Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Study Shows Freight and Logistics of Prime Importance to SME's as DHL Express Sign New Lease

Truly Global Study Shows Trade Flows Changing as Power Moves to Less Developed Economies
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – DHL Express has just released the results of a study by global analyst IHS demonstrating that for small and medium enterprises (SME’s) international trade is a key driver of business success. The study was truly global with a macro-economic analysis and survey of 410 SME directors in G7 and BRICM* economies revealing that those smaller business units which traded overseas were on average twice as successful as their domestic business only counterparts. This week the freight and logistics group also renewed its tenancy agreement at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for a further decade long term.

The IHS report said 26% of the companies that were trading internationally significantly outperformed their market, in contrast to only 13% of those with operations only in their home country. SME’s cited the key benefits of this international approach as the access to new markets that it provides them with, as well as access to know-how and technology, and diversification of their products or services.

The research also reveals an increasing pace of globalization and a sharper international focus among smaller businesses, with SME’s that were founded in the last five years more likely to have international business operations than older SME’s, despite having had less time to grow their businesses. Significantly, the majority of SME’s who had out-performed their markets over the last three years indicated that they also planned to increase the percentage of exports in their turnover over the next three years, despite the uncertain economic environment.

Transport and economic infrastructure does however come in for criticism in the report including the difficulty of establishing meaningful partnerships abroad, high customs duties, lack of accurate information and difficulties in setting up overseas are cited as constraints on development whilst the perennial complaint that larger organisations have a competitive edge is also aired.

Interestingly the investigation reveals that the smaller outfits trading from a developed economy are behind the game when compared to those in the emerging markets in terms of business development. In what is almost a game of two halves it shows G7 SME’s struggle to match their BRICM counterparts who have access to the prime, higher consumption per capita markets of their G7 competitors as the report puts it ‘as the balance of power inevitably shifts eastwards.’

Significantly, BRICM SME’s placed more emphasis on logistics as a positive influence on their international operations than their G7 counterparts, suggesting that they rely more on efficient transportation and customs processes to overcome infrastructure obstacles, but also that they see logistics services as a competitive differentiator for their business.

In Amsterdam DHL Express has been located at Anchoragelaan, at Schiphol Southeast, since 2006, in a building situated adjacent to Runway 06-24 (Kaagbaan) where all the sorting activities for parcel shipments take place. In addition, the building accommodates an office section for the Dutch arm of DHL Express's international network and the DHL Express sorting centre employs around 125 staff. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol performs a pivotal role for a major part of the Dutch network of DHL Express, connecting the Dutch operations to DHL's worldwide express network. With its own branch offices in 220 countries, DHL has the largest international network in the sector. Wouter van Benten (Managing Director of DHL Express) and André van den Berg (Director of Schiphol Real Estate) signed the new ten year agreement on January 28th leaving Schiphol Cargo Senior VP, Enno Osinga to comment:

"We are very happy with DHL's decision to reaffirm its long-term commitment to a strong Schiphol base. DHL's continuing presence reinforces Schiphol's position as a key international gateway for integrators, carriers, and their customers."

* BRICM indicates the Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and Mexican economies.