Who will be Europe’s logistics giant? DHL vs. Amazon – Partners or Competitors?

Last summer I was working for 2 months in a letter distribution center of Deutsche Post DHL. People are working there in 3 shifts. I had the night shifts from 0.00 to 7.00 because it was the best paid and allowed me to gather a lot of money in a short time. The perfect summer student job 😉 ..

However, my team and me, being responsible for the delivery of letters  and small parcels, faced huge problems to process the whole amount of post delivered by various trucks during the night. I remember that at 6.30 we stopped to accept “new post” and finished to process the letters  we put in the machine (carousel machine sorting every letter to its corresponding postcode and the belonging district to deliver to) and we handed over the processed post to the outbound logistic team.

ms-11-weihnachten-3.jpgThe working area+carousel machine of letters and small parcels

The interesting thing was, that every night the amazon parcels got a special treatment. The shift manager advised us to process all amazons the same night they arrived to the distribution center. If not, amazon would have penalised Deutsche Post because of the agreement putting Deutsche Post in charge to deliver the huge majority of Amazon parcels in Germany.

I wanted to investigate a little more in depth the special relationship between the two big  player regarding Amazon’s expansionary plans of the “last-mile delivery”:


  • Nationwide, Deutsche Post DHL’s parcel delivery market share is a reported 44%. It is the world’s largest courier company and one of Germany’s largest employers with 497,745 staff members.
  • Amazon parcels account for 30% of DHL’s German deliveries.
  • 2016 Munich: Amazon is using more than 200 delivery vans operated by a subcontractor to offer last-mile delivery to customers. That is a 25 to 30% drop in the number of packages delivered by Deutsche Post’s DHL service.
  • Amazon officials have said they don’t plan to do away with express delivery partners such as Deutsche Post DHL entirely.

–> However, if Amazon continues to grow in Germany at this rate, DHL is likely to lose some of the roughly 50 percent market share it enjoys in its home market.

–> Deutsche Post answers with “late delivery”plans, offering the service to delivery from 6pm to 9pm parcels to its clients, in order to stay competitive and maintain the position as market leader in the market.


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