What changes have you made to accommodate more B2C business and lower its cost?

In order to cater this increasing B2C demand, we have decided to allocate half of our workforce to B2B orders in the morning and the remaining half of our fleet is working at a later point of the day, until 10pm in order to respond to our B2C business, which is expected to grow by 18% in 2019. We also deliver on Fridays, allowing us to reach a significant number of B2C clients since they tend to be more available as compared to regular weekdays.

What is DHL's input regarding environmentally friendly delivery processes?

DHL is actively looking at ways to reduce its carbon footprint. For this reason, in the Middle East, the company has a target of reaching a certain number of environmental standards and gas free vehicles. We eventually want our fleet to be 100% electric. We have started in the UAE, but it might take longer to get started in Kuwait. The use of green packaging is being driven globally and is being cascaded down to all the countries. Environmental considerations are something DHL is constantly thinking about, but the process of implementing everything to each country will take time.

What will be key for the sector to raise in value in the upcoming years?

Part of the government's plan is to have a new cargo village, representing a significant part of the undergoing innovation of the airport. The government is planning to have an area where all the cargo companies will be located. Something DHL is working on is to have its own facility and inner-site facility, making operations smoother for us and speeding up delivery for our customers.