DHL has poured more than US$6.2 million into expanding its DHL Express Taipei Gateway in the Farglory Free Trade Zone (遠雄自由貿易港區) near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the company said yesterday.
Jerry Hsu (許克威), president of DHL Express, Greater China Area, said the investment comes as DHL bets on warming ties between Taiwan and China, as well as the explosive business potential of the area becoming one large economic region that is most likely to lead the global economic recovery.
“The Greater China Area was the world’s second largest economy in 2008 and had an external trade volume of US$3.8 trillion, accounting for 11.8 percent of total world commerce,” Hsu told a media briefing.
With the expansion, DHL Express Taipei Gateway covers 13,515m2, contains 10 truck docks and can handle 82 inbound/outbound unit load devices (ULD) at the same time, while throughput has increased from 3,600 to 11,000 pieces per hour, said Stephen Fenwick, senior vice president of operations at DHL Express Asia Pacific.
Besides the Taipei Gateway, DHL has eight other service centers across Taiwan.
“Unit cost basis continues to be a challenge for DHL. However, we are collapsing other activities and volume through the Taipei Gateway to achieve economies of scale over time,” Fenwick said.
In sum, DHL has spent more than US$1.3 billion in the area to sustain its market leadership with a market share of 34.4 percent last year and investment allocations of US$615 million, US$35 million and US$645 million in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively.
In the Greater China Area alone, DHL has a presence in more than 422 cities, with 212 facilities, about 10,000 staff and 37 years of experience serving the booming market, the company said.
“Even though we did experience a slump in shipping at the end of 2008, for the first three months of this year, we witnessed a clear pick up in activities,” Fenwick said.
DHL Express has grown at 1.4 times the market growth rate for the past three years because of its ongoing investment, development and strengthening of its management team, Hsu said.
In 1973, the company became the first international courier company to set up operations in Taiwan.
In the Asia-Pacific region, DHL grossed nearly 6.3 billion euros (US$8.4 billion) last year with 170 million air shipments and 1.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in ocean freight, company data showed.