DHL Express braces for ‘historical’ peak season

By Damian Brett

DHL Express is predicting “unprecedented” levels of online shopping and shipping volumes during the upcoming peak season and is preparing its business accordingly.

The express firm said that it had already experienced around 35% e-commerce volume growth in 2020 in its network and added that the upcoming peak season will further accelerate this and result in shipment quantities 50% higher than last year’s peak season.

To be prepared DHL Express globally hired more than 10,000 new employees. while it has “multiplied the capacities of its operations” thanks to recent investments in hubs and gateways, aircraft, vehicles and state-of-the-art technology.

This year the company has already added four new wide body B777F aircraft to its fleet and two more are expected in the next month.

“These six additional aircraft enable the company to carry out more than 3,000 additional intercontinental flights per year,” DHL Express said.

It pointed out that in addition to increased demand, many passenger aircraft are still parked due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Looking at the detail of why the company is expecting such a strong peak, it said that the use of e-commerce has continued to grow, while the Covid-19 had contributed to more people shopping online.

“The continuing growing levels of globalisation and digitalisation result in strongly increasing number of merchants selling globally and online marketplaces, such as shopping apps via which customers can choose from offerings all around the world,” it said.

“As a consequence, cross border trade has continuously grown over the last years. Further, due to this year’s predominating uncertainties coming with the pandemic, consumers are shifting their shopping activities to the online world like never before.

“This will particularly apply to the upcoming popular mega shopping days such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ as well as to the whole Christmas shopping season. As a result, DHL Express is expecting an all-time high in E-commerce trade around the globe.”

Michiel Greeven, executive vice president global sales at DHL Express said: “Covid-19 and its impacts such as curfews or distancing led to massive changes in the retail sector all over the world.

“As a consequence, the buying behaviour of consumers, but also B2B Buyers, changed significantly and shifted more and more into the online world. From an e-commerce perspective some might even say that Covid-19 brought 2030 to 2020, with online shopping and the necessary shipping as the new normal.

“And this not only counts for B2C retailers but also in the light of B2B E-commerce. Particularly in current days of uncertainty many giant stores will be going online with their sales promotion. This will have its effect on peak season as well and shoppers will be mainly going online to get the best deals instead of going to physical stores. With the result of fast shipping needs as well.”

The company also highlighted some of its investments in recent years: It tripled capacity in Cologne through a €123m investment in 2019, it tripled capacity in Malmo with a €20m spend this year, Malpensa capacity is 12 times higher thanks to a €109m investment this year and in the first quarter of next year its Istanbul capacity will be 25 times higher following an investment of €132m.

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