DHL opens zero carbon air hub

DHL has opened a zero carbon air hub at Cologne-Bonn airport. The €123 million refurbishment has taken two years and features a number of technologies that make it carbon-neutral.

Amongst other technologies the hub features an ice energy storage system that has a holding capacity of 1.3 million litres. With its 18km of piping the equipment ensures constant temperatures in the unit in summer and winter. A heat pump and solar panels on the roof ensures that no fossil fuels are used.

“Since its founding 50 years ago, DHL has time and again made its mark with innovative solutions and powered the rapid evolution of the Express industry as a whole. The many new technologies at our Cologne hub are just one more example of this, and it shows the basis of our new Strategy 2025 as well,” explains John Pearson, CEO DHL Express.

“As the experts in export and import, we can only grow by ensuring top quality, which is why we invest more than a billion euros each year in employee training, infrastructure, and digitalisation. The main goal here is to increase our transport and delivery capacity for time-sensitive TDI shipments to meet the ever-growing customer demand in the area of e-commerce. At the same time, we’re continuously improving on process efficiency. Our recently published quarterly results show pretty clearly that we’re on the right track.”

The sorting and parcel management system has been upgraded at the DHL hub too. It can now process up to 20,000 shipments an hour on its 2.5km conveyor belt. It also has 3D scanners and vacuum lifters to make life easier for the 340 employees.

“The EUR 123 million investment in our new hub clearly shows our commitment to the Cologne-Bonn region and ensures the future of a lot of jobs here,” says Detlef Schmitz, Managing Director of the DHL Express hub. “This also makes the hub an even more important part of DHL’s international network. With the new direct route between Hong Kong and Cologne, 28 daily flight movements, and our use of state-of-the-art technologies, we are proud to be contributing – sustainably – to the worldwide growth of DHL Express.”

“We expect continued growth in the coming years, especially in cross-border e-commerce trade,” says Travis Cobb, EVP DHL Global Network Operations. “By modernising our air fleet, we can increase our intercontinental connections and do so with reduced carbon emissions and less fuel consumption. Next year, we will deploy another six brand-new planes from our Boeing order.”


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