DHL Express expects historical peak season in global trade

DHL Supply Chain has announced the beginning of construction of its 'London Thames Gateway’, which will be operational in spring 2023.

DHL Express has announced it is expecting unprecedented online shopping and shipping volumes during the upcoming peak season 2020. As a consequence of growing levels of globalisation and digitalisation, cross border trade has continuously grown over the last years. Additionally, the pandemic has caused consumers to shift their shopping activities to the online world. This will particularly apply to the upcoming popular mega shopping days such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ as well as the Christmas shopping season. Having already experienced around 35% e-commerce volume growth in 2020 in its network, the upcoming peak season is expected to bring higher shipment quantities, increasing by 50% Y-o-Y.

DHL states the effects of Covid-19 on online shopping will result in higher volumes and an earlier peak season start. “Covid-19 and its impacts such as curfews or distancing led to massive changes in the retail sector all over the world”, says Michiel Greeven, EVP Global Sales at DHL Express. “As a consequence, the buying behaviour of consumers, but also B2B Buyers, changed significantly and shifted more and more into the online world. From an e-commerce perspective, some might even say that Covid-19 brought 2030 to 2020, with online shopping and the necessary shipping as the new normal. And this not only counts for B2C retailers but also in the light of B2B E-commerce. Particularly in the current days of uncertainty, many giant stores will be going online with their sales promotion. This will have its effect on peak season as well and shoppers will be mainly going online to get the best deals instead of going to physical stores. With the result of fast shipping needs as well.”

The unprecedented peak of shipments poses an additional challenge for logistics. To be prepared DHL Express states it has hired more than 10.000 new employees globally. Though it is relying on its investments in infrastructure such as hubs and gateways, aircraft, vehicles and technology, which is said to enable the company to multiply the capacities of its operations and therefore be able to manage the upcoming volumes.

“Since many years we have seen a high demand from online merchants for our express services and therefore strong growing volumes in our global Express network”, says Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express. “We annually invest approximately €1bn to meet our customers’ requirements and ship their goods with the fastest possible transit times – all around the world. […] Even in times of a second wave of the global pandemic we will ensure that our customer’s businesses continue, and that global trade is secure.”

To manage the high demands of e-commerce and protective and medical goods, DHL Express has increased the number of its daily flights. This year the company put four new wide-body aircraft of the model B777 F in operation, with two more units expected in the next month. These six additional aircraft are hoped to enable the company to carry out more than 3,000 additional intercontinental flights per year.