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DHL eCommerce To Invest 70 Million Euros In India

The latest investment supports the growth of business-to-consumers e-commerce in India, and is part of the company’s broader plan to aggressively expand across Asia Pacific

Photo Credit : Subhabrata Das

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DHL eCommerce, a division of the world’s leading logistics company, is expanding its e-commerce logistics foot print in India. The company, which has announced an investment of 70 million euros on Tuesday (15 November) to strengthen its operations to meet the fast-growing demand for quality e-commerce logistics services in India, will expand its air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai.

The local investment will be through its Indian subsidiary - Blue Dart Express. Blue Dart currently operates 13 air hubs in India as part of its network in the e-com logistics business.

The latest investment supports the growth of B2C (business to consumers) e-commerce in India, and is part of the company’s broader plan to aggressively expand across Asia Pacific. With this, the air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai (measuring 5,761 sqm and 4,274 sqm respectively) will be equipped with automation to handle a daily volume of over 500 tonnes. The automation in both air hubs enables 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. With the Mumbai air hub located at an airside facility, it will further accelerate the speed of domestic cross-border air shipments, streamlining customs processes and boosting on-time performance.

"The e-commerce industry is an extremely exciting one that offers tremendous opportunities for businesses and consumers alike. The global B2C cross border e-commerce market will multiply in size to USD1 trillion in 2020/22", said Juergen Gerdes, CEO, Post – eCommerce – Parcel, DHL Group.

"The growth is driven by increasing consumption from expanding middle classes, greater mobile and internet penetration and improving logistics and infrastructure as consumers increasingly shop online and expect shorter delivery times. With our added focus on innovation such as the StreetScooter and In-Car Delivery, we are gearing up to ensure we stay ahead of the game and be able to anticipate and meet the needs of the overall industry, e-tailers and end customers," he added.

According to Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce, opening of these new facilities will be another milestone in the expansion of DHL eCommerce logistics network, which is spread across the US and Asia Pacific—the world’s two largest B2C e-commerce markets. "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 in 2016 to between EUR 30-40 billion in 2020-22," added Brewer.

"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," Brewer said.

"The expanded facilities in Delhi and Mumbai, coupled with our flexible and easy-to-use e-fulfillment solutions, will enable e-commerce sellers to distribute their products to over 34,000 domestic locations effectively. As the national leader in door-to-door delivery in India, our deliveries are fully managed end-to-end, including routing, sorting and shipping goods efficiently from the warehouse to customers’ doorstep, to provide customers with consistent service excellence. Our EUR70 million investment will ensure that we continue to lay a strong foundation to offer even greater support to our e-commerce customers," said Anil Khanna, managing director, Blue Dart Express.

No stranger to the e-commerce sector in India, 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 by the company in the area 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, Khanna said.

Before this latest expansion in India, DHL had also recently announced investments in the US, China and Tahiland to provide logistics solutions for the e-commerce industry. It announced an investment of $137 million to increase its e-commerce footprint in the US. After the first order fulfilment center opened in Columbus, Ohio, last year and followed by a facility in Los Angeles, DHL eCommerce plans to establish regional centers of this kind in New Jersey and other locations also in 2017. In June 2016, DHL eCommerce announced that it will expand its overall presence in China by 50 per cent, 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 2016, DHL eCommerce 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.


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