BAA has renewed the £10m contract with DHL Exel to operate the Heathrow Consolidation Centre on behalf of Heathrow Airport.
DHL has made firm commitments to future development and innovations at the centre including use of a £75,000, nine tonne electric vehicle, the first electric retail delivery vehicle operating within an airport environment.
The three year contract will be managed by the Department Stores & Fashion business unit of DHL Exel Supply Chain.
Since its launch in 2001, the centre has eased congestion within the airport with a reduction in vehicle movements of participating retailers and has reduced BAA’s airport carbon emissions.
DHL also runs a consolidation centre serving Bristol’s Broadmead Shopping Centre.
The Heathrow centre serves the landside and airside retailers at the airport, and DHL Exel provides a multi-temperature, multi-product cross dock and delivery platform for all suppliers from specialist catering, bookshops and retail outlets for terminals 1 to 4.
The centre forms an integral part of Heathrow’s airport logistics strategy including air quality improvements and sustainable distribution mode.
The DHL team has been central to the Terminal 5 planning process and will provide al retail distribution model for the terminal when it opens in March 2008.
As part of the renewal process, DHL will incorporate a greater range of ‘added value’ services to retailers, including remote storage, pre-retailing and retailer support and the development of new track and trace technology. In addition DHL is working with BAA retail and supply chain teams to support the wider development of a broader Heathrow Logistics consolidation model.
Heathrow’s logistics director Shaun Cowlam said: “The retail consolidation transport model innovated by DHL is a proven method for reducing both congestion and emissions. Without consolidation we would have to manage over 49,000 retail deliveries per year, with the centre this is reduced to 8,300.
“It is an efficient and cost effective tool that contributes greatly to the reduction of our carbon footprint at Heathrow. This is the world’s busiest airports with over 67 million passengers travelling through our terminals. This is set to rise to 81.5 million by the year 2015, and therefore we have a strong focus on reducing the impact of this growth forecast in terms of congestion, resource consumption and waste generation. DHL and its commitments to the development of the centre is a crucial part of this strategy and the innovation of the use of alternative fuels with the new electric vehicle is a clear demonstration of DHL’s leadership in this area.”
* DHL Exel has started to investigate the possibility of operating its delivery vehicles using 100 per cent bio diesel made from recycled cooking oil converted to 100 per cent bio diesel.
DHL has undertaken this project in partnership with JD Wetherspoon and Argent Energy UK, a producer of bio diesel. It’s thought to be the first project of its kind in the UK logistics industry. It will involve recycling and re-processing cooking oil, previously used to cook meals in Wetherspoons pubs, for further deliveries back into the pub estate.