DB Schenker’s 2020 sustainability strategy is set to bring economic, social and environmental improvements to Kenya’s industrial fabric
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Eddie Clinton
DB Schenker continues to apply its globally-leading logistics expertise on a more local scale in Kenya courtesy of a socially responsible ethos that has helped ingratiate the heavyweight into the region for more than 50 years.
Incepting in the country back in 1966 as Schenker Ltd, last year saw the Company celebrate its 50th anniversary of being fully operational across all areas of international logistics as a functional subsidiary of Schenker AG.
“We operate five offices within Kenya with a branch office in Mombasa, Malaba, Kisumu, Nairobi and a head office at Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” explains the Company. “Schenker Ltd presently offers the full range of international logistics services; besides having all required licenses such as Customs Clearance license, and IATA license. We operate import sea freight consolidations and airfreight consolidations from various European points of origin to Kenya.
“[And] in the area of airfreight export of perishables, we are one of the largest IATA Cargo agents. We operate our own warehouses including three cold stores at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as we have additional warehouses for dry cargo in Nairobi and Kisumu and a further dedicated warehouse for removal goods.”
Always looking to diversify the remit and to meet more and more consumer demands in the country, DB Schenker Kenya has since expanded to offer international door-to-door removal services by both sea and air as a special service; including trucking across the wider East African region.
The Company adds: “Other services offered include: free pre-pack surveys and estimates, local house-to-house moves, office moves, long and short term storage, archiving and documents storage, special car clearance and transport.
We boast of our own well-trained and experienced packing crew, clean branded trucks and a wide range of high quality packing materials, as well as a well-equipped carpentry department.”
Ultimately, the Company is able to offer the same market-leading products and services as it does across the rest of its global footprint; comprising air freight, land transport, contract logistics, ocean freight and eco solutions. And these are carried out across the full spectrum of relevant industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical, consumer, electronics, healthcare, retail and semiconductor/solar energy.
“Being part of the Schenker group with about 95,000 employees worldwide spread across 2,000 locations in more than 130 countries, we are in the unique position to handle most shipments from point to point under the DB Schenker umbrella,” the Company affirms on its website.
Specialised industry expertise
Everything that has been achieved in Kenya reflects back to the wider DB Schenker brand and influence emanating from its headquarters in Germany. Its global network geared around customer service, quality and sustainability has been applied successfully in each new operating region and in Kenya where the country has enjoyed almost unparalleled levels of performance, service and safety.
And this is regardless of complexity, despite the African business climate proving challenging on occasions. Logistical obstacles are plentiful but it hasn’t deterred a Company that has become synonymous with problem solving and innovation.
“We are well equipped for any and all challenges thanks to our robust business model. Merging international markets and increasing flows of goods are challenges we face every day, and at the same time are what drives our business,” the business emphasises. “Our customers, from regional family-owned companies to international corporations, must be able to act with increasing speed and flexibility, and on a global scale; whether in terms of procurement, production or sales markets.
“We have set out to link these markets using environmentally friendly, intercontinental and seamless logistics chains. To do so, we have developed appropriate door-to-door solutions and complex service packages covering the entire value chain.”
Kenya is just one of more than 130 countries around the world that have benefited from the DB Schenker experience, epitomising the Company’s ability to work as part of an international network, but to operate locally.
“We offer integrated services from a single source: seamless transportation chains across all carriers - whether freight train, truck, ship or airplane - combined with complex additional logistical services,” the Company continues. “Thanks to our specialised industry expertise, we have been a partner of the automotive, consumer goods and high-tech industries for years, just to name a few examples. We offer our customers an increasing number of integrated industry solutions in these market segments.”
Ultimately, the balance between local and national allows the business to originate and to be successful anywhere. And alongside its differentiators including diversity, logistics expertise and efficiency, its core advantage remains the Company’s people, and the enhanced levels of customer service that are produced.
“Providing world-class customer service is a DB Schenker key differentiator. Customer loyalty and partnership through innovative solutions is our ultimate goal. Our local customer service representatives combined with support from our global service centre, vertical market teams and client services personnel ensure that you will always enjoy the best possible customer experience.”
Acting sustainably and successfully
By having these philosophies firmly in place, it also facilitates heightened adherence to fluctuating industry trends, and DB Schenker has become renowned for its ability to stay ahead of the sector curve over the years. In recent times, much of this ethos has revolved around the growing awareness of and demand for climate protection.
The Company details: “In a time in which environmental consciousness is increasingly becoming a social responsibility, we help our customers improve their environmental footprint. DB Schenker’s climate protection activities are an integral component of DB’s Climate Protection Programme 2020. This programme aims to cut the DB Group’s specific CO2 emissions - emissions from transport services - by an additional 20 percent worldwide between 2006 and 2020. This target is based on achievements made in recent years: DB has already reduced its specific CO2 emissions from rail transport by more than 40 percent since 1990.
“The logistics sector has defined specific savings targets in all business units, for example in optimising fleets and improving the energy efficiency of buildings and facilities.”
Sustainable freight forwarding is now the linchpin from which DB Schenker’s operations flourish; focusing on the sparing use of resources, energy efficiency and the aforementioned reduction of CO2 emissions as part of the Company’s 2020 goals.
“Our strategy sets the foundation for the sustainable success of DB Schenker. It encompasses every dimension of sustainability: economic success, social responsibility, and environmental protection,” the Company concludes. “By 2020, we will be a profitable market leader and hold top positions in our target markets. Building on our long-term financial stability we will continue to invest in growth markets, new business and the expertise of our employees. We will deliver innovative products based on high performing processes and IT systems so that our customers remain completely satisfied with our leading-edge networks and industry solutions.
“By 2020, we will be the eco-pioneer of our industry. Our green product portfolio and expertise in eco-consulting are at the heart of our strategy. They deliver a clear competitive advantage for our customers and for us. DB Schenker will be considered the benchmark in terms of carbon and energy efficiency.
“Our strategy for 2020 encompasses all dimensions of acting sustainably and successfully. It will assure that economic, social, and environmental aspects are in harmony. With our strategy, we are well positioned and set to make our common vision a reality.”