DHL Express will order either the A350F or B777-8F in "the not-so-distant" future as the global logistics firm strives to lower its environmental footprint, Senior Vice-President (Global Air Fleet Management) Malcolm Macbeth said during the Cargo Facts Symposium in San Diego.

"We've taken the stance that anything that we get from 2025 onwards that's still going to be with us in 2050 has to be an improvement in efficiency. So that basically says that, after 2025, anything new that we get in the large-widebody space will have to be the new technology," he said.

DHL International has an unfilled order for seven current-generation B777-200Fs from Boeing, with deliveries planned through early 2025. The group also plans to add nine converted B777-200(LR)(MF)s. Its current widebody fleet, divvied up between DHL Air, EAT Leipzig, DHL Air (Austria), DHL Aero Expreso, Air Hong Kong, and DHL International Aviation Middle East comprises eight A300-600Fs, twenty-two A300-600R(F)s, five A330-200Fs, eight A330-300(P2F)s, twelve B767-300ER(BCF)s, seven B767-300ER(BDSF)s, four B767-300Fs, and five B777-200Fs. DHL is also a 50% shareholder in AeroLogic, a joint venture with Lufthansa Group, which operates twenty-one B777-200Fs with two more on order.

DHL Group plans to achieve net zero emissions for all of its logistics operations by 2050.

So far, none of DHL Group's direct competitors with their own aircraft fleet - FedEx or United Parcel Service - have publically ordered any new-generation freighters.