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DHL Global Forwarding sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa CEO Clement Blanc discusses the company's new facility near the OR Tambo International Airport

The newly built South African head office and 10 000 m2 warehouse of logistics services multinational DHL Global Forwarding will cater to the needs of Africa’s rapidly advancing and growing life sciences and healthcare (LSH) sector, in addition to serving as an efficient transshipment hub for its network.

The group invested R127-million in the complex, in the Sky Park Industrial Zone, next to OR Tambo International Airport, in Gauteng.

The facility provides easy access to the airport and has temperature-controlled chambers, as well as Good Distribution Practices-trained personnel.

The head office facility strengthens DHL Global Forwarding’s positioning in the country and enables the group to offer a comprehensive solution that will consolidate all customers’ transport and warehousing requirements.

The warehouse and head office also meet the highest sustainability standards and are almost entirely powered by green electricity from photovoltaic panels, the company notes.

“We are proud that this new facility was built to the highest standards of energy efficiency, in line with DHL Global Forwarding’s goal of reaching net-zero logistics-related emissions by 2050,” said DHL Global Forwarding Middle East and Africa CEO Amadou Diallo.

“Our climate-protection initiatives and carbon dioxide emissions reduction programmes have had a positive impact on logistics supply chains globally, and building sustainable infrastructure like this solar-powered facility takes us closer to our goal,” he noted.

“Meanwhile, the facility will serve as a hub for transport, logistics and warehouse solutions, as well as provide international freight expertise for different industries,” DHL Global Forwarding sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa CEO Clement Blanc said during the launch, held last month.

This includes a strong focus on Africa’s LSH sector, which has an expected annual growth rate of 6.3% and anticipated revenue of €7.1-billion by 2023, and is one of the booming industries in sub-Saharan Africa.

To serve the needs of the LSH sector, the site has been designed to meet the DHL Global GxP Pharma standards and the highest Transported Asset Protection Association security standards.

“A new facility in South Africa is a natural next step in our efforts to support economic growth and accelerate the pace of supply chain transformation. This facility expands global connections to Africa, ensuring that sectors such as LSH can operate smoothly, access an efficient and reliable logistics network, and continue to grow,” Blanc added.

The strategic location of the company’s new facility at OR Tambo will enable it to enhance its offerings to clients, such as transport time- and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical goods and health products, among others.

The new facility will also create skilled jobs in Gauteng, he said.

DHL Global Forwarding has expanded its total workforce in South Africa by 11% since 2021, with a strong commitment to supporting and driving the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy and ensuring that they have a place in global supply chains.

“I am confident in our ability to assist our customers in developing and expanding their businesses and continuing to aid the socioeconomic growth of South Africa and the greater sub-Saharan Africa region,” Blanc added, noting that these developments are proof of DHL’s commitment to accelerating the pace of digital transformation in the supply chain.

Guests were taken on a tour of the facility, for which operations had been halted. The company provided insights into the equipment used, including laser-based dimension scanners, and the types of freight; security, customs and safety processes and practices, including checking for explosives; and typical air freight consignment dimensions, besides others.

Guests were also taken on a tour of the temperature-controlled warehouse section, which handles the LSH products. The first storage area is kept between 15 °C and 25 °C, the second area is kept between 2 °C and 8 °C, and the third area is kept below a threshold of –19 °C.

The temperature-controlled facility uses uninterrupted power supply, generators and gas-filled cooling equipment to ensure that the temperatures in the different storage areas remain at or below the required thresholds, even during long periods of electricity blackouts, said DHL Global Forwarding Middle East and Africa regional head of life sciences Annette Naudé.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’

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