DB Schenker to launch European-wide express service through GLS partnership
17 / 09 / 2015
DB Schenker Logistics will enter the European-wide express market through a partnership with a parcel service provider as forwarders continue counter express operator incursions into their market.
The German logistics giant this morning announced it had struck up a European-wide partnership with the GLS Group, which will allow it to expand its parcel service across the continent.
In turn, GLS will be able to expand its offer of freight services by gaining access to Schenker’s pallet operation.
GLS chief executive Rico Back said: “Freight customers are increasingly requesting parcel services. GLS already works together with many freight companies and networks, including DB Schenker Logistics on a national level.
“By signing the cooperation agreement, we have extended our cooperation to include the European economic area.”
Schenker board member for land transport Ewald Kaiser added: “Driven by e-commerce, the European parcel market offers excellent growth opportunities.”
The forwarder said the expansion of the product range also meets customer demand for an all-in-one solution.
Some industry commentators have suggested that one of the reasons forwarders have lost marketshare to integrators is because of their ability to offer a single, easy to use solution.
Meanwhile, weak economic conditions have left forwarders to explore new opportunities for growth.
“This [deal] means that with DB Schenker Logistics, customers now have a single logistics partner that can provide everything from parcel services to part and full-load solutions," Kaiser said.
“The cooperation thus complements DB SL’s own parcel service in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland.”
GLS covers 37 countries in Europe with its parcel services. GLS has its own freight networks in Belgium and the Netherlands.
“But we also have customers in other countries who would like to send freight or pallets through us. Therefore, the non-exclusive cooperation under which DB Schenker Logistics will handle part-load consignments is an ideal solution for our customers,” Back said.
Under the cooperation agreement, DB Schenker Logistics will manage parts of the transport chain itself and in general will collect parcels together with freight from customers. GLS provides further transport and delivery to businesses and their end customers.
The implementation of the cooperation will start on January 1, 2016, initially in Germany and then step by step across Europe.
The move comes shortly after DHL Express Europe chief executive John Pearson told Air Cargo News that he didn’t expect air cargo and air forwarders to win back marketshare lost to integrators over the last five years.
Other forwarders are also making moves to try and counter the threat from express.
Geodis is offering e-commerce solutions and was on the verge of launching a business-to-consumer service through its road freight and distribution division.
It had also simplified its airfreight services into three separate products; ‘air fast’, ‘air save’ and ‘air flex’.
Kuehne+Nagel launched its FreightNet solution, which is an online booking portal, last year, while the wider industry has acknowledged it needs to develop its online offering.