DHL expands Bahrain hub

Delivery giant, DHL has embarked on a US$6.5 million expansion of its regional headquarters in Bahrain, and is considering the establishment of additional hubs in Iran and Iraq.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  April 25, 2005

Delivery giant, DHL has embarked on a US$6.5 million expansion of its regional headquarters in Bahrain, and is considering the establishment of additional hubs in Iran and Iraq. The upgrade, which will increase the firm’s capacity in Bahrain by 50% to 75%, is expected to be complete by the end of the year. “We’ve rather outgrown the facility as its stands. Even if we forecast flat growth we would have to expand in Bahrain as it is,” said DHL’s commercial head Duncan Watson. Citing revenue growth of 50% from its Middle Eastern operations during 2004, the firm is also in the midst of a five-year plan to expand its regional network. It is spending US$2.75 million on its operations in Qatar, and recently opened a new express facility in Jebel Ali. According to Watson, its existing operations in Iraq and Iran could also be developed to form regional hubs alongside its Bahraini facility. “I could see a two or three hub approach in the future. Between those two countries [Iraq and Iran] we are looking at a combined population of 90 million people and companies need a robust supply chain to serve that market. We’re working on those two countries behind the scenes,” he added. The expansion of the Bahraini centre will see DHL moving to a larger aircraft hangar and 8000 square metre warehouse, relocating its delivery trucks to a 20,000 square metre building and upgrading its existing facilities. According to Watson, DHL saw revenue growth of “a shade under” 20% in Bahrain in 2004, compared to around 30% in the UAE and 40% in Iran. But he said that its regional headquarters would remain in the kingdom. “It’s a rapidly changing market. I could see changes in the future but they wouldn’t be to the detriment of Bahrain,” he added.

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