DHL Global Forwarding preps for new Chicago-based facility

By Jeff Berman · December 13, 2013

Earlier this month, DHL Global Forwarding, a subsidiary of global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL, held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $35 million, Chicago-based facility at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

The new facility, which is DHL Global Forwarding’s largest building in the U.S., is comprised of 53,000 square-feet of office space and 423,030 square-feet of warehouse space for the unit’s 500-plus employees.

DHL officials said that this facility will serve as a Container Freight Station designated by carriers to receive cargo to be loaded into containers, and a Foreign Trade zone, which acts as a secure area under the supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that is considered outside the Customs territory of the U.S. for the purpose of duty payment. 

And DHL added the facility is expected to be Technology Asset Protection Association (TAP-A) certified, with the expectation that it will be globally recognized as a leader in cargo theft protection. DHL Global Forwarding will work with its registrar to have the facility ready for TAP-A certification at the time of the facility’s opening in November 2014.

DHL Global Forwarding Vice President U.S. Central Region Rob Betzer said in an interview that there were various drivers for DHL to roll out this new facility.

“An effective supply change solution demands maximum efficiency across import and export processing of both air and ocean cargo,” he said. “This new facility allows DHL Global Forwarding to create the optimal flow coupled with Free Trade Zone options and a state-of-the-art certified cold chain center of excellence. The decision to launch this new facility was based on our long term growth and sustainability,” noting that the new facility has been a strategic initiative for DHL Global Forwarding for roughly two years.

In terms of specific services this facility will provide for shippers, Betzer said it will offer all aspects of international air and ocean freight, including consolidation services, as well as continuing to offer a premium, time definite heavy weight U.S. domestic product and best in class U.S. Customs clearance/compliance, Free Trade Zone options, small scale warehousing and distribution, and a state-of- the-art certified cold chain center of excellence.

“As a part of a network of U.S. air freight gateways, this new facility will offer our customers more cost efficient alternatives to shipping their cargo,” he explained. “We carefully listen to the voice of our customers and as a result, we will provide services in this facility to support our strong partnerships with our customers.”

This facility will also serve as a Life Science Cold Chain Certified Competency Center for shipping pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices that require a temperature-controlled environment. DHL also noted that the facility will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

“I am excited by the economic promise that this new cargo center holds for the City of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. “O’Hare is one of our City’s key economic engines and with this strong commitment by DHL Global Forwarding we will vastly increase O’Hare’s cargo operation capabilities, and will continue to move Chicago forward as a global transportation leader. This is just one of several recent private commercial investments that are generating opportunities for the people of Chicago.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman
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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