Dascher commits £23 million to new UK investment
Dachser announced on the eve of Multimodal that it is to invest £23 million in a major new integrated logistics centre close to its existing operation in Northampton, UK.
The company has purchased a 7 hectare freehold site on which it plans to build a 6,000 sq metre cross-dock facility and 11,000 sq metres of contract logistics warehousing, together with two-storey office accommodation.
UK MD Nick Lowe told Multimodal that the development, scheduled for completion by March 2014, was in response to the rapid increase in demand for Dachser’s pan-European trailer services. “Export growth was 15% last year, closing the gap on our imports which are growing slightly more slowly. That’s giving us an ideal balance between our inbound and outbound traffic and I’m pleased to say we have maintained our rate of growth in the first quarter of 2013.”
Lowe added that this was a result of significant growth in market share for Dachser, since the company’s analysis of trailer movements in and out of the UK indicated an increase of only 2.5% last year.
The new Northampton premises will allow Dachser to consolidate several facilities on the adjoining Brackmills industrial estate, including a cross-dock operation that will now double in size, two contract logistics warehouses and an additional storage unit on short-term rental.
Lowe said Dachser, which currently employs 140 at Northampton, would recruit 40 to 50 new personnel in the first phase. The company’s plans include provision for a further 2,400 sq metres of cross-docking and 10,500 sq metres of additional warehousing, which Lowe hoped could be developed in five to six years if volumes continued to increase.
Dachser’s Dartford and Rochdale operations are also handling more traffic. The company runs daily European linehauls from all three locations and has pledged to open more offices.
With many similar announcements of infrastructure investment and new contract wins on the opening day, Multimodal 2013 looks set to be the busiest event in its six-year history as well as the biggest, with 270 exhibitors and more than 6,000 pre-registered visitors.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.