DHL Express Invests £16M in Electric Ground Service Equipment at East Midlands Airport

DHL Express UK £16M East Midlands Airport

DHL Express UK has announced a £16M investment in electric ground service vehicles and infrastructure at East Midlands Airport, demonstrating how international trade is being supported through electric power.

James Neill, VP Operations EMA Hub at DHL Express UK, said: “We are excited to invest in our operations at EMA and showcase our commitment to using the latest green innovations. As well as making progress in reducing emissions resulting directly from flights and aviation fuel, it’s important that we’re looking at every aspect of our operation to make gains everywhere we can.”

Split across three years, the investment will see 100 pieces of new electric ground service equipment introduced as DHL aims to make its airport ground-handling operation fully electric by 2032. The new equipment includes 28 electric tugs, 5 state-of-the-art electric ‘nose lifter’ vehicles which lift aircraft to push them back from their parking stands, five high-loaders and 6 electric belt-loaders to loose load shipments.

Investing in electric ground service equipment is part of a wider commitment to making DHL’s International Express operation more sustainable. It follows recent major announcements such as DHL’s investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel and the addition of new fuel-efficient 777 Freighters.

The investment coincides with operations accelerating across the airport ahead of Christmas when more than one million individual items pass through the airport each night – everything from household items, personal electronic devices and clothing to luxury cars, medical supplies and manufactured components. By the end of the financial year, EMA predicts that 400,000 tonnes of goods will have been handled, underlining the airport’s crucial role as a hub for goods coming from and to all over the world.

Steve Griffiths, East Midlands Airport’s Managing Director, says: “DHL’s investment is a positive development as we, as an industry, take steps to decarbonise. We’re committed to becoming a net zero airport by 2038, and innovations like DHL’s help move us closer to that goal. As the UK’s largest pure air cargo hub, the port of East Midlands Freeport, an early adopter of green innovation in the aviation industry and a site with further untapped potential, I believe there is a bright future for us.”

DHL is investing an additional £7m in replacing and enhancing non-electric ground support equipment such as de-icing rigs to drive further improvements to its airport ground-handling operation.

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Ryan is the Digital Marketing and Content Creation Manager for Trade and Logistics Siam Ltd. He provides a creative flair to the team and his resourcefulness helps to bring an imaginative improvement to both literary archetypes and online content production. A writer by day and a rider by night, when he's not composing the latest logistics news update or creating compelling copy for our clients, Ryan spends his free time travelling Thailand by motorbike.