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With perishable products, DHL Global Forwarding’s focus is on fast transit and turnaround times, with total system visibility and track and trace

DHL Global Forwarding sets out the future for logistics in North Asia South Pacific

DHL Global Forwarding (DGF), a leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, has laid out its plans for the future of global forwarding in its North Asia South Pacific region, and what this means for New Zealand.

At a media roundtable with three of DGF’s CEOs, the current state of global forwarding and its impact on worldwide and local trade was discussed. Kelvin Leung, CEO of DGF Asia Pacific, Charles Kaufmann, recently appointed CEO of DGF North Asia South Pacific, and Michael Dhu, country manager, DGF New Zealand, spoke about the business, the impact of digitalisation on logistics, and cross-border opportunities for New Zealand companies.

Mr Leung recapped Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Strategy 2020, which was introduced in April 2014 as a strategy to further position the company as ‘the logistics provider for the world’. The strategy is based on the three pillars of focus, connect, and grow: focusing on what has made the company successful; connecting across the organisation through the exchange of know-how, expertise and talent; and growth through expanding in new market segments.


Mr Leung discussed the progress of digitalisation in logistics and its effect on the industry, and revealed DGF’s strategy to tap the power of digitalisation for customers to reap tangible benefits. 

“Digitalisation provides obvious advantages in enhancing the overall shipping experience for our customers, providing them with improved access to information and supporting them in their sustainability efforts,” he said. “Our customers are becoming more agile, so it is imperative that we embrace innovation and explore the latest technologies to support them in driving business growth.”

The DHL interactive online platform provides customers with improved access to information with features to check near real-time status of shipments at any time and receive immediate quotes for general cargo.

“Through the use of big data, we will use artificial intelligence to predict future freight needs and trade patterns across multiple product commodities. Through referencing massive amounts of data, we will be able to predict very accurately for positive growth,” Mr Leung said. “More and more data collection points around the world, as our shipments are tracked and referenced at various touchpoints, will allow us to refine the model even further – we will be able to fix something before it even happens.” 

Streamlined trade lanes

Charles Kaufmann said the new North Asia South Pacific ‘cluster’ region involves countries with very strong trade ties to New Zealand. Amongst other synergies, the cluster will provide valuable access and focus in terms of New Zealand’s export of perishables, including meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and dairy to Japan, which is New Zealand’s fourth-largest export market.

“The new North Asia South Pacific sub-region, and more specifically New Zealand, will create streamlined trade lanes and better access to the 220 markets in the wider DHL global network. We see significant opportunities to support businesses in New Zealand to grow in a sustained and successful manner with more cost-effective freight connections, streamlined logistics solutions and a market-leading service at every customer touchpoint,” said Mr Kaufmann.

“The new cluster region will create faster efficiencies for New Zealand, creating growth in the ecommerce activities with countries like Japan and Korea. The new cluster also creates a stronger focus on imports to New Zealand from all over the world, which ultimately increases investments in products and routes for DHL import customers.”

Perishable logistics

DGF New Zealand currently supports exporters of perishable products through livestock charters (for breeding stock), live chick and egg exports, bulk milk, and honey export services. With perishable logistics, the focus is on fast transit and turnaround times, with total system visibility, track and trace, and a door-to-door service. 

DGF holds full Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) security certification for storage and transportation of perishable products, and has made significant investments in New Zealand in its temperature-controlled facilities.

“Under the new cluster arrangement, which includes Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, there will be an increased focus and better access to markets for New Zealand exporters of perishable products,” Mr Kaufmann said.

Extra capacity for air freight

DGF New Zealand has offices in Auckland, Napier, Wellington and Christchurch, and offers the full range of ambient and temperature-controlled storage and transport services. Some 40% by volume of DGF’s export business in New Zealand involves wine, with high-quality manuka honey being another valuable export product.

“We work with international airlines to gain extra capacity for air freight, plus we use our own international network of specialised air freighters, which provides flexibility within the supply chains of our export customers,” said Michael Dhu.
Michael Dhu, New Zealand country manager, DHL Global Forwarding: “Robust trade flows in and out of the country signify a strong demand from international markets for our local products, and vice versa”

In July this year, DHL introduced its new Boeing 767-300F freighter aircraft for trans-Tasman express freight, which has 50% more cargo capacity than the previous aircraft and offers express, overnight delivery between Sydney and Auckland five times a week. 

The freighter service opens up access to more freight services for New Zealand exporters via Australia, which connects into the extensive DHL freighter network throughout Asia. “Combining the freighter service with commercial capacity outside of New Zealand provides exporters with greater capacity into mid and long-haul destinations,” said Mr Dhu.

Wines and spirits

Representing the specialist wines and spirits division, DHL Gori Wine & Spirits provides a credible alternative service for New Zealand wine and spirit importers and exporters, with dedicated services and personnel that specialise in the storage and handling of high-quality wines and spirits. Gori’s services include flexitanks (containerised bulk wine movements in bladders) and ‘Gori-liners’– an in-container ventilation system designed to protect product against significant temperature changes throughout the voyage. Gori also offers value-add services such as relabelling, repackaging, repalletising, freight consolidation, and even gift packaging.

All shipments are fully temperature and humidity controlled, with full track and trace from pickup to delivery – “from the cellar to the table,” said Mr Dhu. “Safety and security is a big issue for clients, as is speed of delivery; to facilitate transhipment, all goods are precleared through customs and managed securely across borders to the end destination, with full value protection provided by our own cargo insurance. If there are any issues, there are zero delays getting it sorted.”

Whilst the US is still the largest export market by volume for New Zealand wine, DHL has seen increased volumes of exports into Asian markets such as China and Japan.

Higher levels of global trade

Mr Dhu said the new North Asia South Pacific cluster will help to facilitate higher levels of global trade to and from New Zealand. “We saw imports to New Zealand reach an all-time high in September 2018, and exports from the country peaked at a historical high in December 2017. The robust trade flows in and out of the country signify a strong demand from the international market for local products, and vice versa,” he concluded. 

“It’s all about our investment in local markets, the support of our customers, our 24-hour service and having our own network of aircraft. We look forward to leveraging local expertise, supported by the North Asia South Pacific sub-regional team and global network, to drive business expansion for New Zealand companies.”

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