Global | 27.11.2020
Our response to Covid-19
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"Connecting People, Improving Lives" is Deutsche Post DHL Group's mission and guides always our effort to become exemplary corporate citizens.
In this critical global health crisis, our Logistics services and our worldwide network play a critical role, also in saving lives – whether it is by sending emergency medical equipment and supplies to healthcare workers; delivering necessity goods to private customers; or by finding solutions for companies to continue their operations.
Against the backdrop of the global Covid-19 outbreak, Deutsche Post DHL Group business operations are being continuously adapted to mitigate potential impacts. As a globally operating company, epidemic and pandemic risk scenarios are an integral part of the Group's continuous risk planning. The Group follows a holistic management process that enables our business units to ensure the best possible operations for our customers even in an emergency.
The safety of our employees and customers is paramount. In order to closely monitor and manage the Coronavirus outbreak, a Deutsche Post DHL Group Coronavirus task force has been established, led by the Group’s CEO. The Group’s task force also coordinates with international organizations (such as the WHO, CDC, ECDC and Robert Koch Institute) and provides the necessary information to all employees and relevant operations.
The Group’s task force
- meets weekly and updates top management on the evolution of the situation
- ensures that our organizations in all countries we operate follow protocols of official authorities, both international organizations and local country health authority advisories (whichever sets the strictest rule)
- discusses and approves measures as the situation unfolds
- facilitates cross-divisional knowledge and best practice sharing
Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our employees and customers. We follow all official recommendations, and we are committed to respond to the call for cohesion and solidarity to prevent the spread of the disease.
Our Group Business Continuity Policy offers global guidelines for our operations in 220 countries. Every day, everywhere, to stop the spread of the disease:
- We promote a "Safety First" approach
- We encourage flexible work arrangements, adapted to different roles
- We have limited global business travel to a minimum
- We postponed all non-business essential events and trainings
In addition, each business unit developed and internally communicated additional measures fitting distinctive country needs or division-specific requirements.
We regularly update our employees via internal media, as well as via our local management teams. We publish updated information as it becomes available to reduce exposure to and transmission of the Coronavirus.
As a globally operating company with approximately 550,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, we ensure our country organizations operate in accordance with the protocols of official authorities, both international organizations and local country health authority advisories, whichever sets the strictest rules.
- The Group's Coronavirus task force coordinates the implementation of accurate and tailor-made Business Continuity Planning to local conditions, and immediate response and monitoring.
- Each of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s divisions manages its operations to ensure, to the extent possible, an undisrupted service to our customers. All our divisions are mobilizing Business Continuity Plans, including pandemic operating plans, and implementing preventive actions as appropriate.
- Operational updates in specific countries will be communicated on a country-by-country basis and by the respective business unit.
In case you need further specific detail about the current operational status in your country or for a specific DHL business unit, please contact your account manager or customer service representative.
Every Day, Everywhere, Working to Stop the Spread of the Disease
What is Deutsche Post DHL Group doing to protect employees? Is it safe for couriers to still be working?
The safety and well-being of all of our employees is paramount to us and we are introducing several measures at a local level to safeguard our employees against infection. Hand and scanner sanitization is being performed as often as necessary. If local health authorities or local DHL management have instructed the use of masks and/or gloves, then they will be used as instructed. We are also advising couriers who share vehicles that keys, locks and vehicle controls that are touched by hand also be sanitized.
Can the virus be transmitted via my package/Shipment? Has someone with the virus come into contact with my shipment?
According to the WHO and the Robert Koch Institute, there is no conclusive evidence that an infection with any type of coronavirus is possible through contact with objects or packages, including those arriving from areas where cases have been reported. In addition, we are encouraging our workers and couriers to sanitize regularly and after each customer contact.
Are there any concrete preventive measures which employees must follow, particularly delivery staff?
Our operating procedures and precautionary measures are based on the recommendations and protocols of official authorities, both international organizations and local country health authority advisories, whichever sets the strictest rules.
Aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) and Robert Koch Institute, we recommend good hygiene habits, correct coughing etiquette and keeping social distance. For regions and operational sites with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases, we coordinate our procedures with the relevant health authorities and follow the recommendations of the official health advisories.
Are you still hiring employees and how is the application and onboarding process working in current times?
Deutsche Post DHL Group continues to fill vacancies according to demand. Maintaining supply chains and delivering letters and parcels is essential in the current situation to secure supplies in Germany. Our employees make an enormous contribution to this every day with their tireless efforts. The application process at Deutsche Post DHL Group has basically not changed.
We are currently increasingly conducting virtual job interviews and have had very positive experiences with them. We are adapting the induction of new colleagues to the current situation depending on their job profile.
Shipping International and Domestic
Can Deutsche Post DHL Group ensure service levels to critical suppliers in, at least, countries where we operate and have "Mission Critical" or "essential service" status?
"Critical supplier", "mission critical" or "essential service" are not a globally aligned terms with worldwide aligned rights or obligations during a crisis. Hence, in the absence of an international definition and alignment, we cannot guarantee this at a global level.
Even in countries where we do have a special status, we cannot prevent local authorities stopping parts of our business (if new regulations are developed to mitigate COVID-19 at local level). The situation changes very rapidly, and we are adapting as the situation unfolds.
Besides any formal status of our own operations, the circumstances (e.g. closed borders, long waiting time at customs, limited transport capacity) put limitations to our business
Nevertheless, we are fully committed to do our utmost to maintain all operations to the extent possible, and so far, at a global level, we continue serving our customers.
Why aren’t you allowing me to ship face masks from A to B? Why did my shipment of protective gear get stopped?
