07 April 2013

DHL invests £8.8 million in new shared user hub at Heathrow Airport

- New hub scheduled to open in early 2014
- DHL has secured additional airline catering contracts totalling £40m 

05 April 2013 - DHL Supply Chain is investing £8.8 million in a new end-of-route shared user hub at Heathrow. Scheduled to open in early 2014, the facility will offer airlines a turnkey solution for end-of-route return catering requirements on long haul flights.

Alongside DHL’s existing food preparation facility at the Heathrow Flight Assembly Centre, the new hub will provide procurement and sourcing services, menu development, food assembly and final mile delivery to aircraft, as well as an integrated specialist-recycling centre, enabling airlines to achieve a ‘zero waste to landfill’ catering service.

Sharing the facility and its resources means airlines will benefit from the highest standards of service delivery, but with reduced costs. The investment coincides with news that DHL has secured additional airline catering contracts totalling £40 million per annum, from airlines seeking to differentiate their passenger experience.

Further efficiencies will be achieved through DHL’s bespoke IT solution and advanced fleet telematics, providing enhanced traceability and ensuring optimum use of the hub’s fleet, with the entire operation managed by DHL’s Control Tower.

Paul Richardson, MD of Specialist Services at DHL Supply Chain explains: “This investment builds on our successful flight assembly operation for British Airways, which sees over 80,000 flights serviced and 14 million meals prepared per year. We believe the time is right to leverage our infrastructure and expertise to offer other airlines the opportunity to improve cost control, while reducing the environmental impact of their supply chains.” 

As well as innovative food driers that reduce food waste volume by 70%, advice on menu design, planning and consumption analysis will help airlines avoid over-ordering; by tracking the consumption of each flight, DHL will reduce over-stocking product on flights, reducing weight, fuel burn and cost without affecting the service to passengers.

Source: DHL