DHL Express has placed an order for eight additional new Boeing 777 freighters in a move to further expand its intercontinental air network to meet customer demand in the fast-growing express shipping markets. First deliveries are scheduled for 2022.
"Although the current health crisis has pushed pause on several areas of life, global trade did not stand still," says DHL Express chief executive officer John Pearson. "Fuelled by globalization, digitalization and the unprecedented demand of our customers during the recent peak season, our global e-commerce volume grew by more than 40% in the fourth quarter.
“With the order of eight new wide-body freighter aircraft, we underline our conviction that e-commerce is an enduring megatrend. This is why we decided to act early and kick-off 2021 with this investment in our future."
The world's largest and most capable twin-engine freighter, the B777 supports future growth while providing outstanding reliability. The aircraft will also contribute to the group's sustainability goals due to its fuel-efficient technology reducing CO2 emissions by 18% compared to the legacy B747-400s.
The plane has a range of 9,200 kilometres (4,970 nautical miles) and can carry a maximum payload of 102,010 kilograms (224,900 lbs). It allows DHL Express to make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees on long-haul routes, resulting in the lowest trip cost of any large freighter.
Preceding the latest order, DHL Express had already taken delivery of the first ten new B777F aircraft as part of an original order of 14 aircraft made in 2018. These timely deliveries ensured that DHL could accommodate the unprecedented demand during the peak shipping season.
The company operates over 260 dedicated aircraft with 17 partner airlines making over 600 daily flights across 220 countries and territories.
In another development, DHL Global Forwarding is investing 126.5 million rand (US$8.29 million) into a new facility in Johannesburg.
Aimed at cementing the company’s leading market position in South Africa, the 13,000 square metre facility will be located at the newly-developed Skyparks Business Estate near Oliver Reginald Tambo International Airport. It will boast 10,000sqm of warehousing space, doubling the existing capacity to meet future demand.