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DHL commits to buy 6 more 777 cargo jets from Boeing

Modern planes offer more efficiency and capacity

A Boeing 777 freighter operated by a DHL partner airline, Southern Air. (Photo: Deutsche Post DHL)

With nonstop growth in global e-commerce volumes and corporate interest in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, DHL Express is investing once again in new freighters as part of its fleet modernization program. The express division of Deutsche Post DHL (DIX: DPW) announced Tuesday it has placed a firm order with Boeing for an additional six 777 freighters, bringing its total order book for the aircraft to 28.

DHL said it will operate the twin-engine aircraft on international routes connecting its hubs in Cincinnati; Leipzig, Germany; and Hong Kong, as well as to other regions.

The 777 provides long-range fuel economy and heavy-lift capability, with a maximum payload of 225,000 pounds, allowing operators to make fewer stops and reduce associated landing fees. The aircraft produces 17% less carbon emissions compared to older aircraft. Some of the 777s delivered so far replaced leased legacy 747-400s returned to their owners.

DHL Express has taken delivery of 15 777s to date. It reserved seven of the production freighters in January 2021 after placing an initial order for 14 of the aircraft in 2018. 

DHL’s fleet expansion coincides with more airport infrastructure investments around the world.

On Friday, Boeing announced that Ethiopian Airlines had signed a letter of intent to buy five of Boeing’s next-generation freighter, the 777-8.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government and trade coverage, and news analysis. He was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He won Environmental Journalist of the Year from the Seahorse Freight Association in 2014 and was the group's 2013 Supply Chain Journalist of the Year. In December 2022, Eric was voted runner up for Air Cargo Journalist by the Seahorse Freight Association. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. He has appeared on Marketplace, ABC News and National Public Radio to talk about logistics issues in the news. Eric is based in Vancouver, Washington. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]