DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service provider, has officially launched the expanded Incheon Gateway in South Korea, following a €131 million (KRW 175 billion) investment in 2019. This investment represents DHL Express’s largest commitment to South Korea, solidifying Incheon Gateway’s status as the largest gateway in the Asia Pacific.
The expansion of the Incheon Gateway responds to the growing demand for air cargo services driven by South Korea’s increasing overseas trade and expanding international express import and export operations with Asia-Pacific nations, including Singapore, Japan, China, Australia, and Taiwan.
Sean Wall, executive vice president of network operations and aviation, Asia Pacific, DHL Express, was present at the inauguration of the expanded Incheon Gateway. He remarked, “Over recent years, we’ve witnessed a substantial increase in cargo handling in South Korea, and we anticipate this demand will continue to rise. Since 2011, our transit cargo volume in the country has grown more than threefold. The expanded Incheon Gateway’s opening comes at a crucial time, serving as a vital facilitator for regional and intra-Asia trade, particularly within the Northeast Asian region, covering Dalian, Qingdao, Wuxi, Ulaanbaatar, and Guam.”
The enhanced Incheon Gateway now boasts a substantial gross floor area of 59,248 square meters, tripling the size of the previous facility, which was 19,946 square meters. The handling capacity has increased over 3.5 times, reaching an impressive 28,400 pieces per hour. The facility features a 5.5-kilometer-long conveyor belt and 19 automated X-ray inspection machines to ensure the safe and compliant handling of shipments. Moreover, Incheon Gateway serves as a pivotal logistics hub, connecting global DHL hubs and gateways via seven dedicated DHL aircraft and 40 partner airline aircraft, effectively addressing the surging transit shipment demand in the Northeast Asian region.
To expedite the processing of import and export shipments, the Incheon Gateway features a fully automated sorting and handling system. Notably, an automated document and small parcel sorter can efficiently process over 10,000 parcels per hour, significantly enhancing operational speed and efficiency. As a result, more than 30 minutes of delivery time for imported goods can be saved.
In an effort to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, the facility partially relies on solar energy. A 1-megawatt solar power generator, covering the entire rooftop area (5,700 square meters) of the gateway, can produce energy equivalent to approximately 30% of the facility’s total energy consumption, resulting in a reduction of approximately 650 tons of carbon emissions annually. This represents a pioneering initiative among cargo terminals within Incheon International Airport to harness solar energy.
ByungKoo Han, country manager of DHL Express Korea, emphasized the strategic importance of the Incheon Gateway, stating, “The Incheon Gateway serves as a strategic facility connecting South Korea and the Asia Pacific region to the world. Since its initial opening in 2009, import and export volumes at Incheon Gateway have grown by over 90% in 2022. With this expansion, we are well-equipped to efficiently manage the surge in shipment volume and meet the increasing demand for international express delivery in the coming decade.”
South Korea, the world’s sixth-largest e-commerce market, will benefit from the expanded Incheon Gateway, which will better support Korean cross-border e-commerce companies as they expand into international markets.