DHL, one of the world's largest shipping companies, is opening a processing center in Lexington County that will employ 200 jobs initially, a number that could rise to 700, Lexington County officials said.
The center will be located on Platt Springs Road, across the street from the Midlands Technical College's Airport Campus. It will be housed in the building that once housed the Teradata firm.
Officials for DHL confirmed Friday the center will open early next year.
"It will be a 24-7 operation," said Candace Bouchard, the company's manager of North American communication.
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The center will handle customs documentation for the company's international air and ocean freight service, she said. The freight service is handled by DHL Global Forwarding's division.
Bouchard would not say whether the Lexington facility will be a regional or national center. She also would not say if it will cause other processing centers to close. That could be the reason there has been no public announcement of the center.
Efforts to reach officials of Lexington County Council and Midlands Technical College, which is assisting DHL in finding trained employees, were unsuccessful. The S.C. Department of Commerce declined comment.
However, the Lexington County Employment Security Commission, which is also working with the company to find employees, confirmed DHL could hire up to 700 workers.
"Over the next year, we will have them ramped up to about 400," said Theo Nelson, employment services supervisor for Lexington County. "It should be 400 to 700 (jobs) before everything shakes out."
Nelson would not divulge the pay scale for the jobs or estimate the economic impact of the center on Lexington County, which had an 8.6 percent jobless rate in October.
"It's hard to put a dollar figure on it," he said. "But when you have 400 jobs created in a short period of time, it causes a ripple effect in the community. (Those employees) buy homes; they buy groceries."
Nelson said "the vast majority" of the new employees would be hired locally. "We're just delighted to have them coming to Lexington County."
In its statement, DHL said: "This central facility will provide customers with a consistent account management team while offering increased flexibility to address exception management and proactive monitoring of our customers' shipments. We will maintain a local market presence giving our existing offices more flexibility to work in partnership with customers to address their growing commercial needs."
DHL's parent company, mail and logistics giant Deutsche Post AG, had revenues of about $94 billion in 2007.
DHL was founded in San Francisco almost 40 years ago by three entrepreneurs - Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn. The first letter of their last names gave the company its moniker.
The company started in 1969 by personally shipping documents by airplane from San Francisco to Honolulu.
Deutsche Post, which began as the first German postal service in 1400s, purchased DHL in 2002.
Today, DHL ships to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide and employs some 300,000 workers.
For more information about the jobs, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send resumes to: Employment Security Commission-Lexington WFC, Attn. T. Nelson/L. Burke, P.O. Box 1769, Lexington, SC 29071