DHL Express investing $100m in Middle East and North Africa infrastructure

DHL Express investing $100m in Middle East and North Africa infrastructure

DHL Express is set to open five new facilities in the Middle East and North Africa by the end of this year in a $177m, two-year investment programme. The express delivery arm of Deutsche Post DHL said yesterday that its investment reinforces its position in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the largest markets in a growing region.

The new developments include DHL’s biggest ground operation facility in the region, in Dubai, plus a new Country Office in Cairo and three gateway facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The facilities should be on stream by the fourth quarter of this financial year.

The company said the project was a “major milestone” for its fast-growing Middle East and North Africa network, bringing new services, increased staffing and air capacity.

Nour Suliman, the Middle East and North Africa chief executive for DHL Express, said the region was seeing its trading links growing in importance, with “strong” growth projected over the next few years.

“Our plan is to be right at the center of that growth to serve our customers,” he said.

“It is important for us to support and help build international trade routes. Our investment of $177m in bigger and more efficient operational gateways in major markets such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE shows that we are committed to our pioneering role.”

Saudi Arabia

The majority of the $177m investment, more than $95m, is going into the there new gateways linking Saudi Arabia to DHL’s global network — facilities in Damman, Riyadh and Jeddah.

The new gateways will double DHL’s logistics offering for customers in Saudi Arabia, and help expand trade to the country’s major trading partners including China, Japan and the United States.

The Riyadh facility at King Khalid International Airport includes a new DHL Express head office and a 4,000 square metre gateway facility that will employ more than 150 workers when if opens in September. For the first time, it will allow DHL to offer an in-house customs bonded facility in Saudi Arabia, helping to reduce customs clearance times.

The Dammam Gateway facility opened last year at King Fahd International Airport, offering 10,000 sq m of capacity.

The Jeddah facility is a 5,850 sq m facility on a 15,000 sq m plot, and is expected to open later this year.

DHL Express handled 300,000 shipments in Saudi Arabia during 2012, through a network of 40 service points and five service centres.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the region’s biggest markets for DHL Express,” said Suliman. “Our capability in Saudi Arabia is a key revenue and service driver for the region – the new gateways and new flights into Riyadh, where capacity constraints previously capped the movements at nine per week will boost revenue growth for our customers region-wide.”

Egypt and UAE

In the UAE, DHL is investing $27m in three facilities.

DHL said it has invested about $55m in a new Country Office in Cairo, which includes the company’s largest gateway facility in North Africa, a 7,300 sq m facility.

The company said Egypt was a major logistics hub in the region, and that with more than 1,500 active customers, it enjoyed a 40% market share in the country.

A further $27m will be invested in three facilities in the United Arab Emirates, including DHL’s largest ground operations facility in the Middle East and North Africa, in Meydan. The 17,265 sq m facility will include a 7,272 sq m indoor sorting and loading area and a new 4,333 sq m head office for DHL in Egypt.

DHL is revamping its Dubai Hub, making use of the area vacated by its old head office to expand capacity. The company’s Abu Dhabi gateway and service center is also being relocated to the new Logistics Park at Abu Dhabi Airport Business City, which will include 2,880 sq m of warehouse space.

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