DHL spends $83m to expand Asian footprint

30 August 2017

DHL Supply Chain has announced it will invest $83m by 2020 to grow its regional footprint in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The German logistics company said it plans to build new facilities, expand its fleet of trucks and introduce an array of new technologies, including automation and robotics, unmanned vehicles, vision picking, transport control towers and telematics, into its warehouses and transport operations.

John Gilbert, CEO of DHL Supply Chain, said investments were needed in the region as it accounted for a major portion of DHL’s 2016 revenues.

“Asia-Pacific is one of the most important regions for DHL Supply Chain, being accountable for a significant share of our revenues for 2016. Consumer, retail and tech industries drive these developments, becoming evident in increased amounts of new and extended contracts,” he said. 

“Being already the market leader for the region, it is fully natural for us to foster our commitment in the region [while] remaining a reliable partner.” 

The investment is expected to boost the company’s combined warehouse space in the four receiving countries to 1.44m sq m by 2020 and create 7,000 jobs, making a total of 17,000 employees, the company said. 

DHL Supply Chain said it is already a market leader in Thailand with a 25-30% share in the contract logistics division. It will strengthen its presence by raising its warehouse space in 2020 from 650,000 sq m to 1m sq m, while expanding its staff size from 10,000 to 13,000.

Kevin Burrell, chief executive of DHL Supply Chain for Thailand, said DHL’s additional investment in Thailand would widen the supply for a growing country.

“The economic growth in Thailand is expected to gain momentum and we stand ready to provide reliable contract logistics services to foreign companies who would look to expand their operations in Thailand,” he said. 

“We will continue to consolidate and support markets in which we lead, namely Thailand and Vietnam, and are committed to invest to provide industry-leading solutions in countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia.”

In Vietnam, where it is also a top player, it plans to add 400,000 sq m of warehouse space and employ an extra 3,000 by 2020.

The company became the first foreign firm to acquire an investment permit from the Myanmar Investment Commission last month, enabling it to establish a presence in the country with a 20,000 sq m warehouse employing 500 workers and putting 150 trucks on the road.

The company said it would next concentrate on building a presence in Cambodia with a 20,000 sq warehouse employing 500 people by 2020.

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