DHL Express has become the first international express company to handle transhipment cargo at its US$175 Million DHL North Asia hub in Shanghai which it opened last year. The global express giant undertook its first transhipment operation on the evening of 21 November involving approximately eight tonnes of transhipment cargo. DHL is so far the only international express company given a permit to pilot the movement of transhipment cargo at the Shanghai Pudong Airport.
A senior DHL official speaking to Payload Asia on the sidelines of the China Air Cargo Summit 2013 said trials had been ongoing for the last few months and he noted that while the North Asia hub was established primarily as a ‘gateway’ hub for China, handling of transhipment cargo had also been part of the strategy, pending government approval.
“We have of course been doing tail-to-tail transfers but obviously we want to fully tap the efficiencies of the hub,” he said.
The move to pilot transhipment movements is part of the country’s new China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, a far-reaching and still evolving initiative meant to transform China’s economy and investment framework, which officially opened on 29 October.
Altogether, the zone covers less than 29 sq km, encompassing four Customs special control areas: Waigaoqiao Bonded Area, the Waigaoqiao Logistics Park, Yangshan Port and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.