A worker opens a truck at a distribution center of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL in Obertshausen, Germany June 15, 2016. (PHOTO / AGENCIES / Chinadaily.com.cn)
DHL Express will pour an additional 335 million euros (US$392 million) into expanding its Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Airport Authority, as the international express service provider strengthens its presence as delivery demand grows in the fast-expanding region.
The additional commitment brings DHL’s investment in the strategic hub to more than 520 million euros, making it the largest infrastructure investment by the company in the Asia-Pacific so far.
Despite some short-to mid-term economic uncertainties, the region continues to be the world leader in growth and recent data point to a pickup in momentum
Ken Lee, chief executive, DHL Express Asia Pacific
The expansion is expected to increase CAH’s annual throughput 50 percent to 1.06 million tons when operating at its full capacity. An enhanced material handling system will help improve productivity of the hub, from the current 75,000 items per hour to 125,000.
Upon completion, shipment volume of the new hub will be six times more than that of the facility in 2004, when it was first established.
Ken Allen, chief executive of DHL Express, said technological development had driven “a boom in commerce” as every person in the world can now buy anything from anywhere.
Overall trade outlook in Asia-Pacific region is robust and sustainable, Ken Lee, chief executive of DHL Express Asia Pacific, said.
“Despite some short-to mid-term economic uncertainties, the region continues to be the world leader in growth and recent data point to a pickup in momentum,” Lee said on Tuesday.
Shipment volume of CAH has grown 12 percent year-on-year on average over the past decade.
As one of DHL’s three global hubs, along with Leipzig in Germany and Cincinnati in the United States, the expanded CAH will continue to play a central role in the company’s global and Asia-Pacific regional network, handling more than 40 percent of Asia Pacific shipment volume.
The expanded hub will see its warehouse space increase 50 percent, reaching 47,000 square meters. It is expected to come into operation by 2022.
DHL’s move comes at a time when Hong Kong International Airport is also undergoing an expansion.
The airport’s third runway is also expected to be finished in 2022.
Fred Lam, chief executive officer of the Airport Authority, said apart from the runway project, the authority is also making efforts to enhance airport facilities for the air-cargo industry, such as expanding parking spaces for cargo flights “as we see very strong growth for air cargo in the coming year and for years to come”.