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Supply Chain Issues Won’t Ease Until 2023: DHL Boss

Supply chain issues and shipping woes have played havoc with many retailers’ plans for a lucrative holiday season, but the CEO of delivery company DHL warns that things won’t return to normal until at least 2023.

Gary Edstein, the chief executive of DHL Express Australia, dismissed the idea that the return of international travel would ease the current supply chain issues, telling The Age that the current squeeze will last until at least mid-2022, with conditions returning to pre-COVID levels sometime in 2023.

DHL have been forced to charter its own aircraft to ensure delivery for the current Christmas season – a short term — and “extremely expensive” — fix at best.

“We’re just going into Christmas peak, it’s actually happening right now as we speak,” Edstein said. “And based on our forecasts, we’ve had to put on an additional 102 passenger aircraft freighters.

“All we do is use the belly of that aircraft … the upper deck is not filled at all, even with passengers or cargo. We’re only using 20 tons of capacity of a 100-ton aircraft.”

Retailers are more positive, according to DHL’s Export Barometer report, released today, which reveals that 59 per cent of local traders expect exports to be back at pre-COVID levels by next Christmas.

“We’re seeing a lot more confidence coming back,” Mr Edstein said.

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