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DHL Express lays out plans for new Toronto-based facility

Global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL Express said this week it is investing $100 million into expansion initiatives for a new Toronto-based facility located at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, which are expected to be completed by 2021.

Company officials said that this new facility will replace its existing one, in order to meet double-digit shipment volume growth and quadruple the facility’s size to 200,000 square-feet. They added that the company also plans to increase staffing levels to supplement its current roster of 225 employees, as well as provide a fully automated sorting system capable of processing 15,000 packages per hour.

“Hamilton International Airport offers us the benefits that we need to meet our growing demands in handling capacity,” said Andrew Williams, CEO of DHL Express Canada, in a statement. “With 24-hour landing capability, dedicated onsite Canada Border Services Agency representation and the ability to grow in the future with a partner positioned to become the cargo hub of Ontario, we know this is the best decision to continue leading the market.”

DHL said that going back to 2014 international trade has generated ongoing growth in daily shipments for DHL Express in the Americas, with an average of roughly 8% per year for the total region. And in Canada it said daily shipments have doubled, with 60% of total Canadian shipments cleared on a monthly basis at Hamilton International, adding that the Hamilton Gateway, DHL Express’s largest Canadian gateway by volume, is ahead of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Montreal, and Mirabel.

A DHL Express spokesperson told LM that this facility represents a significant investment by DHL Express and is part of its commitment to helping Hamilton’s and Ontario’s businesses succeed through streamlined logistics and improved access to international markets.

“Our investment in Hamilton is a direct reflection of the strong growth we are experiencing in the province of Ontario and across Canada,” the spokesperson said. “DHL Express chose to invest in this brand new facility, to support our customers in their international growth and to meet our operational needs for the years to come. This allows us to further improve the service quality we offer on a daily basis. It also represents an investment in the local community and economic development, which we are proud of.”

DHL initially set up shop at the Hamilton International facility in 2008, and over the last four years it has invested more than $30 million to grow its fleet and aviation capacity, as well as expand facilities in Edmonton and Winnipeg and double capacity at the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond. DHL Express’s Canadian footprint also is comprised of 17 owned locations and more than 450 partner locations.

The company’s plans to expand at Hamilton International Gateway go back to 2013, when initial studies and forecasts were completed to determine the size and nature of the expansion that was right for its business, people and customers, according to the spokesperson. And she added that from that point, the company began its first discussions with the airport in 2015 and 2016, noting that advantage of the background work is that it should be able to execute this relatively quickly, especially with a strong partner in Hamilton International.

As for the benefits this facility will provide for shippers, the spokesperson explained that providing world-class service through capacity and capability improvements is a key part of its strategy globally.  

“Having experienced double-digit growth in Canada for more than five consecutive years, we know this investment is the right step for us and our customers,” the spokesperson said. “This new facility, which will quadruple our current handling capacity in Hamilton, enables us to maximize our capabilities and provide, efficient, high-quality service so customers are best equipped to compete in the global marketplace. Additionally, this investment demonstrates DHL’s commitment to becoming the Employer of Choice, Provider of Choice, Investment of Choice and further cement our commitment to the city of Hamilton.”

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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