DHL eCommerce expands air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai

DHL eCommerce invests EUR70 million ($74.2 million) to strengthen its capabilities in India.

DHL eCommerce has allocated EUR70 million ($74.2 million) to expand its air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai to support the growth of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce in India.

The two air hubs, which are part of DHL eCommerce’s network of 13 air hubs in the country, will be equipped with automation to handle a daily volume of over 500 tons.

The automation will enable its subsidiary, Blue Dart, to process higher volumes of inbound and outbound shipments in a shorter span of time for distribution to consumers across India by air. More specifically, the  Mumbai air hub located at an airside facility will accelerate the speed of domestic cross-border air shipments.

Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart Express, said the expanded facilities in Delhi and Mumbai, coupled with flexible and easy-to-use e-fulfillment solutions, will enable e-commerce sellers to distribute their products to over 34,000 domestic locations effectively. 

“Our EUR70 million investment will ensure that we continue to lay a strong foundation to offer even greater support to our e-commerce customers," he said.

The company added that the expansion of the air hubs is part of the broader plan to aggressively expand in Asia-Pacific.

"The US and Asia-Pacific are the two largest B2C e-commerce markets in the world, and the opening of these new facilities will be another milestone in the expansion of DHL eCommerce logistics network. India is a really important market for us and is one of the fastest-growing, with B2C e-commerce expected to grow from EUR 9.6 billion ($10.1 billion) in 2016 to between EUR30-40 billion ($38.1 billion to $42.4 billion )in 2020," said Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce.

"This investment in India, as well as recent investments in the Americas and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific this year, showcases our commitment to the e-commerce industry by delivering high quality, reliable logistics solutions to meet the rising demands of e-commerce consumers,” he added.

DHL eCommerce has been making sustained investments and innovative solutions in the country over the years, through Blue Dart Express. In 2015, the company launched its Parcel Locker at Gurgaon's Unitech, Cyber Park, to enable more choice and convenience for consumers to collect their shipments.

Other innovations include Smart Trucks, which uses technology to help vehicles overcome urban logistics challenges, and Mobile Wallets to offer secure and streamlined cash-on-delivery solutions to enable convenient transactions for e-commerce consumers.

In June 2016, DHL eCommerce announced that it will expand its overall presence in China by 50 percent, with the expansion of the distribution centers in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Along with the huge growth of e-commerce in China, the distribution centers will enable maximum volumes of over 130 million shipments a year combined.

Earlier in January, the company also launched domestic delivery operations in Thailand and announced plans to double its fleet and number of depots by 2017. Thailand, with its tremendous growth potential, fast e-commerce adoption, and high smartphone penetration rates, was identified as the first Southeast Asian country to launch the DHL eCommerce domestic delivery service, in line with the group's Strategy 2020.