Deutsche Post DHL chief executive is optimistic about initial signs of economic recovery
- All four business units in the U.S. poised for growth
- Free trade key to sustainable growth
In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL, the world's largest mail and logistics company, said he is optimistic about initial signs of world economic recovery.
"The worst seems to be over, and there are clear signs of an economic comeback on the horizon," said Appel at a luncheon that was sponsored by the National Chamber Foundation.
Deutsche Post DHL has a unique vantage point on economic activity. The company moves more than one billion shipments per year, serves more than 220 countries and territories and has about 500,000 employees worldwide. In the U.S., DHL's four major business units employ more than 34,000 employees.
Appel said DHL is prepared for growth in all four business units in the U.S. - Express, its international courier service, DHL Global Forwarding, its air and ocean freight business, DHL Global Mail, which provides mail solutions and is one of the largest "work share" partners for the United States Postal Service, and its Exel division which manages the entire supply chain - from warehousing to distribution - for customers.
A strong player in the U.S. market
"Let me repeat it loud and clear: DHL is and will remain a strong player in the U.S. market," Appel said. Appel emphasized that free trade is a key component of sustainable economic growth, making it vital that governments around the world work toward reducing or modifying trade barriers, such as customs duties and competing trade regulations.
The DHL CEO said he supports President Barack Obama's national export initiative which aims to double U.S. exports in the next five years. Abiding with existing trade agreements is a critical element of this initiative as is eliminating non-tariff barriers.
He urged the U.S. to conclude pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. "It would be a 'win' for American business and the American consumer."
However, continued high levels of unemployment, potential economic protectionism and still skyrocketing levels of public debt on both sides of the Atlantic could hurt this still fragile recovery. That's why Appel said it's vital for all companies, not just DHL, to keep operations and cost structures "lean and flexible."