DHL is to invest 114 million euros ($129.7 million) in a hub at Brussels Airport, which will allow it to handle 39,500 shipments per hour by 2020.
The new facility will consist of a 31,500 square metre sorting centre and a 5,000 square metre office complex. DHL expects the facility to create 200 new jobs, in addition to its 1,000 employees at the hub. The express provider says it has seen double-digit growth in the past five years and this means facilities are near capacity, thanks to its central location and the rise of e-commerce.
DHL Express managing director for Belgium and Luxembourg, Danny Van Himste, says: “We strongly believe that this investment will not only stimulate further development of the export activities of Belgian companies, but also meet the rising demand created by international e-commerce.”
DHL says the new facility will reduce its environmental footprint by more efficient sorting technologies, better insulation, a modern vehicle fleet running on natural gas, a solar park and environmentally friendly lighting.
Brussels Airport chief executive officer (CEO), Arnaud Feist, says: “With this significant investment from DHL, we will further strengthen our position in Belgium as the logistics centre of Europe.”
In June, 2014 DHL announced it would spend £156 million ($239.6 million) in the UK, with investments of £90 million at East Midlands Airport and £32 million at Heathrow Airport. The rest of the money will be invested in warehouses and sorting facilities in Manchester, Sheffield and Croydon. In 2013, DHL announced a 150 million euro investment to double capacity at Leipzig Halle Airport with a 40,000 square metre warehouse, with the first phase opening in November 2014.
When the investment was announced in October 2013, DHL Express Europe CEO, John Pearson, said: “Since we established operations here five years ago, it has been a driver behind DHL’s ability to help customers in Germany and other European markets.”