DHL Express to Invest $185 Million in 2016 and 2017 - Global Trade Magazine
  December 7th, 2016 | Written by

DHL Express to Invest $185 Million in 2016 and 2017

Sharelines

  • DHL investments driven by rise in time-definite shipments and ecommerce volume.
  • DHL investments focus on infrastructure and people.
  • DHL holiday volume expected to jump 12 percent this year.

DHL Express is continuing its investment plan for the United States and the Americas as growth in the region meets expectations. The $185 million investment earmarked for 2016 and 2017 is focused on infrastructure, technology, and people—creating 900 new jobs in 2016 alone.

DHL Express is also committing funds to support its growth plan in key countries in the region including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

“DHL Express is continuing its strong progress in the U.S.,” explains Ken Allen, member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Post AG, and CEO, DHL Express. “As part of our focus on international express shipping and our commitment to continually improving customer service, we are directing our investments toward upgrading our facilities, expanding our staff and providing them with the technology they need to enhance productivity and to be more efficient.”

DHL Express has rolled out new smart scanners for its couriers that are faster, lighter and equipped with voice and GPS capabilities and allow for the addition of new features such as stop-by-stop sequencing and turn-by-turn navigation to improve efficiency while on the road.

DHL has already completed a portion of the $108 million investment project at its Americas Hub, located at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, which was announced last year. The North Ramp expansion, which opened just two weeks ago, is built on 45 acres of land and provides parking space for 16 additional planes each night and adds new storage and warehouse space for ramp equipment and shipping containers. Coming next year will be additional automated sorting capability and 40 new reload positions that will enhance the hub’s efficiency to handle the growing e-commerce volume seen in the U.S. and the Americas.

DHL Express is spending $20 million in these two years to upgrade and expand its ground fleet, adding more fuel-efficient vehicles including fully electric vans and electric forklifts at its JFK facility. Next year, the company will focus on replacing trucks and tractor-trailer combinations with more efficient models.

To deal with growing shipping volumes, DHL Express is applying an additional $60 million to expand and add facilities as well as provide technology/security upgrades and new equipment such as the new courier scanners. It has added three new service centers in New York City, Chicago, and Seattle as well as expanded another three this year. It upgraded its Los Angeles gateway in 2016 and plans to add a new gateway in Chicago and to refurbish its JFK gateway in 2017, adding a new, improved automated sort system that will facilitate earlier morning deliveries in the New York market.

DHL Express has added 655 new jobs in the U.S. so far this year. To better handle growing ecommerce volume, the new positions include full- and part-time couriers for more evening delivery routes, and more back-office customer service representatives to coordinate deliveries and customs agents to facilitate clearance. Currently, the company also is working to fill 250 new full-time jobs at its Cincinnati hub to handle increased volume.

DHL is expecting to see an overall 12-percent volume increase year over year during the 2016 holiday season. The continued strong U.S. dollar means consumers can shop abroad for holiday gifts, so a bigger gain in import volume is expected. However, smaller gains in outbound shipments are likely because the higher dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive to foreign buyers.

DHL Express has seen steady international time-definite volume growth in the last three years, with daily volume increasing by 6.8 percent in the third quarter 2016 compared with the prior-year period. The proportion of global ecommerce volume in the overall volumes of DHL Express is now more than 20 percent of total volume, up from about 10 percent in 2013.

The group’s objective is to leverage the global B2C e-commerce market for cross-border shipments, which is expected to grow in absolute terms from $400 billion today to a total global volume of $1 trillion in 2020.

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