DHL just moved into its new 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Carrollton, adding 70 new jobs to meet demand for international commerce.
Now, the company has two facilities handling incoming and outgoing packages in North Texas. And even bigger news is on the horizon for the region, according to the company.
Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express, said the company wants to make DFW Airport an international gateway for packages from as far away as Asia and Europe. The freight carrier also wants to open a third warehouse in Fort Worth, creating more jobs.
“I’m very confident that we’ll be back here around this time next year celebrating two openings,” said Hewitt, as he took a break from the DHL conference at the Westin Hotel in Irving. “It will be a new international gateway and a new pickup and delivery facility in Fort Worth.”
DHL is currently in talks with DFW Airport and customs officials to bring in international freight. The company is also looking for real estate in Fort Worth.
DHL’s current facility in north Grand Prairie near DFW Airport was at capacity, prompting them to open the Carrollton facility. The new location off Interstate 35E is centrally located for their delivery routes in the eastern half of the Metroplex, Hewitt said.
Why all the growth?
“Businesses that used to only serve their community, their city, their state, their country are now seeing the opportunity through digitalization in the internet age that they can now sell goods and procure goods from anywhere in the world,” Hewitt said.
The majority of the international packages DHL handles come through the Cincinnati Airport, then take a domestic flight to DFW Airport or other destinations.
In recent years, the company has opened international gateways at Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. In September, DHL will open another gateway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. DFW Airport will hopefully join the ranks next summer, according to the company.
“I only see growth in Dallas. We see this as a huge opportunity and market for us,” Hewitt said. “The population is growing, the consumer base is growing and small and mid-size businesses are growing.”
And it's usually all about location for freight companies. Freight operations tend to gravitate toward areas with strong economies and good locations for shipping freight to other markets.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth area fits both of these criteria extremely well,” said Ray Perryman, an economist with the Perryman Group. “Millions of dollars are invested for a domestic center such as the one recently opened in Carrollton and an international gateway would likely involve an even larger scale.”
At DFW Airport, cargo is already king. The airport is the fourth largest in the world in take offs and landings. DFW Airport handled 829,019 U.S. tons of cargo and mail in 2016, up 12.7 percent from the previous year, according to the airport.
“Attracting a major location such as a DHL [international gateway at DFW airport] would lead to a notable economic stimulus for the entire area,” Perryman said.