Despite China’s fluctuating economy, DHL is finding that the country is still a hot destination for ecommerce. Crossborder, direct-to-consumer deliveries continue to boom in China, according to DHL eCommerce Asia-Pacific chief executive Malcolm Monteiro. 

This was a key factor in the decision to open the DHL eCommerce Shanghai Terminal in Jiuting in July, with the purpose of reducing transit time by up to three days for manufacturers, particularly in eastern and northern China.

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“As a global logistics company, we are looking to quickly develop products that embrace the changes required to meet market demands, and facilitate global trade flows,” says Mr Monteiro.

The new Shanghai Terminal is a dedicated facility designed to tap in to China’s burgeoning ecommerce sector. It functions as a central point of consolidation for goods from China intended for global distribution.

Bigger every year

Market analysts are optimistic about the Asian market, especially China. According to market research company EMarketer Inc, ecommerce in China is projected to be worth $101bn by 2018, compared with $426.3bn in 2014. China’s National Bureau of Statistics indicates that online shopping accounted for 10.7% of total retail sales in China in 2014.

DHL eCommerce reports that the trade volume in China’s online sales in the first five months of 2015 was already equal to the whole of 2014. The company expects about 95% of outbound logistics volume to come from nine provinces.

“Internet connectivity and logistics infrastructure in remote regions of China have been improving rapidly,” says Mr Monteiro. “With our partners’ network within China, we are able to efficiently deliver crossborder shipments to all consumers.”

DHL plans to launch additional drop-off centres in northern and southern China by the end of 2015. These will provide regional consolidation of the large volumes, aggregating the shipments before they move to the Shanghai Terminal for global distribution. The company already operates terminals in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Choosing partners

“We invested significantly in our ecommerce terminal in Hong Kong to ensure that we are ready to support the ever-growing demand for crossborder deliveries,” says Mr Monteiro. “Shipments from our customers in Hong Kong and south China destined for worldwide destinations are processed in our terminal located in Hong Kong.”

DHL eCommerce works with companies such as Alibaba and Amazon in China on projects such as the German football club Bayern Munich’s flagship store on the Tmall Global online platform.

Looking beyond China, Mr Monteiro reveals that Deutsche Post DHL Group’s long-term goal is to define the logistics industry worldwide. This includes further expansion in emerging markets, including south-east Asia, as well as the international expansion of DHL’s parcel business.

One of the group’s divisions has been renamed Post - eCommerce - Parcel. DHL eCommerce was created to focus globally on ecommerce services, both crossborder and domestic outside Europe.

“The division will build on its leading position in ecommerce logistics in Germany, Europe and beyond and use its knowledge and experience to develop products and services that will make DHL a leader in ecommerce in Asia-Pacific and the world,” says Mr Monteiro.