Monday, April 7, 2014

Giant Freight Forwarding and Express Logistics Group Sets Out to Reform its Image

It Seems Serious Criticisms of Human Relations Has Led to Latest PR Campaign
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – Say what you like about DHL, the Deutsche Post group subsidiary, despite quite a lot of bad publicity over the past few years the express freight forwarding and parcel delivery behemoth never misses an opportunity to tell the world of its latest logistics services, group achievements and the prodigious amount it puts into good deeds in the course of its business.

In the recent past we have witnessed the DHL Global Forwarding securing once again the logistics contract for what it calls ‘the world’s fastest motorsport series’, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship which commenced in Abu Dhabi in February. The contract sees DHL Global Forwarding coordinate and carry out the logistics for the seasons eight races on three continents throughout the year. Besides the UAE, the series continues in Croatia, Malaysia, Poland, Great Britain, the US (two races) and China.

In March the group launched a 'Get Airports Ready for Disaster' (GARD) workshop in the Philippines in tandem with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The three day meeting at Mactan-Cebu International Airport concluded last week and brought together over fifty airport personnel to prepare them for the logistics arising after a variety of emergencies. GARD trainers are DHL experts in the field who conduct the training on a pro bono basis and provide relevant materials whilst under UNDP management.

To date, GARD has been implemented at 23 airports in Indonesia (2009, 2011, 2012), Nepal (2010), Bangladesh (2011), Lebanon (2012), Turkey (2012), El Salvador (2013), Panama (2013), Armenia (2013) and Peru (2014) and this was the second implementation of a GARD workshop in the Philippines after a first successful training in Manila in May 2013 and General Manager, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Nigel Paul C. Villarete, commented:

"We live in a country located along the Ring of Fire, or typhoon belt, where annually approximately 80 typhoons develop above its tropical waters. We have already witnessed what the effects can be, and hence, want to be as prepared as possible in the event we are faced with a similar scenario in the future.”

The latest release from DHL Express however is somewhat dumbed down as it takes the form of a cartoon strip, and is to reveal that the company won fifty seven Human Resource related awards throughout 2013. The company has been slated by unions and workers for the past few years after prevaricating over labour disputes in several countries, some alleging serious mistreatment of staff and cynics may say the company has had to resort to drawings as it proved impossible to find photographs showing its staff so happy.

For many there is some way to go for the overworked PR staff at DHL who have had to deal with a past year or so with many very critical of the way it has handled industrial relations outside of the home country. Beside the normal YouTube videos of poor handling of goods extracted from CCTV footage, a situation which most parcel carriers have been subjected to, DHL has been associated with several antitrust scandals. The worst criticism however has been for those poorly handled staff criticisms, something the German headquartered group now seems determined to put behind it.

Photo: Yes, this really is from the latest group press release revealing just how happy its staff are.