DHL Global builds on demand for US customs brokerage

DHL Global Forwarding is to take on 140 more staff at its processing facility outside of Columbia, South Carolina, as demand for its customs brokerage services continues to grow. The freight forwarding arm of DHL opened the new centre in Lexington a year ago this month to consolidate its US customs processing services, which had previously been split between six field offices.

Staff at the facility assist customers in clearing shipments through customs, both via air and ocean ports of entry, including entry and statement processing, customer maintenance, and post entry handling.

While initial expectations were that the workforce would grow to 200-250 at the site, customer response to DHL’s service offerings has already prompted staff levels to reach 379 – even before the current recruitment effort.

The key to the success of the Columbia facility has been pooling expertise and resources together to provide a one-stop service for freight forwarders offering customer service around the clock, while using the latest technology to reduce processing costs.

The structure of operations at the centre sees staff specializing in certain industry segments, in order to provide services tailored to customers in, for example, the high-tech, pharmaceutical, perishable or consumer goods fields.

Spokesperson Jennifer Pakradooni told Post and Parcel today that with increasing demand for DHL Global’s customs services, it was likely there would be opportunity for further growth in future at the centre.

Ms Pakradooni said:  “Freight forwarding is a low margin business, so businesses are continually looking for opportunities to cut costs and get more for less, and we’re providing an added-value service that simplifies the lives of our customers.”

The Lexington location has allowed DHL to make the most of proximity to metropolitan areas including Atlanta and Charlotte, and its recruitment efforts are assisted by having seven universities nearby.

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