The managing director of DHL International, Basil Akinbinu, has told journalists that the reason why DHL is expensive is because it provides valuable services for money.
The managing director made this disclosure during a short working lunch at the Café de la Rose, in Freetown, with some members of the media to celebrate their 20 years anniversary of operating in Sierra Leone.
Mr Basil Akinbinu explained that, “when a parcel or letter is being sent by DHL, the customer has nothing to worry about because his or her package will be delivered and on time”.
He said today’s business dealt with speed and DHL had the capacity to compete with any company all around the world.
The managing director told journalists that 20 years when DHL operations started in Sierra Leone, it was in a small office space within the building of Mining and Generals Services (MAGS) at Gloucester Street with a skeletal staff of three, one car and nothing else than the use of telex at SLET to communicate with the world.
“From this humble beginning, DHL Sierra Leone has grown tremendously in terms of two office locations in Freetown, agencies in the provincial towns [cities] of Bo, Kenema, Kono and Makeni”, Mr Akinbinu said.
He went on to state that at present, “DHL has a fleet of vehicles, a speedboat and an aircraft that has four flights schedule weekly to Sierra Leone. At present a gentle strike of a keyboard for a package picked up or delivered in Freetown this minute to be visible to another party sitting down in Melbourne or Kinshasa.”
The chief executive said the scope of DHL had significantly widened from an express courier company to a complete one-stop solutions logistics company where airfreight, ocean freight and professional customs brokerage services could be obtained.
He spoke about the company’s corporate responsibility, by contributing US$130,000 towards the establishment of a referral orthopaedic workshop to fit artificial limbs for amputees at Murray Town in 2001.
Also they contributed to the Leprosy home at Lakka in 1987; made a donation of three tons of relief materials to various orphanage in 2000; annual sponsorship of various sporting events in golf, cricket and contributing to the Sierra Leone Commonwealth contingents, and their collaborating with other institutions on viable projects.
Mr Akinbinu said they had continued to meet their statutory obligations of paying all duties and taxes to government. He reiterated that in Sierra Leone today, “DHL is a household name in the logistics sector because of its contributions and also as a result of its excellent services which seem to have touched all corporate entities and individuals”.
He thanked all the staff of DHL, past and present, and their customers. He also told journalists that they would be working with the press as they believe in a vibrant media which were not negotiable in the growth and development of a nation just as they were indivisible partners in selling of vital products and services such as logistics.
The commercial manager, Ismaila Conteh who coordinated the programme, said he was happy that his invitation was honoured by the press and that he hoped in the future they would be able to do more in such wonderful collaboration.
The chief financial officer, Gerald Spaine, gave the vote of thanks.
The celebrations will continue with a dinner and thanksgiving services both in a Church and Mosque.