DHL Asia prepares for e-commerce peak with larger freighter

By Damian Brett

DHL Express has expanded the freighter capacity of its Asia-based fleet as it prepares for the e-commerce peak season.

The company has upgraded a B737-400 to a B737-800 freighter to be operated by K-Mile Asia, a partner of DHL, between Hanoi, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

The aircraft will operate the loop six times per week compared to five times per week previously.

This equates to 140 tons of weekly capacity, a 30% increase on the capacity offered by the B737-400 that previously operated the route.

Ken Lee, chief executive of DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “Asia Pacific has remained resilient despite the economic impact brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In fact, we are seeing increased activity in cross-border trade and e-commerce within the region due to improved logistics, enhanced connectedness as well as reduced trade barriers.

“With the expansion of our airfreight capacity, we are confident that we can provide businesses in Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong with better access to other markets via our extensive global network and boost their economies in the process.”

The company said that Asia Pacific’s e-commerce sales are showing “no signs of slowing down” and that as a result purchases from abroad were also on the rise.

Sean Wall, executive vice president, network operations & aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “As consumers get used to shopping online, businesses are equally making the leap to digital platforms to conduct their B2B transactions, not to mention many of which are helmed by digital natives who have grown up in the age of the Internet.

“To tackle this surge in demand, we have been actively finding opportunities to enhance our fleet, including the conversion of suitable passenger aircraft.”

Earlier this the company started a dedicated service to Ho Chi Minh six times per week – previously it was served on a loop with Penang.

 

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