DHL Express has launched the €85 million (A$140 million) DHL South Asia Hub, a 24-hour express hub facility located within Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) at Singapore Changi Airport. The 23,600 sqm facility is outfitted with what is said to be the industry’s first fully automated express parcel sorting and processing system in South Asia
Investment to keep pace with rising trade
The opening of the new facility follows DHL’s shipment growth in recent years, particularly in the southern part of Asia Pacific. Between 2012 and 2015, the average daily shipments for Oceania grew approximately 50%, South Asia at 30%, and Southeast Asia rose 25%. This facility is 33 per cent larger than the previous hub, providing DHL with additional capacity to handle the growing shipment volumes for regional and international destinations. With the hub located within the CAC, a 24-hour Free Trade Zone managed by Changi Airport Group, it improves the flow of goods between aircraft and the facility and allows consignments to be shipped or transhipped within an hour.
CEO of DHL Express Ken Allen said: “Over the years, we’ve invested significantly to bolster our network and services in Asia Pacific. Our investment in the DHL South Asia Hub is the most recent in a series of global network investments made, and is the largest infrastructural investment made in Singapore to date. The country’s strategic location not only boosts our operational network capabilities but also supports growing trade in the region aided by a stronger global economy.”
CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific Ken Lee said: “The DHL South Asia Hub is a significant milestone in further enhancing our multi-hub strategy in the region. With four hubs in Asia Pacific – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok – this links over 70 DHL Express Gateways located throughout the region. Together, these facilities reinforce our customer commitment to provide the most efficient international express connectivity between key markets in the region.”
The facility processes up to 24,000 shipments and documents per hour and can handle more than 628 tonnes of cargo during the peak processing window. This processing speed is six times faster, while the handling capacity is three times more, compared to the manual operations in the previous facility.
The increased efficiency is achieved from the improved sorting speed and accuracy of the automated system, multi-dimensional tunnel scanners that accelerate barcode reading, and automated X-ray machines that scan packages up to three times faster than previous systems. In addition, the facility is partially powered by solar energy, which supplies about 20 per cent of the hub’s total energy consumption. These automation systems also enhance productivity, enabling employees to focus on higher value tasks such as risk mitigation to prevent potential shipment delays, issues management, and additional security inspection.