DHL's new Shanghai-based North Asia hub to enhance 'hubs and spokes' strategy

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, has announced its decision to establish a $175 million DHL Express North Asia Hub in Shanghai, China. This new facility, to be located at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, will build on DHL's already extensive global network and provide better connections from Asia to the US and Europe.

The development of the North Asia Hub is part of DHL's 'hubs and spokes' regional air network strategy. According to the company, hubs like Shanghai are optimally positioned to reduce transit times and distances within the regions and provide added flexibility for its customers with guaranteed 'Time Definite' morning delivery for more major cities in North Asia.

As part of its efforts to further boost its global aviation strategy, and provide better global transport links for its customers, DHL entered two important strategic partnerships this year. In June, DHL Express completed a strategic partnership transaction with air cargo carrier Polar Air, in which DHL Express holds a 49 per cent stake, while in September, DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo also established a joint cargo airline.

 These partnerships, effective from late-2008 and April 2009 respectively, will enable DHL to meet the anticipated strong increase in demand for cargo space between Asia Pacific and Europe as well as the US, providing customers with assured long-term airlift capacity for their shipments.

John Mullen, CEO of DHL Express, commented: "As a global logistics provider we are constantly improving worldwide connectivity. The Shanghai hub will strengthen our regional as well as global network, enabling DHL to continuously meet and exceed our customers' expectations towards transit times and handling capabilities. The development of a new DHL Express North Asia Hub in Shanghai is also proof of our strong commitment and confidence in this dynamic region."

DHL will be using the latest state-of-the-art technology in the new hub, including a Quality Control Centre (QCC) that also serves as a nerve centre for crisis management. Operating round the clock, the DHL QCCs are a network of regional and country quality control centres that proactively monitor all DHL shipments in the air and on the ground. The North Asia Hub will also be equipped with a leading-edge Automated Sorting System, designed to enhance efficiency and speed in cargo processing to provide customers with even better time-to-market capabilities. It will have the capacity to sort conveyable shipments to a peak capacity of up to 20,000 parcels and 20,000 documents per hour.

DHL already has a strong presence in China - there are four major gateways in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzen, and DHL currently runs over 500 commercial and dedicated flights per week in and out of China.

In Asia Pacific, over 20 dedicated aircraft serving more than 30 destinations in 16 countries and territories serve DHL's customers. DHL also utilises more than 800 commercial flights daily in the region.