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DHL expands service menu for Chicago-area shippers

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 26, 2012

Express delivery and logistics services provider DHL Express recently announced it has taken steps to significantly expand its presence and pick-up and delivery services in the Chicago area.

DHL said that the this effort will enable customers to more effectively and conveniently reach the global marketplace with earlier deliveries and later pick-up times and other service and shipping options. What’s more, this is occurring at a time when the City of Chicago is pushing out its export strategy with a goal of doubling Chicago-originated exports over the next five years.

In an interview with LM, Al Burba, Sr. VP and General Manager of the Midwest/Mid-Atlantic U.S. for DHL Express, said the company’s Chicago expansion had been in the works for the last 12-to-18 months.

“Chicago is the third largest international market in the U.S. based on what our outside research tells us,” said Burba. “By virtue of size of the market, it is a place where we need to have a strong presence relevant to strong customer service.”

While most U.S.-based international markets are cities closer to the ocean like New York with its European connection and West Coast-based cities with Asia-Pacific connections, Burba noted that Chicago can be viewed as somewhat of an oddity from an international market perspective.

The reason being, he said, is that the middle of the country is more commonly associated with ground transportation.

“That is not the reality, though; Chicago is a hub of international commerce,” said Burba. “We want to take more advantage of it, not that we were not before…in terms of things like adding more personnel and expanding our presence, and sales representation. These are things that will help shippers in the Chicago area move their products to other countries, with a level of service we believe is best-in-class.”

While this announcement centers on Chicago, Burba noted it also pertains to all of Illinois and up into the Milwaukee area.

He explained that for various customers products are now being delivered two-to-three hours earlier, with pick-ups two hours later.

“In many cases, we are hours earlier and hours later in terms of pick-up and delivery,” explained Burba. “It can range from 90 minutes up to four or five hours on the pick-up side. On the delivery side, it can range from 90 minutes to two-to-three hours. This comes without charging customers more; it is just the right thing for the marketplace in terms of service and performance and represents a significant improvement in service. We are in downtown Chicago before 8 a.m., waiting for businesses to open their doors.”

Prior to this expansion in the Chicago area, DHL offer time-definite services there, but the main difference now, according to Burba is that the company has compressed inbound deliveries to earlier in the day and by doing so has opened up the window to make later pick-ups.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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