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DHL's new O'Hare facility will be its largest in the U.S.

By control on December 9, 2013

DHL Global Forwarding celebrated the groundbreaking of its new facility at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the company’s largest building in the U.S.

The new US$35 million (25.5 million euro) facility includes 53,000 sq. feet (4,924 sq. feet) of office space and 423,030 sq. feet (39,300 sq. meters) of warehousing to accommodate more than 500 employees.

“I am excited by the economic promise that this new cargo center holds for the City of Chicago,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “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.”

This location will be a bonded Container Freight Station, designated by carriers to receive cargo to be loaded into containers. It will also be a Foreign Trade Zone, 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.

“This financial commitment represents our long-term strategy to expand our business in the greater Chicago area and Midwest,” Rob Betzer, vice president, U.S. Central region for DHL Global Forwarding, said. “As a part of a network of U.S. airfreight gateways, this new facility will offer our customers more cost-efficient alternatives to shipping their cargo given our location on the airport’s premises in the third largest city in the U.S., that serves as a crossroads for trade and boasts the largest intermodal-container capacity in the Western Hemisphere.”

Expected to be Technology Asset Protection Association certified, the location will be internationally recognized as a leader in the fight against cargo theft.

DHL Global Forwarding will also establish the facility as a Life Science Cold Chain Certified Competency Center for shipping of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices that need to be in a temperature-controlled environment.

The build-to-suit facility will be funded and developed by Aeroterm on a 24-acre parcel of land Aeroterm controls on the airport.

“With this exciting project, we are pleased to grow our relationship with DHL, which already spans multiple airport locations. Additionally, this investment validates Aeroterm’s larger undertaking at O’Hare, which approaches US$400 million in investments,” said Erin Gruver, Aeroterm’s executive vice president of acquisitions and development.

The building is also slated to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, a third-party verification of green buildings.

The Chicago building is expected to be completed by November 2014, and up until this date, all services will continue to be rendered from DHL Global Forwarding’s location in Franklin Park, Ill.