DHL ramps up capacity to meet demand
DHL is expanding its capabilities in several ways to meet what it expects will be record holiday season volumes.
DHL is forecasting volume growth of as much as 40% across its four logistics business units in the U.S. in the 2017 holiday season. With U.S. retailers posting record sales of approximately $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, the growing role of e-commerce in the retail sector is also bringing new revenue opportunities and operational challenges into focus for both the retail and logistics industries.
“E-commerce is fundamentally changing the way in which logistics companies operate," said DHL eCommerce CEO, Lee Spratt. "To help our retail customers in the U.S. meet the demands of online shoppers for greater transparency, convenience and speed, we have to balance increased capacity with improved efficiency and to offer flexible omni-channel solutions. DHL is expanding its services across all operating divisions, from fulfillment to the last-mile, in order to support this dynamic and fast-growing segment.”
To meet these challenges, the company says it plans to hire about 6,000 additional seasonal workers across its four business units in North America to support in its contract logistics, fulfillment, freight transportation and express delivery operations in December.
DHL Supply Chain President, Retail, Jim Gehr said: “U.S. retailers’ success for the entire year can hinge on sales and supply chain execution over the last eight weeks of the year. With fast-changing consumer habits, rapidly increasing volumes and a tight labor market, we see significant potential for new technologies, such as robotics and augmented reality, to drive productivity improvements within our customers’ supply chains.”
DHL is also introducing upgrades to its service capabilities, including additional flights, new customer applications and piloting new warehousing technologies that leverage robotics and augmented reality to increase productivity.
“Cross border e-commerce growth continues in the U.S. as consumer demand for overseas products increases driving both our imports and exports," said DHL Express SVP, Network Operations, Travis Cobb. "To prepare for a busy 2017 holiday season, we have continued investment in U.S. facilities as well as expanded our intercontinental air capacity. To ensure the delivery process is more convenient than ever, we are continuing to develop web-based tools such as On Demand Delivery which is now fully deployed in the Americas to simplify the shipping and delivery process for major retailers, smaller businesses and their customers.”