Phil Couchman

CEO, DHL Express UK & Ireland, 
Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK & Ireland

Phil Couchman is the CEO of DHL Express UK & Ireland, the market leader in the international express industry. Based at the UK Head Office, Orbital Park, near Heathrow, Phil oversees the strategic development of the UK operations to strengthen and grow market share in the region.

A self-confessed champion for small businesses, Phil calls upon over 30 years of industry experience at DHL, leading operations in the Middle East, Latin America and South Africa, and now in the UK, to develop strategies to improve the customer experience. Phil’s commitment is driven by his underlying vision of an export-led recovery in the UK that brings new and growing SMEs to the international stage. This is borne out at an industry level, where Phil has successfully forged ties with industry bodies such as the British Chamber of Commerce and UKTI, to determine how best the logistics industry can meet the needs of new exporters.

Phil’s focus on export and supporting small business has generated business results: since becoming CEO in 2011, DHL International (UK) has secured a dominant market share of 50% and has achieved double-digit revenue growth in each of Phil’s three years in post.

Phil has been with DHL for over 30 years. He started in air transport with Qantas Airways in Australia in 1971. He joined DHL Middle East in 1979 and was General Manager in various countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the next seven years. He moved to London in 1987 to set up DHL Aviation and the UK hub which became part of the large DHL European network of aircraft and hubs. Five years in the UK was followed by a brief Hong Kong-based Far East posting and three years as Operations Manager, Latin America. He then returned to the Middle East to lead as Regional Director for over 10 years. In early 2007 Phil moved to South Africa where he was responsible for seeing the business through double-digit shipment & revenue growth in 2007 and 2008.
In the UK, DHL Express manages 4,000 employees and 1,500 vehicles across 79 strategic locations.

In July 2013, Phil appeared on Channel 4’s Undercover Boss, to wide acclaim and personally ensured all that shop floor changes and improvements were activated after the programme; a testimony to Phil’s focus and passion for delivering first class customer service.  He was also nominated as one of the Five Finalists for Business Leader of the Year at the National Business Awards in that year.