DHL Express is to invest €335 million in its Central Asia Hub (CAH) – in partnership with the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
The expansion brings DHL’s commitment to the hub to over €520 million, making it the largest infrastructural investment by DHL Express in Asia Pacific to date.
The express freight firm says the development is timely as CAH has recorded an average 12 per cent year-on-year growth in its shipping volume in the past decade.
As one of three global hubs for DHL, the expanded CAH will continue to act as the core hub of the DHL Express global and Asia Pacific regional network, handling more than 40 per cent of its total Asia Pacific shipment volumes.
DHL Express chief executive officer (CEO), Ken Allen says: “Given the expected rise in international e-commerce and intra-Asian trade, DHL is committed to strengthening our global network and services.
“Based in a strategically important location to DHL, the expanded Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong will not only bolster our operational capacity in Asia Pacific, but also facilitate the rapidly-growing international trade demands in the region and around the world.”
The expanded CAH will be equipped with an enhanced material handling system that will improve productivity and increase the hub’s throughput capacity – from the current 75,000 pieces of shipments per hour to 125,000 pieces per hour.
When operating at its full capacity, the annual throughput of the expanded CAH is expected to go up by 50 per cent to 1.06 million tonnes per annum. As a dedicated and purpose-built air express cargo facility at the Hong Kong International Airport, the expanded CAH will handle six times more in terms of shipment volume than when it was first established in 2004.
DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO, Ken Lee adds: “Connecting with more than 70 DHL Express gateways in the region, the Central Asia Hub plays a significant role in strengthening our existing network of hubs in Asia Pacific, including Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok.
“The expansion will also help us capitalise the growth in intra-Asian trade lane that currently contributes to 40 per cent of our revenue in Asia Pacific. Equipped with fully automated X-ray inspection machines, it will increase the speed of our shipment inspection by three times – enabling us to expedite the processing speed of shipments that come through the CAH.”
The expanded CAH is expected to begin operations in Q1 2022, in time to capture strong demand in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region and completion of the Three Runway System for the Hong Kong International Airport in 2024. The expansion of the CAH will deliver about 50% increase in warehouse space to 47,000 square metres.