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DHL Playing Central Role In Community Resiliency

DHL Playing Central Role In Community Resiliency

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By  Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas |August 4th, 2020

With our local presence in more than 220 countries and territories, DHL Express has seen the impact of the global pandemic on small businesses and communities around the world.  All of our employees have made incredible efforts in this challenging environment to come into work or work from home to keep our operations running and ensure that our customers’ shipments are moving in this unprecedented environment.  This is not just important for our customers to maintain continuity of trade activities, but our work has maintained the flow of supplies and goods that has proven to be critical to the communities we serve around the globe.

 Operational Changes To Keep Everyone Safe

As always, the top priority for DHL Express is to ensure that our employees can operate as safely as possible. Beyond social distancing, personal protective equipment, and regular sanitization, we’ve turned to technology and innovation, including:

  • Virtual meetings and work from home environments;
  • Deployment of robotics to improve social distancing and efficiency;
  • Expanded pick-up options like pop-up stores and Call Ahead service as well as contactless deliveries; and
  • Expanded use of e-Cargo bikes in major cities to reduce our carbon emissions and on road congestion while adhering to social distancing.

 Responding To The Call Of Governments And Communities

If anything, this crisis has demonstrated the importance of our industry as an essential service to support medical professionals and first responders battling the virus as well as communities as a whole.  As demand for our air capacity rose sharply, DHL Express prioritized medicines and aid shipments across the globe.  We have worked with our customers to move masks, gloves, ventilator parts, life-saving pharmaceuticals to patients, hospitals and our valued healthcare workers in the U.S. and globally to make sure they are protected on the frontlines.

As the number of cases grew, DHL Express added many flights to its network to fill the gaps of a reduction in commercial airline flights and to meet the high demand of personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments. During the peak in April when supplies were most constrained, DHL was able to move hundreds of thousands of shipments of masks, surgical scrubs, gloves, thermometers and other PPE, with direct flights from Asia, Europe and across the Americas.  This served local hospitals and communities as well as businesses like Adafruit, a NYC-based technology company that switched from making electronics to producing ventilator parts. DHL Express even donated thousands of N95 protective masks bought by DHL outside the U.S. and flown in to the Northwell Health network of hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the state of New York.

Similar efforts helped other nations in the Americas, including 180,000 tests kits to Central America in March, when testing was just becoming available; 10,000 lbs. of essential materials to Chile, including 1 million masks and special equipment needed to build and maintain respirators; and partnerships in Mexico to deliver 250 tons of food to Walmart senior volunteers.

Growing E-Commerce Means Growing Jobs Too

Our employees are showing more commitment than ever in the current challenging situation. Even as we help communities respond to the pandemic, our volumes are skyrocketing.

Thanks to the numerous micro, small, and medium sized businesses that have relied on DHL Express to help them adjust to the new environment, DHL Express’ e-commerce volumes are reflecting double digit growth year on year, surpassing 2019 peak holiday volumes for the past few months.  DHL Express is responding to this added demand by increasing over 3,000 jobs in the Americas, including 1,500 courier routes in the U.S., additional hub workers in Northern Kentucky, increasing the number of customer service representatives out of Arizona and across the Americas, as well as adding over 1,000 additional jobs in Mexico.

As we hopefully move from response to recovery, the one consistent message is that express delivery and logistics will remain an “essential service” for businesses, governments, and communities across the world.  Let us know how we can help.

What is your business doing to meet ongoing coronavirus challenges? Let us know on Twitter @DHLUS.

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