DHL is expanding its Airfreight Plus network into Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) despite a challenging regional economic outlook and sanctions on Russia. The carrier announced that the new locations are in response to, “a switch from overnight demand to more economical distribution solutions, and thus an increasing demand for our DHL Airfreight Plus product,” explained Ingo-Alexander Rahn, global head of airfreight for DHL Global Forwarding.
The move reflects ongoing confidence in Russia’s airfreight potential, despite dwindling prospects on the ground. While the commodities glut has the post-Soviet region’s economy on its back-heels, and economic sanctions are exacerbating these conditions in Russia, airfreight stands to benefit from surging demand for e-commerce, and luxury items remain as popular as ever in cosmopolitan centers, such as Moscow, where wealthy consumers live. Both Russian and CIS markets require airfreight delivery that is often sourced internationally due to limited domestic manufacturing capacity. In addition, Moscow has succeeded in creating a cost-effective hub for airfreight moving between China and the EU.
By integrating Moscow and other yet to be disclosed Russian cities into the DHL Airfreight Plus network, the company increases its reach to 54 countries in Europe and Asia. The carrier plans to fully integrate the new cities into its network by the end of 2016.
DHL’s freight service offers intra-European or intra-Asian door-to-door air transportation for cargo weighing up to two tonnes. The service is offered through more than 11,000 daily departures across Europe and Asia with DHL’s fleet, as well as commercial carriers.