DHL Express boosting Americas network by 30 percent

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

DHL Express will be spending more than US$360 million between 2020 and 2022 to build new and expand existing facilities in the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

This will increase volume capacity in the DHL Express Americas network by nearly 30 percent by the end of 2022.  

The investments come on the heels of significant B2C and B2B e-commerce shipment growth, where the Americas countries experienced, on average, 33 percent more shipments per day in Q1 2021 as compared to the previous year. For the U.S., shipment volumes were up 41 percent in Q1 2021 vs. Q1 2020.

“Globalization has continued to show its resilience, fueled by digitization 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 centres 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.

An expanded state-of-the-art hub in Miami, Florida that is currently under construction will be the sixth-largest DHL Express hub globally, measured by Time Definite International (TDI) volume.

A new, 244,000 sq. ft. automated hub in Hamilton, Ontario, is another major DHL investment in the region.  Once finalized, the new hub will be four times the size of the current one.

Service centres

DHL Express will also be adding new service centres 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 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 centres will be expanded in key markets throughout the country.

In Brazil, the Viracops Gateway in Capinas will be upgraded to expedite the processing of TDI shipments to and from the country. Expansions are taking place in other South American countries, including new retail service point locations in Chile and Colombia, and an expanded gateway in Lima, Peru.    

Air network

“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,” added Parra. 

Since 2019, 14 new DHL-owned 777F have been added to the company’s global fleet, many of which serve points between the Americas region and the rest of the world. Of the original 14, four were put into operation in 2019, six in 2020, and four will support the network this year.

An additional eight aircraft will be added between 2022 and 2024. The company has also increased its third-party aircraft lift (ACMI) serving the Americas, as well as direct leasing of additional aircraft, some of which will be destined for operators in the U.S. in exclusive support of the DHL Express network.

In the U.S. alone, more than 2,600 new jobs are expected to be filled throughout 2021, in addition to the 3,000 that were created in 2020. These new jobs will include 1,100 new positions at the DHL Americas Hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), and nearly 200 at the expanded hub in Miami, Florida.