DHL eCommerce, a division of leading logistics company Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group, is investing EUR70 million (US$75 million) to strengthen its operations to meet the fast-growing demand for e-commerce logistics services in India.
Through its subsidiary Blue Dart Express, this investment will go into the expansion of its air hubs in Delhi and Mumbai, which are part of its network of 13 air hubs in India. The latest investment supports the growth of B2C e-commerce in India, and is part of the company’s broader plan to aggressively expand across Asia Pacific.
“The US and Asia Pacific are the two largest B2C e-commerce markets in the world, and the opening of these new facilities will be another milestone in the expansion of DHL eCommerce logistics network. India is a really important market for us and is one of the fastest-growing, with B2C e-commerce expected to grow from EUR9.6 billion (US$10.27 billion) in 2016 to EUR 30-40 billion (US$32-43 billion) in 2020,” said Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce.
The company is also planning to introduce its newly-developed drone, Parcelcopter, for last-mile delivery services in India after getting necessary clearance, DHL eCommerce CEO Charles Brewer told e27. “In terms of using the Parcelcopter in India, we would love to do so, but of course is predicated on the local legislation. So whilst you may not see a Blue Dart Parcelcopter flying around India anytime soon, we will as soon as allowed to do so,” he added.
Parcelcopter has successfully completed its trial run in Germany. The copter service has directly been integrated into its delivery chain. Using this, customers can simply insert their shipments into the pack station, dubbed as Skyport, to initiate automated shipment and delivery by Parcelcopter.
DHL eCommerce has been making sustained investments and innovative solutions in India over the years, through Blue DartExpress. In 2015, it launched Parcel Locker in Gurgaon to enable more choice and convenience for consumers to collect their shipments. Other innovations include Smart Trucks, which uses technology to help vehicles overcome urban logistics challenges, and mobile wallets to offer secure and streamlined cash-on-delivery solutions to enable convenient transactions for e-commerce consumers.
The company has partnered with leading e-commerce companies in India for last-mile delivery.
“Recognising the tremendous potential in Asia Pacific, we are making aggressive steps to ensure that our customers are well supported to tap into the growing e-commerce market,” says Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL eCommerce.
In June 2016, DHL eCommerce announced that it will expand its overall presence in China by 50 per cent, with the expansion of the distribution centres in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Earlier in January 2016, DHL eCommerce launched domestic delivery operations in Thailand and announced plans to double its fleet and number of depots by 2017.