The new DHL cargo terminal in Kazakhstan
DHL a global leader in cargo shipping and logistics announced the opening of a new cargo terminal in the city of Atyrau, western Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2006. Company managers view this event as a significant step forward: today this region is strategically important in the development of the oil producing industry of Kazakhstan and the provision of energy security. Evgeny Zabiyakin, DHL Kazakhstan&Central Asia Commercial Manager, shared his thoughts with our magazine regarding the role of this new terminal in the company’s operations.
We have chosen Atyrau as a site for the construction of a second DHL cargo terminal (after Almaty) in Kazakhstan, the reason being that this town is strategically important for the economy of Kazakhstan and its airport is covering huge amounts of cargo for the enterprises engaged in the oil producing sector. Many of our current and potential clients do business here. A new cargo terminal, built right in the area of the airport, allows DHL to quickly and efficiently respond to clients’ needs.
Air-Astana – our partner – has regular flights to Atyrau from Amsterdam, four times a week. This was another important reason for choosing this location for the new terminal. It is worth noting that the infrastructure of Atyrau airport is able to host big cargo aircrafts.
Before opening the new cargo terminal we used to rent some spaces in the airport area and we were hiring subcontractors for handling the cargo operations. At the same time we realized that we could hardly expand our business without large investments in infrastructure, personnel training and acquisition of modern equipment. To this end, our company invested $2m in the construction and equipping of the cargo terminal, thus proving our commitment to continuously develop the infrastructure in Kazakhstan as well as to provide high quality service and promptly respond to the increasing needs of our clients.
How is the new cargo terminal set up?
The cargo terminal in Atyrau is the key depot for sorting and handling both international and domestic cargoes. The total area of storage facilities is over 500 square meters; half of this space is designed for handling of the domestic and released shipments while the rest of the space is equipped as a bonded warehouse. High accuracy certified scales equipment is used for weighing freight. Year round air conditioning and an autonomous power supply system provide continuous effective processing of products.
Office spaces, occupying 350 square meters and located in the same building as the cargo terminal, are equipped with the newest technology, including multi-channel telephone lines, broadband internet and ergonomic furniture.
The new terminal is the largest amongst the DHL sorting centres in Central Asia: its handling capacity exceeds 80 tonnes per day. Today, besides Atyrau itself, this terminal services the Tengiz oilfield and another manufacturing entity in Karabatan. In the nearest future it will be used for processing of DHL clients’ cargo coming from Uralsk, Aktau and Aktyubinsk. I would also like to note that our former DHL office, located in the downtown Atyrau will remain functioning as Express Centre
How is the process of instant delivery and processing of goods organized?
Needless to say, there might be external factors such as weather conditions that sometimes influence time of delivery of shipped products. When such events take place we come up with the optimal solution cooperating with our colleagues across the world and finding opportunities to ship the goods to the destination on time.
Since DHL is a high-tech business we have invested around $70,000 in information technology to serve Atyrau cargo terminal. Therefore, the latest IT developments in storage facilities management are applied, while a highly advanced intranet allows our clients to access updated information about product delivery status within one hour of each of the progress steps.
Moreover, we obtained a license for transferring goods across customs, which allows us to deliver the customs goods from Atyrau to any destination within Kazakhstan in authorised vehicles. This means that the new terminal will substantially increase logistics opportunities for our clients since DHL has a full range of transportation and logistics services including processing, storage and customs clearance within very short time period.
It is worth mentioning that we have adapted this system to THP (Transportation Harmonisation Program) requirements in order to attain high quality of our work. These are the international quality standards of DHL, which enables control over all operations from the very first to the last step.
How would you generally evaluate DHL business in the Republic of Kazakhstan?
During our 15 years of work in Kazakhstan we have been witnessing intensive reforms of the economy, which is rapidly growing today. Mainly due to these achievements, the offices of DHL Kazakhstan are functioning in more than 20 cities of the country while the unit itself makes an important contribution to DHL operations on the global level.
At the very beginning of our business in Kazakhstan the volume of incoming cargo exceeded the outgoing by a factor of 20. These days, however, this ratio is down to 2.5 to 1. Some time ago the majority of our clients were foreign companies, but today more and more local businesses and governmental agencies use DHL services.
The range of delivery services has also expanded. In the past, document shipping accounted for the majority of volume. Now, however, the major and continuously increasing share belongs to heavy loads such as parts and equipment. DHL quality services are also developing; today, under independent experts’ evaluations, its level in Kazakhstan takes the most competitive positions on the global level.
We highly appreciate our clients’ trust and we always strive to increase their incentive to cooperate with us. Thus DHLKazakhstan offers 26 types of services and each one is unique. For instance, there is same day expedited delivery between Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Such a service is very convenient for those needing to send urgent business offers and contracts.
In conclusion I would like to emphasize that by using DHL services in Atyrau our clients can be confident that they will enjoy the same high quality service as in London or Houston, for example. Our DHL motto is ‘to surpass world standards’. This approach helps us firmly hold the premiere position in the cargo transportation and logistics industry.
The history of DHL goes back to 1969 when Adrian Dalsy, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn – D, H and L – introduced express delivery between San Francisco and Honolulu based on a “door to door” concept; thus they pioneered a new industry.
Geographical expansion of the company has been continuing over the decades and express delivery services have been offered in new countries and regions. As a result, today DHL’s network is present in more than 220 countries of the world.
DHL headquarters are located in Brussels. It is 100% owned by Deutsche Post World Net. Since 2003, DHL Worldwide Express (express-delivery), Danzas (air cargo and freight shipment) and Deutsche Post Euro Express (post mail) services are offered under the single DHL brand. The company employs 285,000 staff worldwide and its assets count 76,000 land, air and water transportation vehicles.
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