November 10, 2008
As of January 30th, 2009 the small parcel shipping market just got a lot less competitive. Logistics provider DHL plans to exit the ground and air express markets in the U.S. and focus all U.S. resources solely on the international market (import/export) business.
DHL entered the U.S. market to do battled with the more established players (UPS and FedEx) when it bought Airborne Express in 2003. DHL had previously committed to the U.S. market in early 2008; however, industry watchers saw the writing on the wall early in the year after a variety of reports surfaced about DHL outsourcing its air fright to UPS.
DHL's exit from the U.S. market will likely not benefit the pocketbooks of most shippers. DHL had carved out a small market as a low-cost carrier, with prices that routinely beat UPS and FedEX. Let's hope that with the sluggish shipping market that UPS and FedEx adjust rates; however, recent rate increase notifications are a harbinger of what could be significantly less competition. For consistent users of DHL, analysts indicate that you should pay particular attention to service levels between now and January 30th.
For Shipwire users, we will be removing DHL as a shipping option and automatically presenting users with comparable DHL alternative shipping options to try and limit the business impact. If you are a DHL affiliate maybe consider becoming a Shipwire shipping affiliate.