DHL to cut 9,500 jobs, close U.S. centers, including two in Triangle

Posted November 10, 2008 8:47 a.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2008 9:17 a.m. EST

— Deutsche Post AG will close all of its DHL Express service centers, cut 9,500 jobs in the United States and eliminate U.S.-only domestic shipping by land and air, the company said Monday, citing heavy losses and fierce competition.

According to the company's Web site, DHL operates two service centers in the Research Triangle Park, N.C., area – one in Raleigh and another in Durham.

The Bonn-based company said that the new round of cuts is on top of 5,400 job cuts it already had announced and blamed heavy losses at the unit, which competes with rivals UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp.

The cuts are part of a wider plan to curtail operations in the U.S., including domestic ground and delivery services, though its international shipping won't be affected. The express unit currently employs some 18,000 workers.

Part of the plan calls for the halt to domestic shipping by Jan. 30, the company said, after it closes all of its ground hubs.

"The retained U.S. international express network with a total of 3,000 to 4,000 employees will be tailored to the needs of the group's international express service customers," the company said in a statement. "All international shipments into the U.S. will still be delivered, while 99 percent of the outbound shipments will be picked up."

The move is expected to reduce operating costs at the U.S. Express unit from $5.4 billion (4.2 billion euros) to less than $1 billion (770 million euros).

"The international express offering in the U.S. will be maintained on today's levels and the region will remain an integral part of DHL's global Express network," the company added.

Shares of Deutsche Post rose 4.2 percent at 9.77 euros ($12.60) in Frankfurt trading.