The drama continues in DHL’s announced change in its North American strategy, which includes outsourcing its airlift operations to UPS and closure of its large sortation hub in Wilmington, OH. That operation employs more than 6000 workers directly and several thousand more that work in other companies that use or support the hub. The outsourcing to UPS would move the air operations of DHL from Ohio to UPS’ massive Louisville, KY hub.

Supported by politicians on both sides of the aisle and presidential candidate John McCain, the US Congress plans hearings in September on the proposed deal and how it might impact parcel shipping markets here. The stated concern revolves around the potential to reduce competition in the express shipping industry and other anti-trust concerns. However, DHL says it plans to sell and market its services in competition with UPS under the deal, dismissing charges it will reduce market competition. Regardless, it seems clear that the closure of the Wilmington hub and related job losses are the real drivers of political concern.

“This deal, if allowed to be completed, would have consequences beyond its devastating impact on our local, state and national economy,” said Mike Turner, an Ohio congressman in Dayton whose district includes Wilmington.

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