June 7 2007 01:14 PM

New Gateway at Kansai International Airport to meet regions flourishing logistics demand


DHL has inaugurated its new five billion yen (US$41 million) expanded facility at the Kansai International Airport. The 10,100 sqm DHL Kansai International Airport Gateway, located at the International Cargo Warehouse C, is the largest facility operated by an international express company at the airport. 


The event was officiated by Scott Price, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific, and Atsushi Murayama, President of Kansai International Airport Co. Ltd, as well as senior executives from both companies. This latest investment is part of DHLs commitment to invest almost 11 billion yen (US$90 million) in Japan in the next few years, announced at DHL Japans 35th anniversary celebrations in February this year. 


The DHL Kansai International Airport Gateway began operations at the airports International Cargo Area in July 2003. It plays a critical role in serving DHLs customers throughout the Kansai region in West Japan. The expansion of the Gateway enables DHL to meet continued strong business growth in Japan, especially in Kansai - a major import center for exports from China and reflects the important role of Kansai as a conduit of international trade.


The expansion of the DHL Kansai International Airport Gateway underlines the strong growth that DHL is experiencing in Japan and Asia Pacific. The expanded Gateway complements our other Japan Gateways in Chubu and Narita, Mr. Price noted.  Together, the three Gateways seamlessly connect our customers in Japan to our extensive network in Asia Pacific and beyond, ensuring they continue to enjoy DHLs best-in-class product and service offerings.


The expanded facility five times bigger than the previous facility - will accommodate the increases in cargo volume and weight handled by DHL in Kansai. Equipped with state-of-the-art features such as customs clearance and bonded warehouse facilities, the DHL Kansai International Airport Gateway will provide a significant boost to international trade, as well as the air express and logistics industry in Kansai. Now relocated next to the airport runway, the new facility will also further enhance efficiency and speed in cargo processing, providing customers with better time-to-market capabilities. Air Hong Kong, DHLs joint venture with Cathay Pacific, currently operates a ten-time weekly dedicated service to the Kansai International Airport to and from DHLs Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong. In Japan, DHL also utilizes close to 100 commercial flights daily.


Guenter Zorn, Representative Director/President, DHL Japan, said, The Kansai region, Japans second largest economic zone, is home to many local and international companies in the apparel, electronics and heavy machinery industries. With the high level of demand for global express and logistics services among the various industries, the expanded Gateway will enable DHL to provide even more flexible, speedy services to our customers. As a trade facilitator, DHL is delighted to contribute to Kansais ever-increasing trade flows, moving imports and exports efficiently to and from the region.


Mr. Murayama said the expansion of the DHL facility will further stimulate air cargo growth, especially among customers requiring the speedy and reliable services provided by the company.


We welcome the opening of DHLs newly-expanded facility. Come August 2007, Kansai International Airport will be Japans only airport providing 24/7 operations. We firmly believe that the opening of the expanded facility by DHL, which has the worlds most extensive international network, is significant in that it enhances Kansai airports capabilities as an international air logistics hub, opening up new business opportunities for our customers, he said.


A key feature of the expanded facility is its automated sorting system, with features such as parcel flow control and camera scanning technology, which reduces sorting time and improves sorting quality. A first for DHL in Asia Pacific, it is also the first company to install an automated sorting system at the Kansai International Airport. The automated system sorts approximately 7,500 parcels - almost three times more than previously - and 2,000 documents per hour.


A Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA)[1] Class A-certified facility, the expansion will see the Gateway further enhance its advanced security system with more than 40 CCTV cameras, and a Quality Control Center (QCC) that serves as a nerve center for crisis management. Operating 24/7, the DHL QCCs are a network of regional and country quality control centers that proactively monitor all DHL shipments in the air and on the ground round the clock.


As part of DHLs commitment to the security of customers shipments, the QCC is equipped with Quality Shipment Monitoring System (QSMS), a global shipment management system. The QSMS has the unique capability and feature to alert analysts based at QCCs in the countries when certain operational actions do not happen within a fixed set of timings.  This real-time monitoring of individual shipments door-to-door allows better issue management as it enables DHL to identify potential problems, and recommend rectification strategies before the situation is magnified.


DHL is committed to Japan, and has been continuously reinforcing its network infrastructure to enhance its leadership position in the Japanese market. Besides the almost 11 billion yen (US$90 million) committed to Japan over the next few years, DHL had invested 20 billion yen (US$165 million) in Japan between 1999 and 2006, reinforcing both its ground and air networks. DHL is present in 130 locations in Japan, including more than 60 Express Centers and Service Centers - the largest network in the air express industry.