DHL has launched a double-deck airline catering vehicle, which it says offers a 70 per cent increase in capacity over traditional high-loaders with no increase in overall dimensions on the road.
It worked with high-loader specialist Mallaghan Engineering on the new design which meets all current length, height and width restrictions in transit, but whose roof rises during loading and unloading to provide operators with a safe working height of 1.8m.
DHL has been growing its business in the airline catering market and its customers now include United Airlines, and Sri Lankan Airlines as well as British Airways and Qantas.
It offers an alternative to the traditional airline catering model, in that it uses specialist caterers to supply the food while it focuses on its logistics expertise.
Airline caterers have been using high-loaders for many years, but not double deckers. DHL used its experience of other markets to develop the new vehicle. The additional capacity available can reduce the total number of vehicles needed to service an aircraft.
Paul Richardson, managing director specialist services at DHL Supply Chain said: “The ‘Double Decker High-Loader’ is the latest in a series of innovations we have introduced in recent years, including the teardrop trailer – now a familiar sight on UK roads – and our award-winning “Rail Kit” which has shifted over 300,000 general merchandise products a week from road to rail, cutting 750,000 road miles and saving over 800 tons of CO2 every year. The initial response from our customers suggests the new ‘Double Decker High-Loader’ is set to have an equally dramatic impact.”