DHL pulls out of express, parcel ventures with NZ Post

Global logistics giant DHL is pulling out of its joint venture express courier and parcel businesses with New Zealand Post. The companies have been working together for eight years through the New Zealand-based business Express Couriers Ltd and Parcel Direct Group, which owns Couriers Please Pty Ltd in Australia.

After a strategy review, DHL has decided to sell its 50% stake in the businesses to New Zealand Post, which said today it has agreed to the acquisition.

The deal will make the companies wholly-owned subsidiaries of New Zealand Post, but will leave New Zealand Post and DHL Express continuing to work together under a new commercial agreement linking the express delivery operations of DHL Express internationally with the two New Zealand Post units domestically.

New Zealand Post Group chief executive Brian Roche said for his company the acquisition was a strategic purchase given the growth in the parcel and courier segments of the business.

“Express delivery is a core element of our current and future strategy,” he said. “We continue to observe a dramatic decline in the amount of letter mail in our traditional postal network at the same time parcel and courier volumes are growing steadily, on the back of growth in e-tailing and e-trading.”

Having full control of Express Couriers and will allow New Zealand Post to better match its product offerings to customers’ needs and explore stronger links with the postal network, Roche added.

Ventures

Express Couriers Ltd was formed in 2004 from the New Zealand Post courier and freight operations, before becoming part of the DHL joint venture in early 2005.

Express Couriers offers DHL Express delivery services in New Zealand, connecting to the DHL global network, and also uses brands including CourierPost, Pace, Contract Logistics and Roadstar.

The firm is one of the largest in the New Zealand market, competing against major rival Freightways, with a fleet of 913 vans and 158 trucks, as well as more than 2,000 staff.

Couriers Please was acquired by New Zealand Post in the year 2000, and included within the Parcel Direct Group joint venture formed with DHL Express in 2008.

The company has a network of more than 550 self-employed couriers and 150 in-house staff in hubs in sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, handling around 8m parcels each year in Australia.

The move by DHL comes as part of a realigning of the company around the world to pull out of certain domestic operations within countries including China, the UK, Canada and the USA in recent years, to focus on cross-border business.

Deutsche Post DHL spokesman Daniel McGrath told Post&Parcel today that DHL Express was changing the way it worked with Express Couriers and Couriers Please in order to focus more on its international time-definite services.

“We’re moving from a joint venture relationship to a contracted relationship but we will continue to work with both these companies, we will use them as suppliers for our DHL Express operations in New Zealand and Australia,” said McGrath.

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