Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express with Webb Ellis Cup

Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express with Webb Ellis Cup

Speaking to The Hub yesterday DHL Express boss Phil Couchman was in fine form when talking about DHL's role as the official logistics partner of the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Although the Australian, who grew up on the west coast, is a former Aussie Rules man - a version of the game described by a colleague here as an organized fight, and by Couchman himself as so tough "I don't think anyone plays it over the age of 28" - it was clear that Express's CEO was getting a buzz from being around former World Cup Union-code winners such as England's Lawrence Dallaglio and New Zealand's Grant Fox at the launch event.

Couchman wouldn't be drawn on just how much DHL has had to cough up to be logistics partner, but mega events such as the Olympics and the Football World Cup aside, getting involved with a sport that has steadily continued to increase its global appeal since the game turned professional in the 1990s would appear money well spent - the 2011 final was watched by a global audience of 102 million, for example.

It's especially canny, as DHL Express is expected to complete the disposal of its same day UK services to Rico today, a move that will see it focus on its same day international offer (although it will continue providing time definite domestic and day definite services).

Couchman described the partnership with the Rugby World Cup as "a great platform" for DHL to showcase just what it can do. And with a commitment to transport team equipment from around the world to the 13 match venues in England and Wales as logistics partner to the competition, what better way to promote your intentional business capability?


Driving forward

Couchman had his game-face on and told The Hub there was "nothing but upside" to the Express business at the moment. International work is apparently very solid as the UK and Europe return to growth and gain back lost ground, much like a lumbering pack driving forwards.

Couchman explained that the operator is seeing a lot of potential from the opportunities e-commerce has provided, and is actively encouraging individuals and small businesses to cut out the middle man and make use of its services to deliver their product direct to customers via Express.

Short-term, things are busy. "We're gearing up for peak, staffing up and seeing it [increased activity] in our numbers," added Couchman, describing a business very much up on its feet again and running with the ball.