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Portugal 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

At the forefront of firms constantly investing in technological advances, DHL's growth in the country has been as steady as it has been smooth.

José António Reis
BIOGRAPHY
José António Reis has been in his current role since March 2018. With previous experience in financial analysis, he joined the company in 1996. After working in finance, he headed business development and the customer service department. In his more than 23 years here, he has developed a deep understanding of the company’s operations, structure, system, and processes. He holds a degree in business administration.

What are the highlights of DHL's Portugal operations?

DHL has been in Portugal since 1982. At that time, the operation began with half a dozen people, but as the need for DHL's services grew, so did our operations. At present, DHL grows in a consistent and well-established way, maintaining an infrastructural network that allows us to be increasingly effective in what we do. After 36 years in Portugal, the company has grown from half a dozen employees to 500 specialists working directly with DHL.

What can the group learn from the Portuguese market?

In 2017, we grew by approximately 23%, and we expect double-digit growth in 2018 as well. It is difficult to grow more than 10%, but we are on a strong growth path, much of it because of start-ups and e-commerce, both of which have turned out to be great engines. On the other hand, traditional industries such as automotive, textiles, and footwear also continue to spur our expansion.

How do you expect logistics to evolve through the digital revolution?

With globalization, logistics will be increasingly present due to the rise of the B2C segment. Similarly, as e-commerce becomes rampant, transport companies, especially international transport ones, will play a larger role in the whole process. We are highly committed to having an increasingly digital response. For example, at the level of our customer service, we are investing to ensure that customers have a digital experience with DHL, and that all functions that allow customers to interact with us through a smartphone are efficient. Moving forward, our focus is to fulfil the needs of the market.

How would you characterize the current transportation segment in Portugal?

There are companies that are slightly further ahead than others, and DHL is at the front as the company that has perhaps invested the most in technology. At the same time, there are companies that are continuing with a large technological deficit, and the market will eventually filter those out in an almost natural way.

What are your human resource requirements, and how do you retain your talent?

I was appointed CEO in March 2018, and it is extremely important to me that the company be approachable and invest the necessary means to provide specialized training to people in order to retain them. We have been investing in creating an excellent working environment. Based on that, our aim is to provide career opportunities to our people, either because they have a great academic curriculum or because they have demonstrated results within the company.

What are DHL's main goals and priorities for 2019?

In the short term, our challenge is to build a platform at Lisbon Airport. We have signed an agreement with ANA and are currently in the licensing phase. DHL's commitment is around EUR40 million for a 25-year contract with ANA, with the possibility of extending it up to 40 years. It will be a challenging project because we will be implementing the best technology; this is also a clear signal from the group that Portugal is a country that is starting to support all the investments it is making. In Portugal, the biggest investment we have planned is this one. We do also have smaller projects with the purpose of remodeling or expanding other facilities here.