International logistics giant DHL Express has introduced its first direct air freight service from Melbourne to Auckland to cater for a COVID-propelled boom in e-commerce sales and continued growth in Victorian exports across the Tasman.
The service, which has just commenced, will leave Melbourne five nights a week at 11.30pm and fly to Auckland, then to Christchurch, returning to Melbourne at about 10.30pm the following night.
The DHL 737 400 series freighter will fly from Monday through to Thursday nights, plus one more trip over the weekend. It can carry up to 19 tonnes of freight per trip.
“We’ve been operating a Trans-Tasman service for the last 20-odd years, and it’s been operating always out of Sydney. It operates Auckland-Sydney-Auckland every night and we’ve been routing all our volume up from Melbourne to Sydney,” said Gary Edstein, DHL Express Oceania chief executive.
“We’ve always wanted to have a direct service out of Melbourne, but we never had the volume,” he said.
Mr Edstein said DHL wanted a direct Melbourne-NZ service because it wanted to improve transit times, and side-step issues such as the curfew on flights in and out of the Sydney airport.
“When COVID-19 hit our volumes have soared, and we’ve always wanted to do this Melbourne-Auckland direct (service). And it’s been seven years in the planning to get up to a volume that will justify it, and we’ve now got that volume,” he said.
DHL Express’ Melbourne to New Zealand shipment volumes have jumped 49 per cent over the past year, making the route one of the fastest growing ones for DHL in the Oceania region. DHL said New Zealand is Victoria’s third largest export destination after China and the United States, buying about 7.6 per cent of Victoria’s exports.
Mr Edstein said the products DHL carried from Melbourne to New Zealand included clothing, electronic goods and spare parts.
“A lot of major companies have their distribution centre in Melbourne, and they don’t have a distribution centre in New Zealand. So because of our service, our overnight capability they can centralise all their stock in to one major location,” he said.
DHL Express has hired about an extra 120 staff in Australia since mid-year, because of the huge growth in demand for its services.
Source: Thanks smh.com