DHL prepares for 2006 peak holiday season

Express delivery and logistics company DHL said Nov. 21 that it is making final preparations at facilities across the country to prepare for the 2006 peak holiday shipping season.

Starting this week, DHL expects holiday shipment volumes to climb until Wednesday, Dec. 20, its peak day. On that day, DHL expects to deliver more than two million pieces across the United States.

To meet the increased peak seasonal demand, the Plantation, FL- based company is adding 300 daily truck routes and 63 new domestic flights per week to its regular network schedules.

During this peak season, more than 9,000 staffers at DHL’s Air Park, a principal air and ground hub in Wilmington, OH, will work through the night to ensure that packages reach their destination in time for the holidays. Hundreds of additional seasonal and part-time package sorters will also be employed at facilities across the United States to help during the holiday rush.

Also, this year, technology investments at DHL Air Park will provide customers with more shipment visibility by providing precise, guaranteed updates for millions of customer packages. The new small package auto-sort at the DHL Air Park, part of a $160 million U.S. hub automation and integration initiative by DHL, includes conveyor and sorting hardware and a proprietary software solution that enables more rapid processing of shipments, increased efficiency and 100 percent traceability for all material transiting the system.

With online tracking requests during the peak month of December expected to be up 10 percent over 2005, DHL also has made new customer-friendly, online tools available to shippers this season.

For example, DHL now offers a suite of Web-based shipment visibility and event notification tools to enhance access to transit status information for ground parcel and air express packages.

With ProView, customers can obtain a broad or specific view of all incoming and outgoing shipments and be notified of important events via the technology platform of their choice, including e-mail or SMS text messaging to a PC, cell phone or mobile device.

An online application available at , ProView gives DHL customers real-time event notification when a shipment or group of shipments reaches key transfer points – such as transiting an international gateway, en route for courier delivery, or potentially delayed due to an incorrect address. These notifications give customers the power to better allocate their time and resources with real-time insight into shipment deliveries.

Shipment notification filters built into ProView give customers more control over the types of notifications they want to receive – by individual shipment or a summary of shipments grouped by billed-to account number. Shipment visibility is available for up to 2,000 customer accounts – a helpful feature for customers with multiple distribution centers, offices and departments that utilize separate account numbers.

This account-number driven view provides customers with greater choice and flexibility in shipment management. Customers no longer need to rely on entering individual waybills into a system for tracking.

For U.S. importers this season, DHL has also launched DHL Import Express Online , a Web-based tool that provides customers full control over their imports or third-party (country-to-country) shipments.

Import Express Online enables customers to quickly, easily and securely prepare and manage their shipments from the convenience of a personal computer.

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