Freight forwarding
19. March 2021

INTERVIEW WITH Michael Welsch

Mr. Michael Welsch has over 25 years of professional experience and has held various sales positions along his journey. He spent 14 years at Microsoft, including more than 10 years as Sales Director for Austria. Most recently, he was responsible for the entire field sales area for Microsoft in the DACH region. Prior to that, he held the role of Sales Director at JoWood Group, a startup company.
Today, Mr. Welsch is the Vice President Sales at DHL Express Austria.
Michael Welsch holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in Sports Management from the University of Middlesex and is an avid triathlete.


1. Digitalisation of the entire supply chain industry is at an all-time high. What shipping management solutions are you providing at DHL Express to handle various requests in most efficient way?
At DHL Express, we define Digitalization as the conscious application of technology and enablement of people to utilize and apply it to improve Customer experience, Employee experience and Operational efficiency and we believe that this needs to be driven by the business itself. Our Digitalization objective is pretty simple: we want to make a great company better!
Some of our greatest achievements are:
  • ODD (On Demand Delivery) – An online platform with tailored notifications and delivery options
  • MyDHL+ – The shipping tool of the next generation
  • VISTA (Visibility of Shipments in Transit Ahead of Arrival) – provides real-time visibility of shipments in transit to support both hub and capacity management teams with better planning and operational efficiency.
  • SMARTR – is DHL Express’s employee app with exclusive content and services connecting you to a global network of colleagues and opportunities to further your role and your career.
2. In the midst of the pandemic, we are seeing a huge boom in the e-commerce sector. How do you cope with the increase demand?
The continuing growing levels of globalization and digitalization result in strongly increasing number of merchants selling globally and online marketplaces, such as shopping apps via which customers can choose from offerings all around the world. As a consequence, cross border trade has continuously grown over the last years. Further, due to this year’s predominating uncertainties coming with the pandemic, consumers are shifting their shopping activities to the online world like never before. It comes as no surprise that e-commerce numbers are rising, as this trend has already been visible during the past years. However, due to COVID-19 the volume of shipments grew tremendously higher than has been expected. 
Facing such increasing volumes, and in parallel Covid-19 spreading around the globe, the challenges for logistics providers are tremendous. In addition to the consistent observation of the situation and flexible management of precaution measures to keep employees safe, the unprecedented peak of shipments poses an additional challenge for logistics. To be prepared DHL Express globally hired more than 10.000 new employees. Thanks to its annual investments in infrastructure such as hubs and gateways, aircraft, vehicles and state-of-the-art technology the company was able to multiply the capacities of its operations significantly and manage therefore the upcoming volumes.
We annually invest approximately one billion Euros to meet our customers’ requirements and ship their goods with the fastest possible transit times – all around the world. Thanks to the insane customer centricity of our people and our state-of-the-art operations, our growth is coming as a result of excellent quality and our network is prepared for the upcoming peak. Even in times of a further wave of the global pandemic we will ensure that our customer’s businesses continue, and that global trade is secure.
To manage the high demands of E-commerce shipping and also of highly important protective and medical goods, a high additional number of cargo flights is necessary; also as most of passenger aircraft are still on the ground. To counter this, DHL Express has increased the number of its daily flights significantly. This year only the company already put four new wide body aircraft of the model B777 F in operations, two more units are expected in the next month. These six additional aircraft enable the company to carry out more than 3.000 additional intercontinental flights per year.

3. Reduction of emissions from shipping and aviation is one of the main priorities outlined in the EU Green Deal. Did DHL implement any solutions that may help with the reduction of carbon footprint?
Sustainability has become one of the most important topics of our time. Our contribution to greater sustainability around the world is a green logistics. To realize a more sustainable future we think it’s important to think big. Our new climate protection target is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050. To help realize this vision of zero emission logistics, we have established a number of ambitious interim goals across the main action areas of our sustainability strategy.
By the year 2025, we want to:
  1. Increase our carbon efficiency by 50% compared to 2007 levels. This new target is based on the approach taken by the Science Based Targets Initiative.
  2. Reduce local air pollution emissions by operating 70% of our own first and last mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions, such as bicycles and electric vehicles.
  3. Have more than 50% of our sales incorporate Green Solutions. In this way we also make our customers’ supply chains greener.
  4. Certify 80% of our employees as GoGreen specialists and get them involved in our environmental and climate protection activities. This includes joining partners to plant one million trees every year to protect our forests.
Our climate protection goals are in harmony with our Shared Value approach. Already in 2008 we became the first major logistics company to make a voluntary commitment to improving our carbon efficiency by 30% over the 2007 baseline by the year 2020. In our effort to reach this target, our environmental protection program GoGreen developed measures to improve the carbon efficiency of our air and road transport operations as well as that of our buildings and facilities. We achieved this goal in 2016, well ahead of schedule.
 
4. The opening of the DHL Express Flagship Store in Linz is a great example of how to combine last mile deliveries with CO2 neutral deliveries. Could you please tell us more about this project?
With the modern, 107m² business premises at Goethestrasse 7, DHL Express (Austria) GmbH now also fulfills a frequently expressed customer wish for a central and easily accessible location in Linz.  The deliberately chosen convenient location guarantees optimized supply and customer-oriented service.
With the DHL Express Flagship Stores, we have established an extremely successful and profitable retail concept. We will stick to this successful model with our new Flagship Store in Salzburg and are already exploring locations in Graz. In the final expansion stage, we want to be on site for our customers with a flagship store in every provincial capital. The DHL Flagship Store also serves as a starting point for shipment deliveries and pick-ups in the Linz city area with the DHL Cubicycles.
DHL Express already operates up to 60 percent of inner-city delivery routes with cargo bikes in some European countries. We expect the Cubicycles to help further strengthen this approach in the coming years. Bicycles offer several advantages in express delivery: they can bypass traffic jams and make up to twice as many delivery stops per hour compared to delivery vehicles. The operating costs over the entire service life are significantly lower than those of a van. And crucially, they produce zero emissions. This strengthens our environmental program to reduce CO2 emissions and supports city government efforts to promote sustainable inner-city living. The DHL Express Flagship Store combines service close to the customer as well as convenient transport links for shipment delivery and pick-up. In particular, the use of electrified cargo bicycles testifies to the company’s innovative spirit and is a successful example of how the so-called ‘Last Mile’ can be managed as a ‘Green Mile’ with CO2-neutral delivery in the city center at the cutting edge.
 
5. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in Central and Eastern Europe region?
In my opinion, it is the absolute right decision and strong signal to have WOF Expo in Central and Eastern Europe. It will be certainly a great opportunity for all of us to connect and increase the network.
 


DHL Express is a leader in the international express business. DHL combines the local expertise with its global network in more than 220 countries & territories. As international specialists, DHL puts its customers at the center of their thinking and actions. Having in-depth cross-border e-commerce expertise and supporting them in operating and growing their business worldwide is one of the DHL main priorities. DHL Express – ´´We connect people and improve lives.´´

www.dhl.com