Parcel shipping/global logistics: DHL makes enhancements to Time Definite service offerings

By Jeff Berman · October 18, 2010

Express delivery and logistics services provider DHL Express announced today it is taking further steps to leverage its international scope and reach by rolling out a new section of its Time Definite import and express services.

As defined by DHL, its Time Definite service is international door-to-door delivery by a specific time, or by the end of the next possible business day. Prior to this announcement Time Definite was broken into the following categories: DHL Express 9:00. DHL Express 10:30, DHL Express 12:00, and DHL Envelope, DHL Worldwide, and DHL Easy.

With today’s release, DHL said its portfolio of Time Delivery guaranteed services allows shippers to:
-send shipments by 9:00 a.m. (10:30 a.m. to Mexico) or 12:00 noon to major business centers in Europe, the Americas, and parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and also import from those regions to the U.S. by 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon; and
-use their Import Express account for shipments moving between two countries outside of the U.S. but billed in the U.S. and guaranteed by 9:00 a.m. or 12:00 noon.

DHL officials added that its Time Definite express services reach all major and mid-sized cities in Europe, as well as the fastest average transit times to South America, with transit times to all regions it serves running 1-to-2 days. They added that DHL Express 9:00 is currently available from the U.S. to approximately 20 airport or IATA locations, and DHL Express 12:00 is currently available from the U.S. to approximately 99 airport or IATA destinations.  DHL Import Express 10:30 is available to the U.S. from about 500 airport or IATA origins, and DHL Import Express 12:00 is available to the U.S. from about 600 airport or IATA origins.

“With these new offerings, we are sending a clear message to importers and exporters aware of the depth and breadth of our local country-specific expertise,” said Ian Clough, CEO of DHL Express US, on a conference call. “This will help to ensure they….have the right resources to help them compete on a global scale.”

In terms of how these new Time Definite services will be priced, DHL Vice President of Marketing Christine Nashick said that Time Definite services, on average, for the 9:00 service will be 30-to-35 percent higher than the Time Definite end of the day service and 12:00 noon and 10:30 service will be 5-to-8 percent higher, depending on whether the shipment is an import or an export.

Clough and Nashick said that this announcement is largely geared towards a few specific industries, including finance, legal, life sciences, and high tech, as well as small-to-mid-size businesses and other industries as well. And the weight limit for these new offerings is 66 pounds per piece for the 9:00 and 10:30 services and 150 pounds per piece for the 12:00 noon service.

When asked how this new offering matches up with competitive services from FedEx and UPS, among others, Clough said the new service will allow DHL to leverage its extensive international network.

“While for some locations, we will [have] parity with UPS and FedEx, in many areas we will be able to provide a broader and improved service relative to the competition,” said CEO Clough. “If it is a main destination anywhere in Europe, there may be parity, but across our strong network within Europe in the secondary locations and secondary cities in many instances we will be able to offer services that the competition does not offer today. The opportunity is to leverage our extensive global network, and that is where the differentiation in services will lie.”

A parcel industry expert told LM that this announcement has a “very limited delivery footprint for the guarantee,” explaining that DHL is still using the United States Postal Service to deliver a considerable amount of their shipments into the U.S.

“The major market today is Asia and until DHL gets a 777 to compete with FedEx out of China, they will continue to lag,” said the parcel expert.

A DHL spokesman told LM that U.S.-bound DHL shipments handled by the USPS represent a very small sampling—0.32 percent—of DHL’s total shipments, adding that these shipments are not part of the Time Definite service.

This announcement comes nearly two years after DHL said it would eliminate U.S. domestic-only air and ground services to focus on international import and export offerings in major metropolitan areas by the end of January 2009. Since that time, DHL has maintained an international-only U.S. presence.


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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Article Topics

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