- May 26, 2006
- Total Time
In surprise move, DHL in talks with ABX Air
By John Nolan
Friday, March 13, 2009
Express shipper DHL, which has been trying since last year to hire rival United Parcel Service to sort and fly DHL packages in the United States, says it is talking again with its current cargo-flying partners, ABX Air and ASTAR Air Cargo.
DHL began talking with ABX and ASTAR after an agreement to negotiate exclusively with UPS expired at the end of January, DHL spokesman Jonathan Baker said.
"When that period ended, we began talking with other potential partners," Baker said. He said ABX Air and ASTAR Air Cargo are among those, along with UPS.
The development raises the possibility that ABX and ASTAR, which currently fly DHL cargo from its U.S. freight hub at Wilmington, might be chosen to continue serving DHL if it is unable to reach an agreement in its negotiations with UPS.
"DHL has let us know they believe they will now need us through September to keep doing what we are doing. That is the only definite information we have from them," ABX Air spokeswoman Beth Huber said Friday, March 13.
Spokesmen for ASTAR did not return telephone messages requesting comment.
It is unclear what role ABX will be allowed to fill after that, Huber said. DHL is ABX's biggest customer. ABX operates DHL's Wilmington hub under contract.
Ohio officials were unaware that DHL has added ABX and ASTAR to the negotiating mix, said Amanda Wurst, spokeswoman for Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
The state has been pressuring DHL to enter negotiations about its pledge to consider publicly donating its Wilmington Air Park, so the state and local officials can control the 2,200-acre airport in efforts to bring in new employers and jobs.
"We are eager to move forward on a decision, in the interests of all parties," Baker said. "A decision on a donation could only be made when we reach an agreement with our airlift partners and determine our need for the facility."
Thousands of jobs have been eliminated at DHL's Wilmington hub, the region's largest employer, since DHL's announcement last year that it is slashing its U.S. delivery network to reduce its $1 billion annual U.S. losses. The company trails U.S. rivals UPS and Federal Express (FedEx).
ABX Air gave notice Thursday that it is laying off an additional 58 employees by the end of March, Huber said. Before that notice, ABX Air's Wilmington employment was slightly less than 3,000, which is the bulk of its work force of 3,300 system-wide, she said.
Chimchim, glad to see you are still around, seriously.
When the press release came out Friday, I called the front office..............no one knows anything. You just have to laugh.