Turkey may be going through tough economic and political times, as well as suffering instability due to problems in neighbouring countries but DHL Express and DHL Freight are aiming for continued growth.
DHL Express Turkey chief executive officer (CEO), Markus Reckling tells Air Cargo Week (ACW): “Despite being a very difficult year for Turkey, 2015 has been outstandingly successful for DHL Express.
“We grew over 10 per cent in both volume and revenue, which we see as a huge success in the current environment. Furthermore international e-commerce shipments grew by a high double-digit figure.”
DHL Freight South Eastern Europe CEO, Selcuk Boztepe says instability in Turkey with two general elections and geopolitical risks have hit trade. He says: “In such an environment, despite the decreases in country exports (8.7 per cent) and imports (14.4 per cent), DHL Freight Turkey managed to continue with the successful growth trend by increasing its revenue by over 10 per cent versus 2014.”
The start of 2016 has been mixed, with Reckling reporting that DHL Express has still seen strong momentum, but weaker than last year, while Boztepe says DHL Freight has seen double digit growth.
Despite tough economic conditions in Turkey, DHL remains committed to Turkey, and it is one of the company’s 11 key markets to generate growth for its Express division, while Freight is targeting growing at double-digit rates.
Reckling says DHL Express will focus on serving specific sectors. “We already have a very strong know-how and customer base in textile and automotive industry and we also aim to position as the key player in life sciences and healthcare industry. We also see an extremely strong momentum also driven by the SMEs in international e-commerce.”
Boztepe says: “Till the end of the year, DHL Freight’s anticipated growth rate for 2016 is at a low-to-mid double-digit rate. This is, as every year, far-above market growth, which will gain us further market share.”
DHL will continue to invest in Turkey, a country benefitting from an ideal geographical location, which the Express division wants to develop into a regional hub. DHL Express is the only express company to have flights from both of Istanbul’s airports, Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen.
To show its commitment to Sabiha Gokcen, DHL Express has placed a second aircraft at the airport, and has signed a memorandum of understanding to secure an area within the facility at the third Istanbul airport when it is built.
Reckling says: “Since Turkey is located in a critical geographical position, we are intending to further our investments to transform Turkey into a regional hub. Our 60 million Euro investment will support Turkey in becoming a new regional hub connecting Asia, Middle East and Europe.”
DHL Freight also believes Turkey’s location could work in its advantage. Boztepe tells ACW: “Turkey is a country surrounded on three sides by sea and is close to Europe, Africa, Middle East and CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]. But there is an opportunity to take better advantage of this location.”