DHL Express, the world's leading international express service provider, officially opens its new, environmentally friendly logistics center at the Cologne-Bonn Airport. The new 15,000 m² hub features cutting edge sorting technology and an innovative system to heat and cool the warehouse (12,000 m²) and offices (3,000 m²). In cooperation with Cologne-Bonn Airport, DHL Express is using a huge ice-energy-storage solution with over 1.3 million liters holding capacity and 18 kilometers of piping, which ensures the hub stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Combined with a heat pump and solar panels on the roof, the solution is entirely emissions free.
“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 digitalization. The main goal here is to increase our transport and delivery capacity for time-sensitive TDI shipments to meet the forever growing customer demand in the area of 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.”
DHL completed the upgrade of its air hub at Cologne-Bonn Airport in August 2019 following a two-year building and renovation phase. In the hub’s sorting center, several new technologies allow DHL Express to process up to 20,000 shipments per hour on its 2.5 kilometer 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.
“The € 123 million investment in our new hub clearly shows our commitment to the Cologne-Bonn region and ensures the future of a lot of jobs here,” 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.”
DHL Express is the most international company. With a presence in over 220 countries and territories, it transports over 400 million shipments per year. 23 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 Boeing 777 aircraft to its own fleet.
“We expect continued growth in the coming years, especially in cross-border e-commerce trade,” says Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations, DHL Express. “By modernizing our air fleet, we can increase the number of our intercontinental connections and do this with reduced carbon emissions and less fuel consumption. Next year we will deploy another six brand-new planes from our Boeing order.”