DHL, Singapore



battle against sunrise
crew ground sort out
deliver logistics turnaround (2)
board freight make sure
freight challenge as soon as possible
spare enable spare parts
track (2) precisely track down
transit region monitor (2)
ash dispatch disruption
smooth interfere underestimate
intra- estimate proportion
blend reliable  speaks volumes
hub recover commerce
indeed exclusive






It’s just after sunrise at Singapore International Airport and workers at the DHL package center are starting their daily battle against time.

A jumbo jet from Hong Kong has just landed.

Ground crews are unloading the 80 tons of freight on board. They need to sort and empty dozens of containers.

About 4,000 packages and express mail envelops have to be delivered to offices and homes before noon.

It’s a logistical challenge.

And it’s Brad Harris’s job to make sure that it happens.

Brad Harris, DHL Express Singapore General Manage: “We bring it to the customers as soon as possible. They need their documents for their board meetings, or spare parts for the factories for manufacturing.

So our challenge is to get it there as soon as possible.”

And this freight has been picked up all over Asia, five or six o’clock in the afternoon of the previous day. So we’re doing all this within a 14 or 15 hour turnaround time period.”

The Singapore package center handles all DHL packages coming from or going to Southeast Asia. Last year that was more than 11 million items.

Packages are registered at every handling station, which enables the customer to precisely track their location.

The boss at the DHL Center in Singapore is John Pearson. He’s worked at the logistics company for more than 20 years. Pearson directs DHL operations in the entire Asia-Pacific region, which is the company’s most important growth market worldwide.

Trade with Europe has been declining.

John Pearson, DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO: “It’s absolutely important that we’ve got the best intra-regional transit times and service levels.

Several countries have the high proportion of the kilos they move are moving intra-Asia: from China to India or from China to Thailand.

So Asia is absolutely where it’s at for years to come, certainly.”

DHL operates about 350 flights a day, just in the Asia-Pacific region. A control center monitors all those movements.

Dispatchers must be prepared to react immediately to any disruptions in international air traffic. Disruptions like the clouds of volcanic ash that have been interfering with flights in Europe.

John Pearson: “Time is what they’re really buying, but the blend of time and reliability is perhaps even more important for some customers it’s everything that it’s there—right at the minute they’re expecting it to be there.

And so yeah. We never underestimate the importance of time.”

Today, everything is going smoothly.

DHL’s fleet of delivery trucks leave the airport on time to begin their rounds in the various parts of the city.

Singapore is one of the world’s most important logistics hubs.

Ships and airplanes from here depart for more than 200 countries around the world.

A major center of finance and commerce, Singapore has quickly recovered from the economic crisis.

In the first quarter of 2010, it’s economy grew by more than 13%. And the boom isn’t just limited to the island state.

John Pearson: “China, India and Korea are leading that recovery. They were certainly the first out of it, towards the back end of last year and they are performing very strongly indeed now.”

That means business for shipping and air freight has also recovered and is now growing just as fast as it was before the crisis.

DHL in Singapore recently opened a new service center just for customers in the oil and gas industry. It provides specialized solutions for the transport of large and expensive machinery and equipment.

More than 200 experts here work exclusively on contracts for the energy resources industry, a multibillion euro market.

Sam Ang, DHL Global Forwarding Sout East Asia CEO: “As recently as two weeks ago, a major oil company in Singapore built a petro-chemical complex with an investment of $3 billion.

That speaks volumes for the size of the industry that we are looking at.”

The recovery of Asia’s developing economies is good news for the German logistics company as well as for the city-state of Singapore.

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1. The DHL Singapore Center is always extremely busy. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Fast delivery service is vital to all sorts of businesses. Yes or no?

3. Do airplanes fly and deliver from city to city, for example from Honk Kong to Urumqi, Tokyo to Bangkok and Seoul to Jakarta?

4. Can customers find out if where their parcels are?

5. Is DHL headquartered in Singapore? Since it is a German-based company, Europe is their most important market. Is this true or false?

6. For the customers, is money the most important thing?

7. Does DHL only transport and deliver small boxes and envelops?
A. Our company uses DHL (or UPS or FedEx). Yes or no? Is it very important for business?

B. Do you or other people use DHL to deliver online purchases?

C. I always see DHL, UPS and FedEx delivery vans in my city. True or false?

D. Do any of your friends work for a parcel delivery service? What is it like there? Would you like to work for DHL?

E. What will happen in the future?

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