DHL Express introduces enhanced intercontinental connections
DHL Express has introduced new wide-bodied aircraft in a bid to enhance its intercontinental and intra-Asian service offering.
Following adjustments to the company’s intra-Asian connections, DHL has opened up service benefits for customers on key trade lanes between the Americans and Asia, which will begin from the end of April this year.
Enhancements include the introduction of a direct connection between Japan and DHL’s Americas Hub in Cincinnati, United States, which will establish a next-day delivery service to the US for all locations directly serviced by DHL in Japan. A return connection between Cincinnati and Tokyo will enable a two-day delivery capability to the Japanese capital and surrounding metropolitan areas for shippers in the US, Canada and Latin America.
A second enhancement will see DHL double the frequency of its wide-bodied freighter connections to Australia from two to four days per week. By optimizing its intercontinental network and routing shipments via Japan, it will be able to reinforce its daily US-Australia connection, while at the same time offering additional and strategically timed daily capacity from key North Asian markets into Australia. This route will be supported by the introduction of two new Boeing 767-300ERF wide-bodied freighters with a capacity of over 55 tons.
In addition to this, anew wide-bodied freighter flight will link the Taiwanese capital Taipei, Incheon, Korea, and Nagoya, Japan, reinforcing express connections within the region. By connecting to the Nagoya-Cincinnati service, it will also provide additional capacity for customers shipping to the US from all three Asian markets.
Sean Wall, Senior Vice President of network operations and aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “The network developments will allow later handover times for shipments to the US from three of Asia’s major markets – Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The changes will enable next-day delivery capabilities to the US for all locations serviced by DHL in Japan. We are also significantly improving our connectivity to Japan and Australia. Beyond these benefits, this investment will provide a platform for continued growth within Asia Pacific itself.”
DHL Express Invests in Electric Cargo Plane Fleet
DHL Express has ordered 12 fully electric cargo planes to supercharge efforts in reducing carbon emissions across its US delivery network.
The Alice eCargo planes are manufactured by Seattle startup Eviation, and are designed specifically to be configured for either cargo or passengers. The first planes are expected to be delivered to DHL Express in 2024.
“We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.
The purchase forms part of DHL’s €7bn investment in reducing CO2 emissions by 2030, with a zero emissions target set for 2050.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” Pearson added. “On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions.”
What is Eviation's Alice Aircraft?
- Manufacturer: Eviation
- Capacity: 1,200kg
- Range: 815km
- Charge time: 30 minutes
- Launching: 2024
Eviation’s Alice aircraft enable cargo and passenger airlines to operate zero-emission fleets. The plane can be flown by one pilot and is capable of carrying 1,200kg, with a maximum range of 815km.
The aircraft can be fully charged in 30 minutes, which can take place while the vehicle is loaded and unloaded between flights. Eviation says that, because the aircraft has fewer moving parts - or points of failure - than traditional aircraft, they are more reliable and reduce maintenance overheads and downtime.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” said Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express. “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions.”
How Does Alice Compare with UPS’ eVTOLs?
DHL Express is not alone in electrifying the skies. In April, UPS announced a new fleet of eVTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, from Beta Technologies, which will enter service in 2024.
UPS’ vehicles can carry 635kg with a 400km range and cruising speeds of up to 170mph. The eVTOLs can carry cargo to several short-hops or one long route on a single charge, and are aimed at healthcare organisation, SMEs and businesses in small or remote communities.
“These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer.
The first 10 eVTOLs will be delivered in 2024, with the option for UPS to order up to 150 more.