Global shipper DHL Express said Monday it may close a data information center in north Scottsdale as a result of the company’s decision to cease package-delivery operations in the United States.
About 610 DHL employees and 126 contract employees will definitely lose their jobs, with the layoffs taking place in stages beginning in January and continuing to mid-summer 2009, according to a DHL spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified.
The center monitors the movement of customers’ packages.
About 80 information technology professionals are expected to retain their jobs, but where they will be located has not been determined, she said.
She did not have any information Monday about the future of a separate DHL customer-service call center in Tempe, which employs about 460 people.
Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Post AG, the parent company of DHL, said it will cut 9,500 jobs in the U.S., eliminating all air and ground shipments between American cities by Jan. 30. However, the company said it will continue to handle international package shipments into and out of the U.S.
Also DHL said it will continue other operations in the U.S. such as freight forwarding and global mail, which will not be affected by the cutback.
The spokeswoman said an undetermined number of Scottsdale employees who are involved in the freight forwarding business will not lose their jobs but will be moved to another undetermined location in the area.
She said most of the company’s package-tracking functions will be handled out of DHL facilities in Malaysia and the Czech Republic.
The biggest U.S. impact is expected to be in Wilmington, Ohio, where more than 8,000 workers are employed at a package-sorting hub operated for DHL by a subcontractor, ABX Air.
Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel said the company had no choice but to eliminate domestic U.S. package shipments because of ongoing losses and the declining state of the U.S. economy.
In May the company announced it would cut 5,400 jobs in the U.S. The latest cuts are in addition to those.
“Given the current background of unprecedented uncertainty and risk in the global economy, we feel that it is critical and prudent to take additional measures to combat what we believe will be an extremely challenging 2009, and to do this ahead of time,” said John Mullen, CEO of DHL Express, in a written statement.
DHL entered the U.S. domestic package shipping business when it purchased Airborne Express in 2003. The company has faced heavy competition in the domestic market from FedEx and UPS.