DHL Express will invest €131m in expanding its hub at Incheon International Airport to meet expected growth in online sales in the Asia Pacific region.
The investment will see DHL expand its Incheon Gateway facility to a gross floor area of 58,700 sq m from the current 20,000 sq m – an increase of almost 200% – with work expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.
It will also be equipped with the “latest technology for faster, more secure and efficient delivery handling processes”.
The multi-year investment is expected to support demand growth up to 2032.
The investment also covers technical upgrades including fully-automated X-ray inspection machines, a 4 km conveyor belt, automated sorters, magnetic speed controllers and full CCTV coverage.
The new technology will increase the Incheon Gateway’s total handling volume of parcels and documents by over 150%
Ken Lee, chief executive, DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “Our Incheon Gateway occupies a vital strategic position along key routes between South Korea and countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China – all of which are amongst our top ten inbound and outbound markets by express delivery volume.
“With online retail sales in Asia Pacific expected to reach $2.5trn by 2023, our latest investments in the Incheon Gateway will align our infrastructure to what Asia’s e-commerce generation needs for now and tomorrow.”
Since the opening of its Gateway in 2008, DHL Express has seen a growth of over 45% in shipment volume, indicative of the growing role which the Gateway plays in global and intra-regional trade.
John Pearson, chief executive, DHL Express, added: “Our quality and speed are crucial for our customers and the main pillars of our growth around the world.
“Our new investment, the largest one for South Korea so far, helps to connect the world even more and to further improve transit time of global trade and on the trade lanes to Asia.”
The expanded facility is also aligned to Deutsche Post DHL Group’s mission of net zero logistics-related carbon emissions by 2050.
It will incorporate a range of ‘green’ features such as the use of solar power and energy-efficient lighting systems to achieve CO2 reduction of up to 1,500 tons per year.
When completed in second quarter 2022, the Incheon Gateway will be DHL Express’s largest gateway in Asia Pacific.