Europe’s most modern shipment sorting facility is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Opened in 2008 and expanded to double its size in 2016, the DHL Express Leipzig Hub operates a new sorting technology that is the first of its kind in the industry. A range of innovative conveyor technologies enables the fully automated handling of packages with a weight of up to 170 kilograms, which would otherwise be too heavy or bulky for standard conveyor belts. Efficiency, reliability and speed are key at the facility, which is able to process over 150,000 shipments per hour, or 42 shipments per second.

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An average express shipment takes less than two hours to be offloaded from one aircraft, processed at the hub and loaded on to the next aircraft. This is around the maximum length of a Formula 1 race!

The automated material handling system has conveyor belts with a maximum speed of nine  kilometers per hour, around twice the average walking speed.

Conveyable shipments that can be processed automatically are typically boxes with a weight of less than 31.5 kilograms and sides measuring 80 x 80 x 120 centimeters.

Some 60 cargo aircraft are serviced per night, averaging one landing or takeoff approximately every three minutes.

The 40,000-square-meter terminal opened in 2016, doubled the hub’s operational footprint; its total size is equivalent to 11 football pitches.

Published: September 2018

Images: DHL