The parcel delivery is a bright spot in the further worrisome issues of the Swiss mail, The thriving online trade ensures strong growth. The yellow giant dominates the market. Eight of the ten packages are taken to the front door by a postman. But now a financially strong competitor is entering the market. DHL, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, wants to challenge the market share of top Swiss dogs.
Until now, DHL mainly focused on deliveries from abroad and to Swiss business customers. From mid-September, the Germans want to make large-scale use of Swiss domestic parcel shipments to private households. For this they have founded the DHL Parcel Switzerland company. Günter Birnstingl, who already manages the Austrian activities of DHL, also becomes the head of the Swiss unit.
With Deutsche Post in his back, Birnstingl has long-term plans for the local market, he emphasizes. DHL focuses on deliveries the day after the order. The number of such fast deliveries is growing the fastest and is becoming more and more standard in Swiss online trade. Swiss Post delivers half of its packages the next day. In total, it added approximately 130 million packages last year, an increase of nearly eight million in just one year.
DHL wants to undercut the market leader with their new offers in the prizes. "We offer our customers a cost advantage over the competition with comparable performance," says Günter Birnstingl.
Traders have long hoped for more competition
This suits the Swiss mail order companies. Although they pay for the post office service, but the increasingly fierce competition with foreign traders such as Amazon, Zalando and the Chinese AliExpress lower prices would be very useful, says Patrick Kessler, president of the Swiss mail order organization. "We have long searched for an additional relevant parcel delivery service, which stimulates competition in Switzerland." Such a logistics service provider will put pressure on the prices of parcel shipments.
In addition to Swiss Post, DPD is particularly active in the packing trade in Switzerland. According to our own data, the company has a market share of 10 percent. The delivery to business customers is the considerably larger part, says a spokesperson.
The purchase of the bank becomes even easier for the customers as a result of the increased competition. In the Swiss city centers DHL wants to offer delivery on Saturdays and up to 20 hours without surcharge. Swiss Post calculates online retailers for additional costs, which are often passed on to customers. DHL also builds a network of more than 1,000 service centers where customers can pick up and deliver packages. In addition to independent retailers also chains, including supermarkets Spar.
The better and cheaper the service, the more customers buy on the internet, so the hope of online retailers. The growth figures in online trading are already high. Last year, according to the GFK market research institute, the sales volume rose by 10 percent. An end to the uptrend is not in sight. Internet purchases represent less than 8 percent of the total Swiss retail trade. This leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Despite the faster growing competition from abroad, online retail is still dominated by Swiss providers. According to GFK, more than 80 percent of the turnover is realized by domestic companies. The market leader is by far the Digitec Galaxus from Migros. Archrival Coop only manages to reach sixth place with Microspot. But the Basler wants to start an offensive with a new online logistics center and the expansion of Microspot. The strong Swiss providers are one of the reasons why DHL relies on the domestic market.
DHL prints at the post office in Austria
Meanwhile, the expansion of DHL in Switzerland is uncomfortable for Swiss Post. While the letter activities and profit at subsidiary Postfinance are decreasing, parcel shipping runs smoothly. By 2020, Swiss Post intends to invest around 150 million francs in the construction of three new regional logistics centers. The state-owned company expects further growth in profit in the division as a result of continued growth.
The Germans can spoil the postal service. In our neighboring country DHL is a strong competitor for the local mail. "We started three years ago in Austria, where DHL already has a market share of 25 percent", says Günter Birnstingl.
Created: 01.09.2018, 21:17
«Package transport is cheaper for private customers»
Günter Birnstingl wants to gain market share in Switzerland quickly with DHL.
Günter Birnstingl, CEO of DHL Parcel Switzerland. Picture: Thorsten Scherz
What is DHL planning with the Swiss company?
DHL significantly expands its presence in Switzerland. So far, we have mainly supplied companies within Switzerland with DHL Express. With the newly established Swiss company DHL Parcel Switzerland, we deliver to households from September.
Why does DHL Parcel make important contributions to the Swiss market?
The Swiss like to shop inland. They are much more patriotic than Austrians or Germans. The Swiss webshops therefore have a strong market position. We want to take advantage of this. We expect Swiss online trade to grow annually with double digits.
Why do Swiss online retailers have to rely on DHL instead of on the Swiss Post?
We have shown in other countries, such as Austria, that we can convince with our service and so quickly gain market share. Our packages are delivered the day after the order. Customers can also set up a delivery request. Our goal is to become a strong number two in Switzerland.
The post office also offers fast deliveries and requested days. Will DHL beat the prices of the post office?
We want to convince with quality and not with dumped prices. But we offer customers a cost advantage over the competition with comparable performance. DHL Parcel stimulates competition as a strong player on the market. Moreover, online shopping must be more attractive to consumers. Firstly, we deliver at no extra cost in the Zurich region, also on Saturdays and until 8 pm. We are constantly extending this service to other metropolitan areas.
Where does DHL Parcel deliver with the standard range?
We will offer our service throughout Switzerland. This means that we also deliver all Swiss addresses in the countryside and in mountain valleys.
Can I also send private packages within Switzerland?
Yes, that will soon be possible at all our DHL service points. The price depends on the size of the package and not on the weight. Sending packages is in many cases cheaper for private individuals.
Swiss Post has more than 2000 jobs where I can pick up my package when I miss the delivery. How does DHL want to track it?
We start with 400 DHL service points. These will work for us at petrol stations, pharmacies, bakeries and other retailers. They have attractive opening times and good accessibility. We will expand this network to more than 1000 in the next one to two years. Spar is currently the largest strategic partner in such service points.
How many jobs are created by the expansion in Switzerland?
A three-digit number of employees will be added over the next two years.
Erich Bürgler spoke with Günter Birnstingl (Sunday newspaper)