DHL opens Hong Kong hub

DHL Worldwide has opened a new, USD100 million cargo-handling facility in Hong Kong. “The new central Asia hub will significantly increase express shipment throughput capacity in Hong Kong and southern China,” said John Mullen, DHL’s chief executive for Asia-Pacific, in a statement. It will handle 440 metric tons a day in 2004, expanding to 900 tons a day by 2014.

DHL, a unit of Deutsche Post AG, said the investment in the new facility reflects the increasing importance of the Asian market. Shipments among Asian countries now account for nearly half of DHL’s express revenue and are the company’s fastest-growing market segment.
Much of that growth is driven by the expanding Chinese economy, where DHL’s volume of shipments has been growing by about 40 percent annually in recent years. And the majority – 70 percent — of DHL’s shipments into and out of China are still routed through Hong Kong.

Stephen Ip, Hong Kong’s secretary for economic development and labor, said the Hong Kong airport is trying to meet that challenge by increasing its links to the Pearl River Delta region, which is the source of so much of its traffic. In his speech at the opening ceremony Wednesday, he emphasized the new DHL facility “will strengthen our airport’s position as the premiere air cargo hub in the region.”

But DHL said it also plans to make parallel investments in China’s Guangzhou, though Hong Kong remains its primary hub for north and central Asia. It is also opening new facilities, in the Pearl River Delta cities of Dongguan and Zhongshan, and expanding its office in Shenzhen.

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