DHL Express opens its EUR 123 million state-of-the-art green logistics hub at Cologne-Bonn Airport (CGN) following a major upgrade completed in August 2019, following a two-year building and renovation phase.
In the hub’s 15,000 sqm sorting centre, with its 12,000 sqm warehouse and 3,000 sqm office space, several new technologies allow DHL Express to process up to 20,000 shipments per hour on its 2.5 kilometre-long conveyor belt. A number of other additions, including 3D scanners and vacuum lifters, help make life easier for the hub’s 340 employees, who hail from 34 different countries.
With sustainability a core strategy of DHL, the new hub features an ice energy storage system with over 1.3 million litres holding capacity and 18 kilometers of piping to ensure the hub stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This system in combination with a heat pump and solar panels on the roof makes this an entirely emissions free solution, DHL says.
“Since its founding 50 years ago, DHL has time and again made its mark with innovative solutions and powered the rapid evolution of the Express industry as a whole. The many new technologies at our Cologne hub are just one more example of this, and it shows the basis of our new Strategy 2025 as well,” explains John Pearson, CEO DHL Express.
“As the experts in export and import, we can only grow by ensuring top quality, which is why we invest more than a billion euros each year in employee training, infrastructure, and digitalisation.” The main goal Pearson notes, is to increase its transport and delivery capacity for time-sensitive TDI shipments to meet the rising customer demand around e-commerce.
“At the same time, we’re continuously improving on process efficiency. Our recently published quarterly results show pretty clearly that we’re on the right track,” he adds.
The EUR 123 million investment in its new hub shows DHL’s commitment to the Cologne-Bonn region, says Detlef Schmitz, managing director of the DHL Express hub.
“This also makes the hub an even more important part of DHL’s international network. With the new direct route between Hong Kong and Cologne, 28 daily flight movements, and our use of state-of-the-art technologies, we are proud to be contributing – sustainably – to the worldwide growth of DHL Express,” Schmitz says.
DHL Express has a presence in over 220 countries and territories, and transports over 400 million shipments per year. A total of 22 hubs worldwide form the backbone of the DHL Express network, which includes over 260 dedicated aircraft, 17 partner airlines, and a capacity for over 3,000 flights daily to over 500 airports. In 2018, the company announced its plans to add 14 new B777 aircraft to its own fleet.
“We expect continued growth in the coming years, especially in cross-border e-commerce trade,” says Travis Cobb, EVP DHL Global Network Operations. “By modernising our air fleet, we can increase our intercontinental connections and do so with reduced carbon emissions and less fuel consumption. Next year, we will deploy another six brand-new planes from our Boeing order.”