DHL has completed the sort automation of its major ground hub in Allentown, Pa. With the completion of the automation at the Allentown facility, the entire $160 million DHL network integration and automation initiative, which included key air and ground hubs in Wilmington, Ohio, and Riverside, Calif., is now complete.


DHL projects to generate an approximate 13 percent improvement in network wide shipment capacity, in addition to improved operational efficiencies, as a result of the completion of the automation programs at all three hubs.


New state-of-the-art equipment at the Allentown facility includes shoe-sort and tilt-tray systems, loaders, unloaders, singulators, dimensional and image scanners, scan tunnels and video coding. Key customer benefits of the automation effort in Allentown include greater letter-and-package visibility through the auto sort system's track-and-trace features as well as increased speed in the handling and processing of shipments. With the transition to auto sort functions in Allentown, letter-handling capabilities will improve by 67 percent and package throughput will increase by 85 percent.


"Our customers are benefiting from the addition of the most technologically advanced software and sortation equipment in the industry," said John Cameron, executive vice president of operations at DHL. "In addition, these new automation systems in Allentown add to the flexibility and reliability of DHL's entire network."


The new Allentown hub features a base footprint of 290,000 square feet with an additional 200,000 square feet of mezzanine work space, and 12,000 square feet of office space. The automation of the new $120 million hub will particularly benefit customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., eastern Pennsylvania and eastern New York. The Allentown hub services 54 pick-up and delivery service depots throughout the region and connects with 18 other sort locations.


In March 2007, automation programs were completed at DHL's $70 million West Coast facility in Riverside, serving the western U.S. as well as an expanded DHL footprint for one-day ground services across California and Arizona. DHL's principal air and ground hub in Wilmington fully completed its automation program in January 2007.