Some governments have placed limits on personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks being exported outside of their borders. As this is a matter for local legislation, DHL must adhere to these rules and restrictions. As the situation on the ground is changing rapidly, we recommend getting in touch with your local DHL team for more information on local measures, please find the customer support contacts by country here:
Where can I find out more about current restrictions (legal & customs, shipping capacity) in international shipping?
In this fluid situation, we are putting every effort in keeping our customers and other partners updated to our best knowledge. For updates affecting specific divisions, please check the links below:
DHL Express: https://www.simplydhl.com/covid-19updates
DHL Global Forwarding: https://www.dhl.com/global-en/home/our-divisions/global-forwarding.html
DHL Freight: https://dhl-freight-connections.com/en/covid-19
Each of our divisions manages its operations to guarantee, to the extent possible, an undisrupted service to our customers due to COVID-19.
Please contact your account manager or sales representative for detailed and updated information. You will also find in the link below customer support teams by country:
All our DHL customs teams are working as usual. Countries’ official authorities’ customs clearance procedures and speed may be altered due to the COVID-19 crisis situation.
DHL Express' intercontinental network, including the global hubs in Cincinnati (Americas), Leipzig (Europe) and Hong Kong (Asia Pacific) are in full operation. We continue to operate globally for our customers, while adhering to the various country- and government-specific health measures.
For detailed country information, please have a look here:
For information on how Express shipping times might be affected by the current global situation, please head to our service Information page on coronavirus https://www.simplydhl.com/covid-19updates , where you can see updated delivery times.
How long will Express hold customer packages if recipient businesses are closed? And what is the formal process before you return a shipment?
As per our global service operations guidelines we hold shipments for seven days, or even longer if we have an “Agreed Delivery” date. We will not charge for this storage. Before we return a shipment we always contact the shipper first for new instructions. We can reroute to an alternative address, return or even dispose of the shipment. We are however monitoring the situation closely based on impacted volumes, and we will adjust our approach where needed.
With the long lead-times in Ocean Freight, how do you make sure my shipments do not get stranded, once the destination region is facing lock-downs?
We are in constant contact with all our DHL Global Forwarding customers whose shipments we are currently handling. We will inform regularly about delays or change in routing, and will work on solutions to arrange for alternative delivery or storage should the consignee facility at destination not being able to receive the goods. We will work on this proactively, with full transparency, customer specific.
Due to the severely restricted air capacity in the market, we have been working hard with our airline partners and put solid solutions, including a dedicated charter network, in place. DHL Global Forwarding reserves the right to modify all or part of its air freight services, to change its working procedures and the agreed rates, to charge surcharges or otherwise to take measures to adjust its business operations and obligations towards customers to the then prevailing circumstances arising as a consequence due to outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID -19).
Do you see any capacity restrictions in Ocean Freight, similar to the current situation in Air Freight?
In DHL Global Forwarding, we do see equipment and capacity restrictions on some lanes in Ocean Freight, and we are proactively monitoring and managing the situation to ensure business continuity for our customers.
Yes, DHL Rail services are continuously operating for Full Container Load (FCL) and Less Container Load (LCL) shipments between China and Europe. Due to high demand, where DHL increased rail capacities, we recommend customers to place bookings as early as possible. For specific solutions or questions please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently we see no limitations. We are monitoring the situation constantly and adopt our measures continuously to meet our service promise. We are providing a daily updated regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our DHL Freight operations and the transportation of your goods on https://dhl-freight-connections.com/en/covid-19/.
Warehousing and Contract Logistics
What is DHL Supply Chain division doing to mitigate the risks to operations associated with COVID-19?
We continue to work with our customers to secure capacity and operations, monitoring the situation both globally and locally to ensure we respond to guidance from worldwide Health Authority advisories and comply with any requirements set out by Government bodies worldwide.
All sites are reviewing Business Continuity Plans, including pandemic operating plans, and implementing preventive actions including split-shifts and/or alternative site working, working from home and body temperature screening.
All sites have implemented social distancing measures, enhanced hygiene and more robust cleaning processes. Face to face meetings have been replaced by virtual meetings.
What plans are in place to deal with business disruption due to high levels of personnel absenteeism in DHL Supply Chain sites?
An operation of our size is well prepared to move and scale resource to adapt to dynamic situations. All our divisions are mobilizing their respective Business Continuity Plans, including pandemic operating plans, and implementing preventive actions as appropriate. These include daily updates to reduce exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus, self-quarantine precautionary measures in line with official authorities’ guidance, flexible working schedules, and a travel ban.
In line with regional government and health authority advice, visitors are being restricted, controlled and even prohibited. This includes visits from customers, suppliers and colleagues who are normally based at other sites.
What measures has DHL Supply Chain applied to drivers visiting (delivering to or picking up from) DHL sites from cross-border locations?
Wherever possible, advanced route planning allows us to identify vehicles/drivers arriving from cross border locations and to implement protocols to minimize cross border driver contact such as drop trailer and driver loading/unloading segregation. Such measures are implemented on a site basis according to specific geographic circumstances.
Our offices, facilities and sites will remain open and operational to support our customers subject to the instruction of local authorities.
We contact customers directly to advise where facilities may need to close to support local authority requirements. Please speak to your usual customer services contact for details of specific sites.
For Additional Information on Our Divisions, Please Visit Our Divisional Specific Pages
- DHL Express
- DHL eCommerce Solutions
- DHL Global Forwarding
- DHL Freight
- DHL Supply Chain
- Post & Parcel Germany: Private Customer, Business Customer
For Customer Support contacts, please click here