DHL to invest $100M in Hamilton airport facility expansion

German-based logistics giant DHL will expand its gateway into Canada with a new $100-million facility at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

 The international courier plans to replace its existing depot at John C. Munro with a bigger, more modern facility.

“Hamilton International Airport offers us the benefits that we need to meet our growing demands in handling capacity,” said Andrew Williams, CEO of DHL Express Canada, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“With 24-hour landing capability, dedicated onsite Canada Border Services Agency representation and the ability to grow in the future with a partner positioned to become the cargo hub of Ontario, we know this is the best decision to continue leading the market.”

The new facility — expected to be completed in 2021 — will be about four times the size of DHL’s current 200,000-square-foot facility and will feature a fully automated sorting system with a capacity for processing 15,000 packages per hour.

The company is also expected to add more front-line workers to its existing complement of 225 employees to meet higher demand.

Currently, DHL has two daily flights from Hamilton to its international network in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The news was welcomed by both provincial and municipal governments on Tuesday, with Premier Doug Ford using the announcement as an opportunity to promote his Progressive Conservative slogan that “government doesn’t create jobs, businesses do.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger — who made a trip to Germany two years ago to make a pitch for DHL’s expansion — said the move is “further evidence that our airport is an economic driver.”

DHL moved to its current Hamilton International Airport facility in 2008 and made it the largest gateway for the express company in Canada. Other DHL gateways are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Montreal and Mirabel, Que.