DHL Express is to invest more than US$360m between 2020 and 2022 to build new and expand existing facilities in key growth markets within the Americas region. Additionally, the company says it intends to spend millions on measures to bolster its Americas air network, such as introducing new, direct flight routes.
The investments come on the heels of significant B2C and B2B e-commerce shipment growth, where the Americas countries experienced, on average, 33% more shipments per day in Q1 2021 compared with the previous year.
“Globalization has continued to show its resilience, fueled by digitalization and the power of global trade,” said Mike Parra, CEO, DHL Express Americas. “With an ever increasing number of consumers shifting their shopping activities online, and the sharp rise in businesses selling their goods in the global marketplace, we need to continue the critical investments in our network infrastructure to meet the growth demands in international e-commerce and global trade.”
Many of the infrastructure investments will focus on the company’s facilities, which include service centers for pickup and delivery operations, gateways that manage the international clearance of shipments, and hubs which operate as shipment transfer points to and from regions of the world. For example, a new, 244,000ft2 automated hub in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada), which once finalized will be four times the size of the current one.
DHL says it will also be adding new service centers and upgrading existing facilities throughout its regional network to support first- and- last-mile pickup and delivery operations, also enhancing other hubs and gateways and expanding its retail footprint in key markets in South America.
In Mexico, significant investments will support the ever-growing Time Definite Domestic (TDD) market. To support first- and last-mile shipment processing, 105 self-service kiosks will be installed at retail counters for customer convenience during 2021. Hubs and gateways will be upgraded with state-of-the-art automation in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, and service centers will be expanded in key markets throughout the country.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, the Viracops Gateway in Capinas will be upgraded to expedite the processing of TDI shipments to and from the country. Expansions are also taking place in other South American countries, including new retail service point locations in Chile and Colombia, and an expanded gateway in Lima, Peru.
All of these investments, which include new technologies to improve operational efficiencies, will increase volume capacity in the DHL Express Americas network by nearly 30% by the end of 2022.
“The growth in e-commerce shipment volumes will continue to put pressure on air cargo capacity in the industry, which has led to our continued investments in new dedicated aircraft and routes,” said Parra.