Hat trick’ of Asian investments for DHL Express

Fresh from record profits of nearly €500,000 last year after finally dumping its lossmaking US domestic unit, DHL Express CEO Ken Allen could certainly be forgiven for enthusiastically breaking out in song - literally - at a recent press conference in Hong Kong marking the start of a new direct flight to the express giant's US hub in Cincinnati. Donald Urquhart has the story from Hong Kong.

DHL Express

To the pop tune of ‘I wanna be a billionaire’, Allen along with senior executives Jerry Hsu and Charlie Dobbie belted out a few cleverly edited lines of the song which ran something like this: “I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin’ bad, UPS and FedEx will be sad.” Although the Express division will likely take some time before it hits ‘billionaire’ profitability, Allen was nonetheless pleased with how this year has started off , despite it typically being a slow quarter. Revenue for the Express division was up by 5.5 per cent in Q1 to 2.8 billion, with the increase being attributed to a growth in international shipments. The company added this “trend more than off set the sale of the domestic express business in the United Kingdom and France”. Operating profit rose to 216 million with doubledigit revenue growth achieved in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Indeed this double-digit growth in Asia-Pacific is the key factor behind the ‘hat trick’ of announcements in Hong Kong last month, all aimed at tapping this healthy growth story.

New HK-US service
The first was an additional daily intercontinental flight from Hong Kong to Cincinnati in what DHL Express VP for global network operations and IT, Charlie Dobbie said was “a direct response to increasing demands for services from South China and Hong Kong to North America.”The new service which utilises a B747-400 operated by DHL Expresss’ ACMI partner Polar Air will enable customers to enjoy a later pick up time out of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta and overnight service to North America, including Canada, US, Mexico and Panama. On the back-haul this service will route from Cincinnati to Bahrain to facilitate what DHL Express said was the increased trade between North America and the Middle East. The route shortens delivery time by one day to DHL’s Bahrain Hub.