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Export Opinion: Q&A with DHL Express General Manager

China General Interest

China Now talks to DHL Express General Manager, Derek Anderson.

Are there any specific additional freight risks when importing or exporting to China, as opposed to markets with more advanced logistics systems (e.g. security, tracing goods, and damage)? How can these best be managed from New Zealand?

Logistics is a risk business no matter where in the world one is operating. China is rapidly modernising its systems and along with that the security around the supply chain infrastructure. However risks are a consideration and it is important to choose reputable long standing freight partners with significant “skin in the game” in order to minimise security risks. Our company has been in China for decades, with hundreds of millions of dollars being invested there in recent times.

With the FTA in place, we’re likely to see more and more Kiwi exporters sending their products to China. So customs clearings times vary for different types of products or depending on what province you are entering?

Customs clearance can be problematic in China, although the authorities are aware of this and are actively responding to lobbying from companies to streamline process and reduce the impact of bureaucratic interventions. There are still variations in requirements and processing times so for this reason we urge exporters to China to work with our dedicated China trade lane experts to determine optimum routing, documentary requirements and how best to comply with regulation.

Will the Olympic Games disrupt the flow of goods into and through China in any way?

The Olympics will have an impact on supply chains, especially in respect of heightened security. DHL has mobilised a multi national, dedicated team of staff to prepare contingency plans for dealing with both the Olympics and Special Olympics to ensure minimal disruption to track flows.

What are some of the common mistakes NZ imports/exports make when first sending products to/from China?

Not investing enough time and effort in understanding the markets, culture, language and practices. There is no substitute for doing ones homework diligently, exercising extreme caution in business dealings and building strong in market relationships. There are also no guarantees! However, there is more and more help available from the likes of DHL, NZTE and China business pioneers such as Ken Stevens of Glidepath.

Do you have any advice for New Zealand business on how they can maximize the efficiency of their New Zealand-China supply chain?

Do your homework and work with reputable companies who can demonstrate that they have successfully done what exporters were urged to do. Make the most of the resources available to inform yourself and prepare thoroughly.

Tags: fta