Portugal can be a “much bigger gateway” for DHL’s business than it is today, Dinheiro Vivo, CEO of DHL Express, John Pearson, said on the sidelines of the presentation. ‘Atlas of Business Growth 2022 in Brussels, noting that there are business opportunities in the country for the world’s largest distribution and logistics group. However, the group has been trying “for years” to create a new logistics terminal in Lisbon, with no results in sight.
“We have been trying for many years with ANA and the airport authorities to create a new infrastructure, I think we are close to achieving this. our planes”, he underlines. DHL has grown “very quickly” and has a “very healthy activity, with a very high market share” in Portugal, with good prospects “especially in the consumer segment”, likely to create “more terminals and jobs “, according to Pearson.
The general manager of DHL Express Portugal, José António Reis, confirms: “In Lisbon, there have been great difficulties in investing around 50 million euros in an infrastructure that allows other types of responses to the needs of exporters and importers Portuguese”.
At stake is the expansion of DHL Express Portugal to improve operating conditions in Lisbon. “This is a project we have been working on for more than eight years, but which for various reasons, which are completely beyond us, has not yet materialized”, laments the leader.
In 2018, DHL announced that it had entered into an agreement with ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal to build a new express cargo terminal in Lisbon. About a year later, he was still waiting for permission from the Lisbon City Council. In 2022, the company’s ambition remains unfulfilled.
Despite this constraint in the capital, José António Reis ensures that the country remains a “strategic place to boost international trade and a strategic geography for the group”. Although he did not elaborate, the chief executive stresses that there are also plans to “reinforce operations” at the Porto air cargo terminal.
Currently, DHL has ten operational centers in Portugal, from north to south and the islands, in addition to two own stores (one in Lisbon and another in Porto). There are 400 partner stores in the service point network with international express service. “The goal is to continue to expand our network,” says the manager.
As for DHL’s air cargo transport via Portugal, there is “a dedicated daily flight from Humberto Delgado Airport, Lisbon, and two daily flights from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Maia, also relying frequently on additional flights”. These are cargo flights only and “responded to high demand”, so, according to the official, the investment in the Portuguese operation is justified for the company.
José António Reis recalls that in 2021 the group “reached a new historic maximum”. In Portugal, the volume of parcel traffic with origin and destination in the country amounts to “more than 25,000 tons” handled by DHL. There was “a 25% increase in order volume compared to 2020 with respect to imports and a 13% increase in shipments from Portugal”. On this data, the manager indicates that there has been a “sharp increase” in the volume of orders from Time Definite International, “largely due to cross-border e-commerce”. And the trend is for growth in 2022 and 2023, despite the war in Ukraine, says the manager.
As for the financial results, José António Reis does not detail the local data, but recalls that, despite the economic uncertainty, the group recorded 24 billion euros in turnover at the end of the second quarter of the year, the Express zone realizing “significant growth in turnover”, of the order of 17.5% to seven billion euros.