DHL Express has earmarked Botswana for its second phase of its new retail partnership with Engen, to provide customers with better access to their global express services.
This move will make DHL services accessible to customers wishing to send and/or receive items to and/or from across the world by using the nearest Engen service station. Currently DHL shipments spread to over 220 countries worldwide.
DHL Senior Manager – Marketing and Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa, Lee Nelson said that the partnership was initiated a few months ago and is the result of months of planning and consultation. “The partnership allows both brands an opportunity to widen their service offering – for DHL to expand our footprint, and for Engen to provide a more comprehensive service to their customers,” he explained.
He further said, “Outside of the brand awareness and synergies for both brands, Engen will benefit from a commission structure on the product, like all our other retail partners. For DHL, an increased footprint usually means increased shipments and revenue.”
Consumers will also be able to take advantage of DHL’s new product offering, Express Easy, which provides an easy way to send documents or parcels by opting to send an envelope or one of seven box sizes which have set prices as opposed to a rate based on the weight of the parcel.
The deal will start with a pilot project in four Engen service stations in Windhoek, Namibia. Nelson said that they were not sure how long the pilot project will take and that, “Ideally we would like to start rolling out the other markets like DRC, Botswana, Tanzania in the next few months.”
On whether they will employ their own staff to help customers in Engen service stations, he said they will train the existing Engen staff in a comprehensive induction programme, to ensure that they are well-versed in the DHL product range.
Quizzed on DHL’s performance in the Botswana market, Nelson said that they were unfortunately in their quiet period and he could not release figures. “However, our Botswana business is faring well and our cash (retail) business is growing at a strong rate,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, was quoted in the African Press Organisation publication as saying that the DHL, Engen deal would have a great impact on consumers across the continent.
The express logistics industry, and specifically retail services for consumers and small and medium enterprises, are becoming hugely important in Africa. For us to better service this market and open up global opportunities for students, small business owners and general consumers, we needed to both increase access to our express products but, simultaneously, make it easier and more affordable to use them. Engen is therefore an obvious partner for us – they are not only a solid African business but have an extensive retail network across the continent, which can benefit consumers,” he said.