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Brexit complexity “plays to our advantage”, says DHL Express CEO, as company goes on hiring spree

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The CEO of DHL Express has claimed that his company is “fairly well set up” for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

John Pearson, who is also a board member of parent company Deutsche Post DHL, told journalists at a press conference that the company had been running “contingencies” for the last 12-15 months.

Although he said that he “wouldn’t wish Brexit on anyone” he argued that “complexity plays to [the company’s] advantage.”

This complexity essentially comes down to managing road transport, aviation and customs. Of the three, Pearson named customs as the most difficult. Accordingly, the company is recruiting 50 customs brokers per week.

Pearson said DHL’s preparations had included not just dealing with the direct impact but minimising the danger of contagion: that shipping to other countries such as the US not be impacted.

While he said that delays would be minimised, Pearson cautioned that in the event of the UK leaving without a Brexit deal the company would not be able to prevent the UK’s M20 near Dover becoming “a carpark” because of other operators that are not prepared.

The press conference was marking the launch of the DHL Global Connected Index 2018, which assessed countries in terms of flows of trade, information, people and capital to determine the most globalised.

Europe led the index, taking eight places of the top ten alongside Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. The UK came in at ninth place, having actually risen in the ranking since the previous year.

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