This will come as welcome news to most African countries which have close business relations with North Asian countries, including China, Japan and Korea.
Commenting on the development, DHL Express Managing Director for Equatorial Africa, Alan Cassels, who was present at the ceremony, termed it a major milestone that will further enhance trade between Africa and the Far East.
“In keeping with our commitment to convenience and speed, we see this as a strategic development in further cementing business relations between Africa, North Asia and the rest of the world,” said Cassels.
DHL currently operates in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, including more than 50 within Sub-Saharan Africa which has its own dedicated air network and unparalleled infrastructure.
This provides a huge benefit for businesses and private customers looking to access the globe from Equatorial Africa via the DHL network.
The hub is situated at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, where the opening ceremony was attended by government dignitaries, financial and investment analysts and top officials from DP DHL, led by CEO, Frank Appel.
The company further announced its plan to commit another US$132 million to add eight dedicated freighter aircraft by 2014 to routes between the NAH and North Asia, Europe and the US.
The aircraft will be operated by partner and equity-held airlines: Polar Air, Aerologic, DHL Air UK and other supplier airlines.
“These new aircraft will expand capacity on our existing direct connections between the NAH and Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as DHL’s other global hubs in Leipzig, Germany, and Cincinnati, USA. In addition, we will add new connections between the NAH and East Midlands, UK,” Appel said.
Accelerated economic activities in countries like China and Taiwan had prompted the company to increase capacity on existing routes between the NAH and other cities across the world.
DHL pioneered Express services in the region 40 years ago and 32 years ago the company became the first international express operator to enter China.
Currently, the company serves customers in over 40 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region with 40 dedicated aircraft and more than 690 commercial flights per day. It is the market leader for international express in China with more than a 30 percent market share.
“DHL Express North Asia Hub is a logistics milestone in DHL’s Asia Pacific network and the culmination of a multi-hub and aviation strategy that cements our leadership position in terms of connections, convenience and cost-effectiveness,” Appel said.