DHL Express completes multi million pound facility upgrade in South Africa
DHL Express has upgraded its Johannesburg Gateway facility, a fixed base for shipment handling, based at OR Tambo International Airport, after outgrowing its capacity due to rapid volume growth.
The Johannesburg Gateway facility upgrade is the third in a series of developments by DHL Express to cater for the surge in growth experienced in South Africa’s major cities over the past 14 months.
The R22 million (£1.27 million) upgrade includes an increase in floor space and advancements in the technology and processes utilised and is aimed at meeting the increase in parcel volumes which the company has experienced in the region, as well as ensuring capacity for expected future growth.
Hennie Heymans, Managing Director of DHL Express South Africa, says that the rapid growth in the Gauteng region has necessitated the expansion of the Johannesburg Gateway to efficiently accommodate the inbound and outbound flow of parcel volumes. He said: “The expansion will see an increase in the Gateway’s handling capacity from three unit loading devices to ten, thereby allowing the company to accommodate 50,000kg in parcels, up from 15,000kgs.”
Recent infrastructure upgrades in South Africa include a DHL Express Gateway facility that was opened in September 2013 at Cape Town International Airport, which resulted in the facility doubling its processing capacity after replacing a previous station – a fixed base for receiving, sorting, re-weighing and transporting of parcels to their intended destinations – in Maitland. The company’s Durban Station facility was also relocated in March 2014, from Berea to Riverhorse Valley, and was equipped with a new system making it DHL’s flagship station in Africa.
Heymans says that the Johannesburg facility will be able to handle 15 times more shipments than the Cape Town facility on a daily basis. “This highlights the growth and potential in the region and why DHL has invested in the facility to ensure that this demand is met effectively.”
Heymans adds that the Johannesburg Gateway will not only see an increase in size – from 1709 square metres to 2800 square metres; but also the adoption of state-of-the-art equipment and world-class material handling process methodologies.
The new facility will showcase the latest in logistics technology, including a Pick-to-Light System to indicate shipment clearance and an additional X-ray machine which will ensure more efficiency and pace in shipment throughput. In addition, double-handling will be significantly reduced through the introduction of a telescoping conveyor to directly load and offload parcels.
The company has also increased its simultaneous scale weighing capacity from one 10 ton device to five 10 ton devices. This will allow shipments to be processed directly from the Gateway facility to the aircraft 400% faster via an in-house ground handler who will verify weight and load control.
“DHL Express’ multiple upgrades in the country allow for effective shipment movement and ensure that the company is able to effectively accommodate the growth in parcel volumes. Our ongoing investment in infrastructure in South Africa and across Sub Saharan Africa showcases our commitment to Africa and we have a firm belief and vested interest in Africa delivering on its obvious promise,” concludes Heymans.
The upgrade of the Johannesburg Gateway facility commenced in August 2014 and is expected to start operations at end of December 2014
DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. It has a global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees’ worldwide. For more information, visit: www.dpdhl.com
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany