Russian Market Review: 2010 Results

Fionn Herriott
Regional Customer Manager
DHL Express

During his visit to Russia in September 2010, Frank Appel, DP DHL CEO told Vedomosti that “Russia managed quite well to cope with the financial crisis … you are returning very quickly today to a normal, stable situation. This allows us to be confident in the future of business in the Russian Federation.”

We see the express-delivery industry as a barometer of the trade and economic situation. In 2010, companies saw significant growth in volumes, inside and outside Russia, reflecting growing customer demands. Although 2010 was not easy, following as it was on the heels of a global economic slowdown, it can be nevertheless seen as a rather successful year on the Russian market.

2010 saw some important express industry developments in Russia. The most interesting for our industry is the new customs union formed between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. A recent study with the London School of Economics to gauge the influence of customs management on economic growth discovered that, at a global level, the more smoothly import and export operations work in a country, the more economic growth it sees. This is not rocket science: Countries that were able to make their work at the state borders more reliable, standardized and visible made a real breakthrough in terms of the growth of their economy. Anything that helps customs operations helps business and, in the end, helps the government. We support trade, both inside a country and internationally, and the customs union is designed to develop trade. Everyone wins from this.

Another important trend this year is the growing importance of sustainability issues in the Russian business community.

The logistics industry will be key to comprehensive carbon reduction efforts in most sectors due to its unique expertise and positioning along the supply chain. The leading logistics companies of the future will be those that provide sustainable services. This is the conclusion drawn by the study “Delivering Tomorrow: Towards Sustainable Logistics,” released in October 2010 as a follow-up to the 2009 Delphi study on the top-10 future trends.

Innovations and state-of-the-art technologies were among the most popular topics in 2010.

For 2011, growth across all sectors of the economy is expected. There is optimism about increasing economic cooperation between Russia and the World Trade Organization and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the general outlook is also optimistic.