DHL to donate former principal U.S. Air Hub to Community in Southwest Ohio
- Deutsche Post DHL and Clinton County Port Authority reach preliminary agreement on donation of DHL's former principal U.S. air hub
- Wilmington Air Park to serve as platform for growth and redevelopment in Southwest Ohio
Deutsche Post DHL is hopeful that the donation will serve as a platform for redevelopment in Southwestern Ohio.
Deutsche Post DHL and the Clinton County Port Authority (CCPA), today announced their preliminary agreement on the essential business terms for the donation of DHL's former principal U.S. express hub to the local community of Wilmington, Ohio U.S.A., for redevelopment and future use of the site as an airport/commerce park. DHL and local officials continue to work diligently on completing the donation documentation and are hopeful to close the transaction before the end of the first quarter of 2010.
"With the donation, we will close a challenging chapter in our company's history," said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL. "Ending operations in Wilmington was a difficult decision to make, but in the end, it helped us create a financially and operationally sound basis for our entire U.S. express business, and thus safeguard employment for thousands throughout the country. Moreover, through this move we were able to maintain stability of our global network and could continue to deliver time-critical international services to and from the U.S.," Appel continued.
In 2008, DHL restructured its U.S. express business to stem losses, leading the Company to focus entirely on its industry leading international offerings and eliminating the need to maintain the US$310 million Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio, as its principal U.S. air hub. In late August of 2009, DHL transitioned to its principal hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), a facility right sized for DHL's restructured U.S. operations. 1,600 staffers are employed at DHL's hub at CVG, including hundreds that transferred from the Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio. Today's announcement builds upon an earlier commitment by DHL's parent company Deutsche Post DHL to donate its Air Park as a gift to support the local community.
"We are very pleased to be able to support the region and people of Wilmington, and we are hopeful that the donation will serve as a platform for redevelopment and future commerce in Southwestern Ohio," said Ian Clough, CEO of DHL Express, U.S. "As a partner and major employer in the region for nearly 30 years, we are committed to the communities in Ohio that have felt the impact of our decision to relocate."
Air Park as a gift to support the local community
DHL has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in retention and severance benefits as part of its ongoing commitment to the people and community in and around Wilmington, Ohio - above and beyond what is required for its employees. DHL has also donated US$1 million to the Clinton County Fund for the Community of Wilmington, contributed an additional US$50,000 to the Foster J. Boyd, MD, Regional Cancer Center, and funded a Job and Career Transition Center for the employees of the Air Park.
As the ultimate landlord of the Wilmington Airpark, the CCPA will work with the City of Wilmington, Clinton County, the State of Ohio and local municipalities to redevelop the former DHL hub as an airport/commerce park. Currently, the CCPA plans to lease a portion of the Air Park to Air Transport Service Group (ATSG), the parent of ABX Air which operated as an air services provider for DHL Express.
"On behalf of the directors of the CCPA I would like to acknowledge the generosity of DHL," said John Limbert, Chairman of the CCPA. "As a result of this philanthropic transaction the communities that comprise Southwest Ohio will be in a better position to manage their own economic growth. Although it will take time to recruit numerous aviation-related industries to this area, we see great potential for this facility to be a hub for new technologies while simultaneously supporting existing aviation business lines," concluded Limbert.
All terms of the donation agreement are expected to be finalized for closing of all property transactions in early 2010.
Deutsche Post DHL remains a major employer in the U.S., with a total workforce of 30,000 employees representing its EXPRESS, MAIL, GLOBAL FORWARDING, and SUPPLY CHAIN divisions. In Ohio alone, Deutsche Post DHL employs nearly 3,800 staffers representing these Corporate divisions.
On November 5, Deutsche Post DHL announced its third quarter 2009 earnings, reporting that the success of cost-cutting measures helped the Express Division realize an increase in profitability over the same period in the previous year.