DHL opens its new European air freight hub - Emirates24|7

DHL opens its new European air freight hub

DHL yesterday officially opened its new European air freight hub at Leipzig/Halle airport in Germany.

The hub, one of Europe's largest construction projects, expands DHL's international network, providing greater connectivity to global growth markets and enabling the transport company to improve its customer service.

"Demand for express services is growing worldwide and we took the decision to invest in our international network in order to meet this need," said DHL Express CEO John Mullen.

"The state-of-the-art hub will enable us to continue to offer the best possible service, quality and reach for our customers.

"It is not only one of the industry's most technically advanced hubs, with some of the world's most sophisticated sorting equipment, but it will also protect and strengthen our leading position in the European, and indeed global, express market."

The company has invested Dh1.7 billion in the complex, which is situated at a crossroads providing direct North-South and East-West access to Europe.

It connects both established and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.

The location was chosen because of the position of the airport, its proximity to growth markets in Eastern Europe and the granting of comprehensive authorisation for night-time flights.

Other factors included the presence of a highly qualified locally-based workforce and high-quality infrastructure.

Scott Price, CEO of DHL Express Europe, said: "Due to the relocation of our European superhub we are now able to offer minimised shipment running time and also offer our newest prime express services on more trade lanes than ever before, with improved access to Eastern Europe and Asia."

The hub comprises a distribution centre - the largest and most modern sorting line in Germany – an aircraft hangar, apron, tank station and administration building. The amount of freight transshipped every working day is currently around 1,500 tonnes per night but by 2012 this figure is set to rise to 2,000 tonnes.

Leipzig is the first DHL facility that is largely self-sufficient in terms of electricity, heating and cooling energy.

It has a cogeneration unit for combined heat and power production together with 1,000 sq m of solar cells on the roof of the hangar workshop to generate electricity.

Two underground cisterns will each year collect around 3,000 cubic metres of rainwater that will be used to wash aircraft.

Mullen added: "The success of the DHL business can be attributed to many factors but one that is particularly important in the current climate is our ability to effectively adapt.

"At present we are focused on implementing different initiatives to help preserve our environment. DHL Express was the first company in the logistics sector to actively set a specific carbon efficiency target.

"And as a result, we have implemented a number of environmentally compatible operations at the new hub to help us achieve greater sustainability in the future."