DHL Global Forwarding has announced an investment of $35m for a warehouse space in Chicago, Illinois. Around 40,000 square metres is available for container-loading and package preparation, ready to forward on to a variety of industry suppliers likely to include automotive. 

The facility will be strategically located at the Chicago O’Hare international airport and will serve as the largest DHL global forwarding building in the US. Plans have been in motion for over two years, and DHL believes the new container-loading dock will improve the freight forwarder’s air and ocean cargo supply chain. 

The warehouse is due for completion by November 2014; until this time, all services delivered by DHL will continue to operate from the group’s current headquarters in the nearby Illinois village of Franklin Park.

The warehouse was selected on the basis that it offers a bonded container freight section, designated by carriers to receive cargo, which could then be loaded onto containers. It will also be held as a foreign trade zone: a secure area under the umbrella supervising of the US Customers and Border Protection agency, considered outside the customs territory of the US for reasons of duty payments. 

“This financial commitment represents our long-term strategy to expand our business in the greater Chicago area and Midwest,” said Rob Betzer, vice president of the US’ central region for DHL. “As a part of a network of US air freight gateways, this new facility will offer our customers more cost efficient alternatives to shipping their cargo.” 

“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,” he added.

Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said in a statement: “I am excited by the economic promise that this new cargo centre holds for the city of Chicago. 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.”