Blue Dart eyes neighbouring nations for expansion
The DHL-controlled express freight operator, Blue Dart Express, has indicated that it is looking at expanding its foreign connectivity, even as it announced the launch of a new trade lane with neighbouring Bangladesh.
The firm is considering building road links with Pakistan and air links with Sri Lanka, and has announced the construction of a Kolkata-based warehouse to act as a hub for shipments for Bangladesh.
With a population of 1.47 billion and the South Asia Free Trade Agreement due to roll out, these countries hold out the promise of a major market which we would like to exploit more fully,” said Anil Khanna, managing director, Blue Dart Express.
In addition, the company has also recently announced plans to spend US$47.5 million on air and ground infrastructure development inside India this year, a move that has been supplemented by a decision to increase rates – for the second time in three months.
“We will increase rates by 10-15% this fiscal year as manpower costs, property prices and rentals have gone up,” indicated Khanna.
Blue Dart has a 41% share of the Indian air express industry and has a fleet of six B757 and six B737 freighters, which operate across 60 route connections every evening. The company saw growth of more than 30% in the first quarter, compared to 21% growth during the same period last year