To support forecasts of a near-17% growth in the semiconductor market this year, DHL has set up DHL Semiconductor Logistics, an operation combining various existing services into an end-to-end supply chain solution covering inbound and outbound logistics for chip manufacturers.

Strong growth in the semiconductor market is in part being driven by the growing sophistication of applications in the automotive sector, including in hybrid and electric vehicles.

As part of the revamped service, DHL has set up what it calls its Global Capital Support Center for semiconductor equipment moves, with dedicated teams in Europe, Asia Pacific and the US.

“With more than 3,000 dedicated employees and 50 facilities worldwide, we have built extensive infrastructure and expertise for the semiconductor industry,” said Rob Siegers, president of DHL Technology Sector. “With our new offer, we connect DHL’s broad capabilities, enabling us to individually service our customers along their complete supply chain in a cost-efficient way. This becomes crucial for an industry that requires special logistics to be a competitive differentiator.”

According to the company, the semiconductor industry is undergoing significant changes because of the growth in digitalisation and internet of things (IoT) applications. The 16.8% growth in revenue this year will mean the sector is worth $400 billion and that growth is being driven by merger and acquisition activities, growth in the automotive and industrial sectors and changes in manufacturing and supply networks.

According to technology market information from analyst IHS Markit, the automotive semiconductor market was worth $32.1 billion in 2016, up 8% from 2015, and is forecast to grow to $34.4 billion this year. The analyst said electronics for hybrid and electric vehicles was the fastest growing segment, and that systems sold in developed nations would continue to add new features in segments such as fuel saving enhancements (mostly based on electronics), premium audio systems, connected navigation systems and many other connected car features, from internet radio to mobile search and cloud-based content.

DHL said its new suite of semiconductor logistics services would address this development and should improve the flexibility and agility of semiconductor supply chains.