DHL Express, the global international express services provider, has expanded its network of DHL Service Points in sub-Saharan Africa from the initial 300 to over 1 000, in just a few short months.
The move is an aggressive expansion into the market which is aimed to further cement the company's leading position in Africa, but also to offer local consumers and small businesses an efficient, convenient way of shipping overseas.
The logistics and express company, which is present in 52 sub-Saharan Africa markets, has been looking to improve access for cash and account customers, creating enhanced accessibility for customers and increasing connectivity between African markets and the over 220 countries that DHL currently serves worldwide.
"In our recent 2012 Global Connectedness Index, which measures the state of globalisation around the world, sub-Saharan Africa remained the globe's least connected continent," comments Charles Brewer, managing director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa.
"However, it did average the largest increase from 2010 to 2011 and boasted the top five 'gainers' - Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia. This tells us that there is still major opportunity to improve connectivity across the continent, and access to logistics services and international markets are both key to this improvement."
The logistics operator had also identified the need for increased convenience for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as a recent study by global information and analytics company, IHS, showed that accessibility to international markets was a driver of small business success. "The SME is sector is growing at an amazing pace and this investment will help to connect African SME's to the rest of the world," notes Brewer.
The drive to increase consumer access points has been as a result of a multi-pronged retail strategy which looks at retail offerings from a small spaza shop in South Africa to a telecommunications company in Angola or a post office in Mauritius.
"Africa is a complex market to operate in but we've proven that, with a bit of creativity, you can expand your footprint and provide a way to service the continent's growth," concludes Brewer. "Ensuring the people within Africa can access global markets, and transfer skills, goods and information, means we are able to support and spur on the continued African resurgence. Expanding our retail presence is just the first step."