EXPRESS SHIPPING FOR EXPRESS GROWTH

Tanzania 2018 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Femi Olaiya, Managing Director–Tanzania of DHL Express, on growth opportunities in express services, the telecoms and energy industries, and overall trade.

Femi Olaiya
BIOGRAPHY
Femi Olaiya has been working as the Managing Director-Tanzania for DHL Express since March 2017. Prior to that he worked for DHL in Nigeria, South Africa, and Malawi. He studied mathematics and welding engineering in Nigeria, before being certified by Microsoft Corporation in Systems Integration in the US, and Service Desk Management at the Helpdesk Institute of London. He also holds an MBA.

What is incorporated in the bundle of services DHL Tanzania provides for businesses, and have you noticed any change in demand for these over the past six months?

DHL's strength, being the biggest and strongest international carrier within the logistics industry, lies in its international express services, since we have a robust network across the world. We also offer domestic deliveries, including import express service, where deliveries are collected from other countries and brought into the recipient's country of residence where they can pay in local currency. It is a unique service that not all providers can offer. As for changes in demand, we have seen a significant increase in customers seeking e-commerce solutions. With Tanzania every day becoming more technologically driven, it is no surprise that many Tanzanians are choosing to shop online. We have noticed a subsequent increase in international companies who are looking to ship goods safely, quickly, and reliably, and they are choosing us as their partner for this. We have received a number of requests from customers who want to integrate with us, and we are working to meet those demands.

What are the comparative advantages of being in Tanzania, and how important is the country for DHL's global footprint?

Within Africa, Tanzania is strategically positioned, in terms of geography, as well as in terms of demographics. All sectors in which we work, such as telecoms and energy, are at the early- to mid-development stage, which suggests considerable potential and growth opportunities. DHL, with its global expertise, network, and experience, is well placed to facilitate such development. We can coordinate the movement of all items and facilities, and provide reliable logistics services for new companies to enter the market. With the new government in place and with new fiscal policies, compliance drives, and revenue drives, there has been a reconfiguration in the ways of doing business, and we need to adjust to that. However, the expectation is that business will pick up as time goes on, and that means that logistics, global trade, and global movement of things from all parts of the world will increase, especially into Tanzania.

How is Tanzania's profile as an attractive destination for FDI changing following these new regulations?

The main thing is maintaining investor confidence. New reforms will position the country in a positive light for investors, showing that Tanzania is re-addressing much of its current business policy. New fiscal and compliance drives will certainly encourage investment in the logistics sector. At DHL, we are already discussing expansion steered toward accommodating the volumes we expect with this imminent growth. Increasingly companies are looking for express logistics centers, as they want to bring their items closer to the end users. Because of this, we are looking to expand our existing express logistics center.

What is your forecast for the logistics sector as a whole?

There is a possibility for growth, but this will depend on movements in the economy, trade between businesses and customers, and continued developments in the e-commerce field. We have been carefully analyzing our shipping trends, activities across the country, change within the government, and budgetary decisions, and have concluded that there will be growth. As the market leader, we will go on investing in our people, equipment, and facilities to ensure that we continue to exceed the demands of our customers. As the first and largest express logistics company in Africa, we are well positioned to service the growth of Tanzania, ensuring its viability and attractiveness on a global scale.