DHL opens Germany's largest parcel sorting depot

- Leadership - Jun 17, 2016

Deutsche Post DHL has opened the largest parcel and mail sorting centre in Germany.

With a sorting capacity of 50,000 parcels per hour, Deutsche Post DHL Group's most modern and efficient parcel centre is now open in the south Hessian town of Obertshausen.

On about 37,000 square meters of indoor floor space, more than six kilometres of sorting and conveyor lines were assembled with over 400 sorting terminal points, at which employees load the packages for further shipping. For the structure supporting the industrial equipment alone, more than 2,000 tons of steel was needed - equivalent to one third of the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

"For this project, we took completely new paths and, for the first time, even assumed the role of producer for the installed sorting system. That gives us not only great innovation potential, but also allows us to constantly develop our own technical knowledge. With this, Obertshausen will set the standards for the future - not only for us, but also for the sector," said Jürgen Gerdes, Board Member for the Post - eCommerce - Parcel division at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

For comparison, parcel centres until now have had a sorting capacity of between 30,000 and 40,000 shipments per hour.

Apart from the capacity increase, the focus is also on faster transit times and greater flexibility to fulfil the constantly growing expectations of customers in a still booming parcel market. In the new parcel mega-centre in Obertshausen, Deutsche Post DHL Group is relying on the latest technology, which accelerates the procedures, while making them much easier for employees. Overall, the company invested an amount in the tens of millions for this new site.

Jürgen Gerdes: "The innovative technical solutions being deployed for the first time at the Obertshausen parcel centre laid a foundation to develop new products and services for our parcel business."

"The innovative technical solutions being deployed for the first time at the Obertshausen parcel centre laid a foundation to develop new products and services for our parcel business," Gerdes says. Even more flexible delivery options and times, even more detailed shipment tracking and additional shipment information are examples of DHL Paket's future services.

A total of about 600 jobs are being created at the new location - both for the sorting of parcels and for deliveries.

"In very few regions is the globally connected economy as noticeable as it is here in the Rhine-Main area. To benefit in the long term from the opportunities that this offers for our economic growth, it is necessary to create new jobs and secure them in the long run. Therefore, we are delighted that Deutsche Post DHL has chosen Obertshausen as the site for this prestige property," says Hessian State Premier Volker Bouffier.

Deutsche Post DHL Group also paid careful attention to the targeted control of energy consumption during the development of the new site and is thereby contributing to a further reduction of emissions in its own group network.

For the Obertshausen parcel centre specifically, a state-of-the-art gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant was therefore installed to heat the hall and to simultaneously generate electricity. On the roof surface, a photovoltaic system was built with an output of 650 kWp (kilowatt peak). Most of the electricity generated in this way is used in the parcel centre itself. By combining solar energy in the summer months with electric power generated by the CHP plant in the cooler months, a large proportion of the required electricity can be produced throughout the year in an efficient and resource-saving way.

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