boost DHL’s ops in Asia-Pacific
DHL, the world’s leading express
and logistics company, expects to handle 40 million shipments this
year via the newly completed expansion of its first large-scale
automated express hub in Asia-Pacific.
With a total investment of
US$210mil, the facility will significantly boost DHL’s operational
capability in Asia.
Located at the Hong Kong
International Airport, DHL Central Asia Hub (CAH) has doubled in
size to 35,000 sq m - about the size of 120 tennis courts.
With the expansion, the facility
has a throughput of 75,000 pieces per hour (pph) of flyers and
conveyable shipments, an increase of 114% compared with the 35,000
pph throughput capacity before the expansion.
With the automation, the throughput
cycle time has been further reduced to seven minutes from 12
DHL Express Asia Pacific chief
executive officer Dan McHugh said Asia-Pacific continued to be the
key growth driver in the first half of the year.
“The expansion of the CAH is a
testament to the continued growth of intra-Asia trade and the
Asia-Europe trade lane. “Currently, over 60% of express cargo
processed by the CAH is intra-Asia Pacific shipments, a figure we
expect to continue to grow alongside rising intra-regional trade,”
he said in a statement.
Originally slated for completion in
2013, the expansion of the CAH is well ahead of schedule and
underscores the growth and potential DHL sees in the region.
Hong Kong secretary for transport
and housing Eva Cheng said to support further development of the
express cargo industry and the aviation sector, the government was
dedicated to improve Hong Kong airport’s links to nearby markets.
“On the airport itself, we have
plans to increase the runway capacity gradually, reaching 58
movements per hour next year and 68 movements per hour by 2015.
“This is, of course, not the end
game. The runway capacity could be substantially increased to over
100 movements per hour with the addition of a third runway,” she
With over 40% market share and
US$2.2bil invested in the region, CAH is the backbone for DHL to
further enhance its service and to extend its market-leading
position in Asia Pacific.
DHL Express Greater China area
president Jerry Hsu said CAH was strategically located within a
four-hour flight radius to major cities in Asia Pacific and
complemented by a well-established Asia Air Network that was served
by more than 20 aircraft and over 500 commercial daily flights.
“The expansion of the CAH brings
with it heightened speed, efficiency, accuracy and significantly
bolsters DHL’s operational capacity in Asia Pacific,” he said.
The increased throughput of the
automated CAH is supported by advanced autosort system that can
handle 35,000 conveyable shipments and 40,000 flyers per hour.
Key automated features of the
facility include a bank of singulators that arrange parcels into a
single queue, six-sided camera scanners that scan all sides of
conveyable shipments, and a shoe sorter matrix that directs the
shipments to the relevant chutes according to their destination be
it Beijing, Singapore, Osaka, Nagoya, Shanghai, Seoul, Bangkok,
Delhi and so forth.
CAH also now has the ability to
sort down to the individual postal codes of the DHL service centres
in destination countries.
This eliminates the need for the
flyers to be re-sorted at the destination gateways. For example, in
Singapore, this has translated into a 30-minute head start for DHL
couriers, ensuring an even higher degree of service excellence.
The expansion of CAH is also
boosted by the state-of-the-art security system with almost 200 CCTV
cameras, X-ray equipment and an access control system.
“Speed, accuracy and reliability
are the cornerstones of the express industry. The CAH coupled with a
robust air network is a core pillar of our highly efficient
operational backbone in Asia Pacific,” said McHugh.
“But we invest to stay ahead of
the curve. With CAH fully operational, we look forward to taking our
network capability up another notch when our North Asia Hub (NAH) at
Pudong International Airport, Shanghai is complete in 2010.” NAH
in Pudong will complement the CAH in Hong Kong and deliver further
operational efficiencies by leveraging on its geographical proximity
for shipments destined for the region.
The automated facility will have
the capacity to sort conveyable shipments to a peak of up to 20,000
parcels and 20,000 documents per hour.
The establishment of the NAH will
result in transit time improvements across North Asia and, in
particular, benefit customers located in the Yangtze River Delta.
Hsu said currently, almost 50% of
the shipments through the CAH were destined for China, Japan, South
Korea and Taiwan.
“With the expected long-term
projections in volume growth, a dedicated NAH will further enhance
operational efficiencies and enable DHL to keep pace with growth,”