MIAMI – Leading international cargo carrier DHL (D0) is expanding its routes in Asia and the Pacific to the US and Europe to meet the growing demand for freight services.

To do so, D0 counts on its fleet of Boeing 777F freighters, offering up to 2,350 tons of weekly capacity, allowing for increased delivery speed. D0 will also be relying on its partners of AeroLogic and Kalitta Air to operate some of the flights.

E-commerce is one of the main reasons for D0’s rapid growth and is estimated to reach a value of US US$2.5tn by 2024, while customers worldwide become more reliant on e-commerce, especially during COVID-19.

Air cargo demand in January 2021, according to IATA, has recovered to pre-Covid numbers notwithstanding the reduction in capacity due to the suspension of passenger flights.

In order to accomidate the increased demand for cargo distribution, many airlines have opted to operate preighter (passenger aircraft transporting only cargo) flights.

Kalitta B747-400F N709CK – Photo: Phil Wilco/Airways

DHL’s Cargo Partners

DHL counts on partner airline Kalitta Air (K4), which flies five times a week between the United States and D0’s South Asia Cargo Hub in Singapore (SIN), via Sydney (SYD).

This fight continues onto Hong Kong (HKG) and Japan before flying back to the US. K4 also operates a new route to SYD on a six-time weekly schedule.

A second D0 partner is Aerologic (3S), a joint venture cargo airline between D0 and Lufthansa Cargo (LH), which will be flying six times per week from Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ) to HKG and SIN and return to LEJ via Bahrain (BAH).

The partnership with the two cargo airlines manifests the growing importance of D0’s South Asia Pacific Hub in SIN, particularly regarding Oceania’s markets, giving them the possibility to reach the US and Europe.

Aerologic Boeing B777F D-AALN – Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

A Growing Airline

DHL operates from four main hubs in Asia; Hong Kong (HKG), Shanghai (PVG), Singapore (SIN), and a Bangkok (BKK) hub which links 50 D0 gateways in the region.

The South Asia Hub is served by 11 dedicated aircraft for a total of 340 flights per week. In 2018, D0 ordered 14 B777F out of which 10 have already been delivered, with the remaining 4 to enter service later this year.

Ingrid Raj, Head of Aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific commented, “Equipped with top-of-the-line fuel-efficient technology, the new Boeing 777 freighters will contribute to Deutsche Post DHL Group’s sustainability goals as they reduce CO2 emissions by 18 percent compared to the legacy B747-400s.

Raj continued, “The new dedicated services also enable DHL to provide cost-efficient and high-volume capacity solutions for customers that expect express logistics service.”

DHL N916SC Boeing 737-800(BDSF). Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Executive’s Comments

Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific commented on the routes expansions by declaring “With the new routes, businesses and consumers from Australia and New Zealand can expect the transit time for their shipments to and from the US and Europe to improve as they look to expand their reach to the rest of Asia Pacific, the US and Europe”.

The DHL CEO further added, “Shipment volumes into and out of the Oceania region have grown exponentially. Our investment in the new aircraft and dedicated flight routes with increased frequency signify our confidence in the region’s growth trajectory and equally demonstrate our commitment to facilitate global trade as the economy heals.”

Featured image: Nick Sheeder/Airways