DHL Launches North America Trade Lane Initiative

DHL, the world's leading global express delivery and logistics company, today announced a new program that will streamline cross-border shipping in North America. Specifically, the DHL North America Trade Lane initiative will speed and expedite cross-border shipments, saving time and money for U.S., Canadian and Mexican companies participating in the $8.8 billion cross-border express and ground parcel shipping market in North America.

DHL's North America Trade Lane initiative represents a new way of looking at the rapidly changing needs of cross-border shippers in North America. DHL developed the program to help customers better address the ever-changing needs of global commerce. To that end, DHL is adapting its networks, infrastructure and services to better match customers’ evolving supply chains. The program includes:

  • enhancements to DHL's facilities, fleet and other infrastructure, including new International Gateways and expanded "Border Operating Centers" (BOCs);
  • additional bilingual customer service representatives to help customers navigate the regulatory aspects of cross-border shipping; and
  • additional representatives to help customers with cross-border shipping solutions.

During the first five years of the new initiative, DHL's launch of several expanded Border Operations Centers will facilitate customer shipping across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. These BOCs will streamline and expedite cross-border service in express and ground parcel shipping within North America. Beginning in 2007, each of DHL’s BOCs will expand operations to include, under one roof, everything needed to speed customers’ cross-border shipments. Created to help companies achieve more efficient cross-border shipping among the U.S., Mexico and Canada, the DHL BOCs will feature advanced technology inspection equipment, fast-track customs clearance systems, and specially trained staff.

Canada and Mexico together represent nearly $300 billion a year in export business to the United States, and are the first- and third-largest trading partners for the U.S., respectively. The U.S. is also the leading trading partner for each country.

To serve the U.S.-Mexico trade route early in 2007, DHL will launch BOCs strategically located in Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros, Mexico - with companion U.S. locations just across the border. DHL will also expand US-Canada cross-border operations to facilitate expedited northbound and southbound shipments. DHL has already dramatically increased its Canada network with the purchase in of Loomis in 2003, one of Canada’s leading express and ground parcel shipping networks, adding new facilities to the DHL express network and recently reconfiguring its network operations to accept larger aircraft.

"The industry has typically routed U.S.-to-Mexico shipments through slower and more costly processes, often trucking or flying shipments to locations far from the border for clearance, leading to costly delays for shipments into Northern Mexico," said Lindsay Birley, DHL Executive Vice President of International Products and Services.

"Among other steps to better serve cross-border customers, DHL is simplifying and streamlining that process by providing all needed services under one roof, at the border. DHL’s centralized customer clearance activities will occur at convenient border locations determined by the shipping requirements of our customers. By cutting steps out of the process, we are saving our customers time and money," Birley said.

DHL's North America initiative also includes new, efficiently bundled services designed to save customers time and money. With DHL’s "Break Bulk Express," for example, customers can combine individual packages into one large shipment to speed and simplify customs clearance. DHL then “breaks” the bundled shipment back into its individual package components and delivers each individually.

"The new BOCs will not only bring us closer to our customers, but also ensure close working relationships with local customs clearance officials," Birley said. "We’re applying what we've learned as the world's leading international shipper to increase convenience and speed, while lowering costs. We see enormous potential in making cross-border shipping easier for North American shippers."

The North America Trade Lanes initiative is one more element of DHL's recent extensive investment and buildout of infrastructure and service in North America. During just the past few years, DHL has invested more than $1.2 billion in its U.S. infrastructure, creating a vastly expanded U.S. domestic shipping network. Likewise, DHL has made significant investments to enhance its footprint in Canada, and to strengthen its leading position in Mexico.

Future DHL improvements to support the flow of goods and documents throughout North America will include additional ground network upgrades and ground fleet enhancements, added flights in all three countries, specialized customer-focused call center operations, and additional Border Operations Centers along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders.

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