DHL Express shrugs off talk of Amazon ‘threat to business’

According to DHL Express chief Ken Allen, Amazon are a threat to smaller domestic logistics businesses but not to the international giants.

“I dont think they’re going to compete with us,” said Allen. “I accept that they are in logistics – but specifically from an express point of view I think it’s a lot more difficult for them.

“Why? Because the volume of international is nowhere near the volume of domestic, and to be in 200 territories worldwide that is a long journey. We’re 50 years into it, we founded that business and we’re pretty well established.

“If you’re a domestic company, then yeah I think they are a big threat. You see that now in the US because they have had to build out for these peaks. Now they are saying in Los Angeles they are going to start offering that delivery service to third parties, which could be a threat to FedEx and UPS.”

While not a threat to the DHL Express international operations, Allen did point out that Amazon could well compete against parent company Deutsche Post in Germany should they wish.

“I think in those domestic markets where you’re trying to get closer and closer to that last mile delivery, I think that’s where the competitive threat does come from,” he said. “They seem grow phenomenally and seem to be able to react to it.

“I think the international business is a bit more complex and out of their sphere.”

Indeed Allen believes that DHL Express could well work with Amazon.

“I mean we’re doing their daytime sort, and we’ve both got similar partners, it could work similarly in Europe where a lot of our facilities are empty during the day and our flights only go out at night, if there was a will and a capability that could happen,” he said. The company is already partnering with Amazon in the US, where the retailer uses DHL’s Cincinnati hub during the day.