DHL plans huge Samut Prakan centre

Competitive boost in Asia-Pacific the goal

DHL Supply Chain (Thailand), a subsidiary of the German logistics giant, is building its largest distribution centre in Thailand.

"We haven't taken a long-term investment [in Thailand] before. Now we are securing vast facilities to drive efficiency in the way we operate," said general manager Kevin Burrell.

DHL has signed a rental contract with Ticon Logistics Park Co (TPark) for space of 120,000 square metres at TPark Bangplee 2 in Samut Prakan province, making it the largest customer at the logistics park.

Thailand is one of the fastest-growing markets for DHL.

Mr Burrell said the distribution centre, which will serve the Asia-Pacific region, is under construction and will open in mid-2014.

"The new investment will increase DHL's competitive advantage in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region," said Mr Burrell.

He said the centre is part of DHL's investment in Thailand of 50 million euros (2.17 billion baht) over three years ending in 2015.

DHL's business in Thailand has continued to grow by about 15% annually, said Mr Burrell.

The distribution centre will serve as a gateway and hub to Asia and the Asean Economic Community for the retail, consumer goods and fashion sectors.

TPark Bangplee 2 is located on 180 rai and is operated by TPark, a unit of the SET-listed Ticon Industrial Connection Plc.

TPark general manager Patan Somburanasin said DHL's distribution centre will initially occupy 120,000 sq m and eventually DHL will occupy 80% of the park's total area.

Though DHL is one of TPark's newest and biggest customers, the company is already in talks with other potential clients with plans for expansion.

Mr Patan said the political situation has had no effect on its business and TPark is moving ahead with many projects.

Mr Burrell said DHL's business volume has seen no effect from the anti-government protests. "But everything is always uncertain," he said.

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Writer: Nop Tephaval
Position: Business Reporter