LOGISTICAL STEPS

Mozambique 2016 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Agnaldo Laice, Country Manager of DHL, on its strategy for 2020, Mozambique's emerging growth, and the pressing issues that need to be tackled in the country.

Agnaldo Laice
BIOGRAPHY
Agnaldo Laice is Country Manager of DHL Global Forwarding in Mozambique. Originally from Mozambique, Laice has nearly 15 years of successful experience within the transportation and logistics industry. Between 2001 and 2012 Laice worked for the Maersk Group, where he held several other senior positions, including CEO of Damco Mozambique. Laice has a diploma in marketing and management from the Management Education Institute in Maputo, and is also a LEADEM graduate (2007) with a certification in container business management (Maersk) and successfully completed the DHL SSA Leadership Development Program, certified by Corporate Learning Solutions plc, in Johannesburg in 2014.

Where are you seeing increased demand for your services?

DHL has a strategic focus on selected industry sectors, both globally and regionally. We work closely with our customers to acquire a detailed understanding of their specific logistics requirements. In Mozambique, the sectors registering the highest demand for better transportation and logistics services are oil and gas, engineering and manufacturing (construction, industrial equipment), technology, and the consumer sector. Our aim is to build long-term partnerships with customers in these sectors by offering our industry-leading solutions that will ultimately provide them with real competitive advantage in their marketplace.

How is DHL's “Strategy 2020: Focus. Connect. Grow." being applied to the Mozambican market?

For the past few years we have laid down a solid foundation that will shape our future. Our company vision emphasizes our target to be the logistics company for the world: We want to be the logistics provider of choice whilst also be the first choice for employees and investors alike. We developed strategic initiatives that gave us the right focus to achieve our ambitious targets, not only in terms of revenue and volume but also in terms of the quality of the services that we provide to our customers. Moving into the future we have our new Strategy 2020: Focus. Connect. Grow. to build on our core strengths and service quality whilst seizing new opportunities for profitable growth. We want people who think of logistics to think of DHL. We want our customers to do business with us because they rely on the quality of the service we provide. Since 2011 we expanded our presence in Mozambique by opening more offices and employing more people and have further improved our value proposition towards our existing and potential customers.

DHL's goal is to derive 30% of the revenue from emerging markets by 2020. What role will Mozambique play in that regard?

Mozambique has the potential to become a strong contender in emerging markets. This is mainly driven by the extractive industries, specifically LNG projects and mining, which should enable the country to compete amongst other emerging economies. However, Mozambique has a great opportunity to learn from the experience of other emerging markets and ensure that the economy is diversified and does not necessarily depend entirely on one or a few industry sectors. All the other industries should be able to benefit from the multiplier effect of these so-called “anchor" industries such as mining and energy.

What are some of the challenges facing DHL in Mozambique?

There are two main challenges, but these are not only exclusive to DHL. One is infrastructure, which is most likely the number one challenge for all businesses in the country. We require adequate infrastructure to support our product offering, not only in terms of roads, airports, ports, and rail lines but also value-adding infrastructure such as warehouses, cross dock facilities, cargo handling equipment, and so on to allow us to provide world-class logistics services to our customers in Mozambique. Improved IT is another area of infrastructure development that needs to be addressed. The government has its role when it comes to infrastructure development, but the private sector also has a significant part to play in terms of making sure the constraints around infrastructure are adequately tackled. PPP projects are also a great way of overcoming obstacles to infrastructure investment and development, especially in growing sectors. The second challenge is legislation. This needs to be equally addressed whilst keeping up with the pace of development of business—we must have laws that promote further development. In the transportation and logistics industries, the challenges related to customs regulations deserve adequate attention. Mozambique has subscribed to different international and regional organizations agreements but those agreements need to be consistently applied locally in order to benefit trade and business. If the legislation, for some reason does not follow business development and trading trends, we as a country might lose in the long run.