DHL to invest in Indian hubs to meet e-commerce demands

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DHL eCommerce – part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group – is investing 70 million Euros ($75 million) to strengthen its operations to meet fast-growing demand for e-commerce logistics services in India.

Through its subsidiary Blue Dart Express, the investment will go into the expansion of its air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai which are part of its network of 13 air hubs in India.

The latest investment supports the growth of B2C e-commerce in India, and is part of the company’s broader plan to aggressively expand across Asia Pacific.

Catering to the increasing shipment volumes by B2C e-commerce consumers in India, the air hubs, measuring 5,761 square metres and 4,274 square metres in Delhi and Mumbai respectively, will be equipped with automation to handle a daily volume of over 500 tonnes.

The automation in both air hubs enables Blue Dart to process higher volumes of inbound and outbound shipments in a shorter span of time for distribution to consumers across India by air. With the Mumbai air hub located at an airside facility, it will further accelerate the speed of domestic cross-border air shipments, streamlining customs processes and boosting on-time performance.

Deutsche Post DHL Group eCommerce chief executive officer, Charles Brewer says: “The US and Asia Pacific are the two largest B2C e-commerce markets in the world, and the opening of these new facilities will be another milestone in the expansion of DHL eCommerce logistics network.

“India is a really important market for us and is one of the fastest-growing, with B2C e-commerce expected to grow from 9.6 billion Euros in 2016 to between 30-40 billion Euros in 2020.

“This investment in India, as well as recent investments in the Americas and elsewhere in Asia Pacific this year, showcases our commitment to the e-commerce industry by delivering high quality, reliable logistics solutions to meet the rising demands of e-commerce consumers.”

Blue Dart loading

Blue Dart Express managing director, Anil Khanna explains: “The expanded facilities in Delhi and Mumbai, coupled with our flexible and easy-to-use e-fulfillment solutions, will enable e-commerce sellers to distribute their products to over 34,000 domestic locations effectively.

“As the national leader in door-to-door delivery in India, our deliveries are fully managed end-to-end, including routing, sorting and shipping goods efficiently from the warehouse to customers’ doorstep, to provide customers with consistent service excellence. Our 70 million Euro investment will ensure that we continue to lay a strong foundation to offer even greater support to our e-commerce customers.”

The latest investment follows some recent investments by DHL for the e-commerce industry. The company recently announced an investment of $137 million to increase its e-commerce footprint in the US.

After the first order fulfillment centre opened in Columbus, Ohio, last year and followed by a facility in Los Angeles, DHL eCommerce will establish further regional centres in New Jersey and other locations in 2017.

In June 2016, DHL eCommerce announced it will expand its presence in China by 50 per cent, with the expansion of the distribution centres in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In January 2016, it launched domestic delivery operations in Thailand and announced plans to double its fleet and number of depots by 2017.