DHL Express, a unit of global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL, continued to operate in Europe throughout the air traffic shutdown by activating its contingency plans immediately after the volcano eruption.
DHL routed additional flights from its U.S. international hub in Cincinnati to Europe through its facility in Vitoria, Spain, to keep shipments moving through its network. DHL set up alternative ground routes across Europe, increasing its fleet of trucks to over 300 in just three days, and increased its flight operations in regions around the world.
DHL Express is operating at nearly 100 percent of its capacity in Europe. That included nearly all daily intra-European express flights today, with regular night operations at its Leipzig hub in Germany following the re-opening of German air space.
‘We activated our weather contingency plans and they worked. We never stopped pickup and delivery. We had some delays to some European countries, but we had continuous flow in our hubs,’ said Roger Crook, chief executive officer for DHL Express Americas.
Intercontinental air operations to Asia, United States and Middle East/Africa were gradually stepped up during the weekend, including those of AeroLogic and DHL Air UK, and are now back to normal.
In those areas that are still affected by the closure of airspace, DHL will continue to serve customers through an alternative and decentralized road-based network. Customers will receive their shipments at the earliest possible point in time. DHL Express expects to resume its standard express services within the next few days.
Two other divisions of Deutsche Post DHL ’ DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Global Mail ’ are using alternate air freight routes to keep shipments moving. Both divisions have been in close contact with customers and are working closely with carriers to clear shipments that are currently in the pipeline. They expect most lanes will return to normal operating levels by the beginning of next week.