Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Freight and Logistics Specialists Try to Understand the Chinese Urban Supply Chain

DHL Undertake Study as a Model for Future Growth
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – Freight and Logistics specialist DHL’s cross-divisional department, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation, will now start a comprehensive City Logistics Master Research Plan for Chengdu, China’s fourth largest city with a population of more than 14 million residents. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed and discussed with the mayor of Chengdu during a recent visit to the city by Deutsche Post DHL’s CEO Frank Appel. The strategic cooperation in the field of City Logistics between DHL and Chengdu focuses on the analysis of the supply chain of fast-moving consumer goods from various sectors such as super markets, wholesale markets and franchised stores. Bill Meahl, Chief Commercial Officer DHL said:

“By 2050, more than 70 per cent of the world population will live in cities, and with our global City Logistics program we develop solutions for more efficient logistics in these growing cities. Advanced logistics services not only contribute to a better living environment by reducing emissions but also help local businesses achieve their full potential by more efficient transport management.”

One of the main aims of DHL’s general City Logistics concept approach is the implementation of urban freight centres which they claim significantly decrease freight traffic thus improving the quality of air, increase efficiency, reliability, service quality and offer a better control of the logistic processes by a higher visibility of the supply chain. Director Solutions & Innovation at DHL Jörg Hanser explains:

 “DHL’s new cooperation with the City of Chengdu is a great opportunity for us to prove our global capabilities in the increasingly important field of City Logistics. With the research, DHL will be able to gain a good understanding of the challenges of the Chinese city to develop a tailor-made City Logistics solution that meets Chengdu’s specific needs and can also be seen as a model for other megacities in China. The eventual implementation of this solution could be a key success factor for the region and will help making the best use of its enormous business potential.”

DHL is already engaged with a number of local governments in municipalities around the world regarding City Logistics. Together with various technical partners the DHL City Logistics teams are working on the next generation of optimization in urban logistics and traffic flows. Having recently participated in several conferences such as the International Transport Forum in Leipzig and the 3rd Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, DHL has raised the agenda of urban logistics and continues to emphasize the need for improved urban solutions.

Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan State in the southwest of China and one of the most important economic, transportation and communication centres in Western China. Global corporations are increasingly choosing Chengdu as their logistics hub for Western China operations. Chen Zhongwei, Chief Logistics Commission Chengdu commented:

“We are very pleased to start this new partnership with DHL, a recognised thought leader in the logistics sector, to face the important challenge of optimizing transport activities in our rapidly growing city. The ideal flow of goods and services in urban areas is not only raising its living standard but also its competitive advantage.”

Obviously with this move DHL are trying to get ahead of the game as the Chinese internal market grows faster than most other global economies. The battle is on between the big multinational carriers to be seen as the ‘go to’ organisation for urban collection and delivery services and the different cultural attitudes which prevail in China and throughout South East Asia are a factor which companies such as DHL are attempting to understand and prepare for.