DHL opens new $100M facility at Hamilton’s international airport

German-based logistics giant DHL completed its $100 million expansion last fall, and opened it's new facility at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. CNW Group/DHL Express Canada

German-based shipping company DHL opened the doors Tuesday to its new $100 million facility at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

The 240,000 square foot building is about four times the size of the previous home for the shipper and features a fully automated sorting system with a capacity of processing 28,000 packages per hour.

“It just gives us real flexibility to grow into the future and anchors our Canadian infrastructure in Hamilton to support growth for years to come,” said Darryl Wettlaufer, vice president of operations for DHL Express Canada, on 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

Wettlaufer said key pieces like the airport’s 24-hour landing capability and dedicated Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff on site were paramount in DHL’s decision to build the Hamilton facility and make it the company’s hub for Ontario.

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Government-imposed health and safety restrictions, as well as lockdowns in recent times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have kept a number of logistic companies busy due to a surge in e-commerce.
Last year, traditional shipping companies were kept busy with Canadians having to become more comfortable with shopping online.

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Canada Post revealed in April of last year that its shipping business experienced “Christmas-level” parcel volumes due to the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, obviously, we’ve seen a significant increase in e-commerce, but also traditional B2B (Business-to-Business),” Wettlaufer said.

DHL announced the Hamilton expansion in October 2019 with an original plan to build and operate a facility capable of processing 15,000 packages per hour.

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Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger made a pitch for DHL’s expansion during a 2017 trip to Germany with the prospect of furthering the expansion of the city’s airport as an economic driver.

The logistics giant moved to Hamilton International Airport in 2008 making it at the time the largest gateway for the express company in Canada.

Other DHL gateways are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Montreal and Mirabel, Que.

Wettlaufer says a new facility in Halifax will open in the next 30 days and other expansions will include Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

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