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DHL Freight announces Christmas Courier Surcharge

By Chris Dawson July 18, 2019 - 11:16 am

With the two days of Prime Day 2019 behind us, it has undoubtedly put pressure on Amazon Logistics and Amazon’s third party courier partners and the current shortage of drivers has already led DHL Freight to announce an average 4% Christmas courier surcharge. The Christmas courier surcharge won’t impact last mile deliveries to customers, but could have an effect on your incoming delivery costs as you replenish stock.

Forecasting similar demand for road freight to that in last year’s peak season, the DHL Freight Christmas Courier Surcharge will run for the whole peak season from September to December and will apply to full-truckload (FTL), part-truckload (PTL) and less than-truckload (LTL) transport in Europe. They say that the Christmas Courier Surcharge will enable DHL Freight to provide their customers with the highest quality of service even as demand continues to outpace available capacity.

In previous year’s we’ve seen courier struggle to cope with demand and in some cases, such as Yodel, refuse to allow large retailer customers to exceed their forecast demands in order to protect their services for SME customers. While DHL Freight’s surcharge is for haulage rather than last mile deliveries, with driver shortages across Europe they may not be the only carrier to put constraints or surcharges on the peak season transport industry.

“The shortage of drivers and constantly increasing road freight demand are further constraining the available capacity. We therefore expect capacity challenges similar in 2018. We have and will secure additional capacities for our customers. However, to ensure the high level of service quality and reliability our customers expect, we have to add a Peak Season Surcharge of average 4%.”
– Martin Leopold, CSO, DHL Freight

To manage the growing capacity constraints, DHL Freight has also launched a driver recruitment initiative. The pilot project is currently running at five locations in Germany. More than 50 truck drivers have been hired, and 30 brand new high-technology trucks have been deployed so far. If the concept proves successful, DHL Freight will aim to create up to 500 new jobs in Europe. The even greater expected demand for this year’s peak season clearly shows the need for such initiatives.

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