DHL opens up a new $10 million international air shipment facility at O’Hare

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Global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL said yesterday it has opened up a new $10 million international air shipment facility at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

DHL officials said that this 54,000 square-foot gateway will expand the company’s presence in Chicago, adding that the new state-of-the-art northeast cargo campus at O’Hare International is poised to become the largest cargo development constructed at a U.S. airport in more than a decade upon its completion in the coming years.

A DHL spokesperson told LM plans for this facility, from planning to conception, had been in the works for about two years.

“The investment was driven by the DHL’s current and forecasted shipment growth from U.S. and Chicago businesses trading internationally as well as the continuing growth in e-commerce shipping,” the spokesperson said. “DHL selected O’Hare to expand its growing Midwest operations based on Chicago’s ideal location, which includes a strong transportation network conducive to business in and around the Midwest, as well as its skilled workforce.”  

The new DHL gateway is comprised of what the company called a unique on-site U.S. Customs operation that allows for faster processing capabilities for inbound and outbound international shipments for the Chicago area and other Midwest markets. And it added that in accommodating future shipment volume growth, the expansion of operations will supplement the U.S. network capacity of DHL to expedite shipments of packages at peak seasons such as the November-December holidays. This location is expected to create 75 new jobs, including import and export agents, as well as training and office personnel, too.

What’s more, this new facility is able to process more than 4,500 pieces per hour, ranging from small parcels to palletized freight. And it is LEED-certified and on track to be certified by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) in early 2018 (TAPA sets the global benchmarks for best practices in cargo security handling).

When asked what the key benefits of this new location are for DHL customers, the spokesperson said that along with the DHL CVG Hub at the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky Airport, this new facility supplements U.S. network capacity to accommodate future shipment volume growth; provides onsite U.S. Customs support for faster processing capabilities; and supports peak volume while mitigating network disruptions.

“DHL remains invested in Chicago as more opportunities arise for businesses in the region to expand internationally and as e-commerce continues to flourish,” the spokesperson said. “O’Hare’s cargo operations have experienced record growth in recent years. As the area prospers, DHL continues to grow with our customers and position Chicago as a global destination for international trade.”

DHL’s 491,000 square-foot DHL Global Forwarding Facility is also located at O’Hare. This building has 500 employees and is the largest freestanding DHL Global Forwarding building in the company’s global network. Other DHL Chicago-based locations are south of O’Hare in Franklin Park, as well as another facility north of Midway Airport in McCook.

“DHL remains invested in Chicago as more opportunities arise for businesses in the region to expand internationally and as e-commerce continues to flourish,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S., in a statement. “Our new gateway is poised for this growth and will help us further serve customers as efficiently as possible. We are grateful to Mayor Emanuel for his leadership, and his city’s leadership, in recognizing the strategic importance of O’Hare as a global leader in the air cargo business.” 

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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