DHL Express invests heavily in Leipzig hub

DHL Express has announced the expansion of its Leipzig hub with a €150m investment in new consignment handling and warehousing infrastructure. The company said that it will “double the operational footprint” of the German facility with the addition of a further 44,000 sq m of space and the installation of a new sortation system which will expand the handling capacity of the facility to 150,000 shipments per hour. The new capacity is scheduled to be introduced in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The driver of the expansion is the growth in DHL Express’ business which according to, Charlie Dobbie, EVP, Global Network Operations, continues to grow in the region of 8% to 10% a year. This performance in-turn is based on the ability to tap into both e-retailing volumes as well as the small and medium sized enterprise market. Mr Dobbie observed that although certain parts of the market were experiencing lower  growth the picture was mixed with other sectors seeing continuing high growth. DHL Express is experiencing such an expansion of volumes that that the company is looking to increase its tariffs by 1.5-2.5% in January.

Beyond Leipzig the DHL Express network is continuing to expand. The local depot network is growing in locations such as London as the company positions itself in the premium sector of home-delivery, whilst the network in China is also expanding rapidly. DHL Express management said that the Hong Kong hub is presently “full” whilst the facility at Shanghai is being expanded as part of a of wider ‘hub and spoke’ capability being developed in China.

Despite this DHL Express’ fleet of aircraft is not growing quite so fast. Although utilisation rates are around 70% the company is looking to adapt its capacity by replacing older aircraft with larger as well more efficient planes such as the A300-600.