DHL putting the Smile in the Mile

No doubt DHL is identified with being the undisputed leading global brand in the delivery and courier industry. To give a bit of flavour to the launch of DHL eCommerce in KL recently, Charles Brewer, CEO of DHL e-commerce, walked us through a bit of DHL history…

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, headquarted in Bonn, Germany. It was founded in 1969 and today, the group generates revenues upwards of Euro 57 billion. Deutsche Post DHL Group is home to two strong brands: Deutsche Post is Europe’s leading postal service provider while DHL offers a comprehensive range of international express, freight transport, and supply chain management services, as well as e-commerce logistics solutions.

In Malaysia, DHL has been present since 1973 with its other divisions DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain. The official launch of DHL eCommerce in Malaysia on 27 April 2017 marks a milestone for the company … it can now capitalise on the striking rate of growth in the nation’s online retailing market. This is strategic as Malaysian brick & mortar retailers had reported a dismal 2016 with dim optimism carrying through to 2017. Simply put, online retailing is where a retailer should curate its customers from, with Malaysian consumers all but embracing online shopping.

L-R: Malcolm Monteiro (CEO, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific), Charles Brewer (CEO, DHL eCommerce) and Jason Kong (MD, DHL eCommerce Malaysia) at the launch of DHL eCommerce in Kuala Lumpur

L-R: Malcolm Monteiro (CEO, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific), Charles Brewer (CEO, DHL eCommerce) and Jason Kong (MD, DHL eCommerce Malaysia) at the launch of DHL eCommerce in Kuala Lumpur

In partnering with DHL eCommerce, Malaysian online retailers will be able to benefit from DHL’s range of cross-border shipping solutions and network of fulfillment centers globally to enable their international expansion.

This is expected to add fuel to the e-commerce market in Malaysia which is estimated to grow at CAGR of 15.8% to EUR1 billion by 2020[1], likely largely driven by recent initiatives such as the National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap, Digital Free Trade Zone and Economic Transformation Program. To put it in perspective, in the world’s 2nd largest economy, China, Alibaba reportedly recorded US$17.8 billion in sales on Singles Day…. that is just 1 day of sales on 11th November 2016!

“E-commerce has become a way of life for Malaysians, with 47% already using their smartphones[2] to shop online,” said Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL eCommerce. “Approximately 7 million are already shopping online every month[3], and with the industry expected to grow to EUR1 billion by 2020 in Malaysia and globally to US$1 trillion[4] in the same year, businesses need high-quality logistics solutions to leverage this immense growth and meet the rapidly changing needs of online shoppers. This makes the need for a tailored e-commerce delivery service greater than ever before.”


                         eCommerce Malaysia Fact Sheet
Services ü  Cross border delivery service to more than 220 countries and territories

ü  Domestic delivery service with

–       Next day delivery in Klang Valley, Penang and Johor

–       Delivery within 2-4 days for all other locations in West & East Malaysia

Value Added Services for Domestic market ü  Cash on delivery offered to all customers

ü  Insurance on delivery – basic insurance of and additional insurance purchasable for additional coverage

Employees Approximately 140
Locations 1 central distribution hub in Puchong

4 depots located in Puchong, Cheras, Penang and Johor

DHL eCommerce’s end-to-end domestic delivery solutions will offer pick-up services, track and trace, reverse logistics, cash on delivery with daily remittance and call center capabilities for deliveries within Malaysia. It aims to provide best-in-class domestic delivery with quick, predictive and secure delivery.

Brewer chipped in to explain that with quick delivery, a retailer mitigates the issue of buyer’s remorse. The ‘WOW’ factor experienced when a consumer clicks to order is still intact and hence, chances of a product return is minimised. Before delivery, a confirmation sms will be sent to the buyer on the date and approximate timing. This predictability factor certainly serves to reassure a buyer, that God Forbid, just when he steps out of the house, the parcel is being delivered to an empty home!

“The world’s fastest growing e-commerce region is Asia Pacific, and Malaysia is one of the most exciting countries with enormous opportunities,” continued Monteiro. While not sharing any numbers as yet, Monteiro said that targeting SMEs had borne fruit since the their soft launch a month ago. “Every day had been a record of sorts,” claimed Brewer. It is particularly advantageous for SMEs to tap on DHL’s expertise when delivering globally as DHL is able to cut through all the paperwork, cross-border requirements and country-specific regulations.

“With the huge e-commerce growth expected in Malaysia, we believe e-tailers are demanding greater quality, affordability and consistency in their logistics solutions. We aim to offer best-in-class logistics solutions for e-tailers in Malaysia so they can focus on growing their business locally and internationally,” said Jason Kong, MD, DHL eCommerce Malaysia.

As part of the launch, there was also a lively panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities for local online retailers and the importance of logistics in boosting the e-commerce industry. Below are some quote from panelists weighing in on this market :-

“With the launch of DHL eCommerce and the recent announcement of the Digital Free Trade Zone, we believe it will lead to more robust local e-commerce industry and we will start to see greater competiveness and opportunities for online retailers to grow their business overseas”

 – Adrian Oh, co-founder, eCommerceMILO

“At Dida we recognized the importance of having a reliable and reputable logistics partner. While we do our best to ensure that our customers have a great experience, the last mile is left entirely to the logistics partner. If a customer experiences a bad delivery experience, this will automatically reflect poorly on Dida and our reputation. Recently, Zoe Saldana (Hollywood actress) paid a compliment to our local television host from Astro Alternatif on the top she was wearing. This particular top was from my fashion label Thavia. Fortunately, we ship to America! That is the great potential of e-commerce and having a strong logistics partner; being able to reach consumers from all over the world.”

 – Tengku Chanela Jamidah, co-founder of Dida and founder of Thavia

Probing its vision, when asked if DHL has any ambition to also foray into the chilled and temperature-controlled delivery market, Monteiro shared that this has been done at their HQ in Germany where they deliver medicine and pharmaceuticals. In certain parts of Europe, the Group’s logistics already caters to temperature-specific and perishable products, however, no plans of such is imminent in this part of the world for the time being.

As all leaders do, the Group aims to chart improvements continuously. As such, it contributes to the world through responsible business practices, corporate citizenship and environmental activities and by the year 2050, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to be a zero emissions logistics group.

[1] Euromonitor Internet Retailing in Malaysia, February 2017




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