DHL invests in new hub at Brussels Airport

DHL is investing heavily into a new sorting facility that will triple the throughput of shipments

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DHL will invest EUR 114 million (approx. US$129 million) in the construction of a new hub at Brussels Airport.  The new hub is expected to triple capacity from 12,000 to 39,500 shipments per hour.

The original Brussels facility was set up in 1985 as a regional hub. In the last five years, Brussels has enjoyed solid double-digit volume growth. Due to this continuous growth and its central location in Europe, the Brussels Hub is increasingly being used as an international and transit hub, which means that the current hub is nearing 100 per cent of its capacity.

Koen Gouweloose, managing director, DHL Aviation NV said: “The new hub will guarantee an even quicker and higher quality service. It will connect Belgian and other EU companies with 18 intra-European destinations and a number of important intercontinental destinations such as the US, China and Africa. In addition, DHL provides 64 road connections from Brussels directly to major business destinations in Europe. This will further reinforce the important position of Brussels in the European and global network, and strengthen Belgian trade connections with the rest of the world.”

Today, DHL employs more than 4,000 people in Belgium, including 1,000 employees at the Brussels Hub. By 2020, DHL expects to create 200 additional jobs through this new investment.

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport emphasised the importance of airfreight in Belgium: “Brussels Airport invests in different categories of air transportation, cargo – cargo on passengers airplanes and express deliveries. With this significant investment from DHL, we will further strengthen our position in Belgium as the logistics centre of Europe. This will have a positive influence on the balance of trade for our country, especially because it creates jobs. Every 100 tonnes of cargo equals one job. At the moment there are approximately 4,500 jobs at Brucargo. Our expectations this year are to add another 400 to 500.”

The total surface area of the planned hub is 36,500 square metres and consists of a new 31,500 square metres sorting centre and a modern 5,000 square metres office complex. DHL will also reduce its environmental footprint through the use of new, more efficient sorting technologies, better insulation, a new vehicle fleet that runs on natural gas, a solar park, environmentally friendly lighting and other measures, in line with DHL’s GoGreen programme. For the Brussels Hub, this means an additional saving of 768 tonnes CO2 per year based on Vlarem2-regulations.

Danny Van Himste, managing director DHL Express Belgium and Luxembourg, explained: “We strongly believe that this investment will not only stimulate further development of the export activities of Belgian companies, but also meet the rising demand created by international e-commerce. After all, more possibilities for the hub in Brussels and our high-performance network of service centres throughout the country mean greater flexibility, later pick-up times and better service for our customers.”

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