It may be a sign the economy is turning around, or this may be the boost to do that. FedEx Ground, the small-package ground unit of FedEx Corporation, opened its facility in Grayslake.
The 214,000 square-foot operation, located on Route 83 north of Peterson Road, is a package sorting and delivery station for the company. It is now the fifth major hub for FedEx Ground in the Chicago area.
“We have an increased demand in business and needed a place close to highways and where we could get a good pool of new employees,” said FedEx spokesperson David Westrick.
FedEx created 200 full- and part-time positions for the Grayslake location, with a potential of growing to almost 500 when it is operating at full capacity.
One employee from Round Lake said she was hired by FedEx specifically for the new service center. “It’s nice to be working so close to home. I know this is a great company and I’m really hoping to grow my future with them.”
The teamed up with Lake County Partners, a local independent economic development organization to make the site attractive for FedEx. Together with the state, FedEx was offered $4 million in tax breaks and incentives. A portion of those incentives are contingent on job creation.
“They could have chosen anywhere in the United States and we wanted them here. We’re very happy to have them,” said Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor.
Taylor said he can count on residents feeling the effects.
“This is bringing people into town everyday and its circulating money here," he said. "This can’t help but create a positive impact for us.”
Additional FedEx vehicles will be seen in and around town. Up to 130 vans a day will be dispatched from the new location. FedEx Ground now delivers more than half of its packages in two days or less.
“We are constantly re-engineering our network to get people their packages faster,” said Westrick of needing the Grayslake location to field packages from dozens of cities north of Chicago.
FedEx Ground already has distribution centers in Carol Stream, McCook and Wheeling with a new location under construction on Chicago’s south side. This is part of an ongoing expansion by the Memphis-based company to boost daily package volume and speed up the services.
"Enhancing our distribution capability in the Midwest is an important step in our ongoing efforts to increase the size, speed and efficiency of our network," Bob F. Wilson, vice president of the Central Region for FedEx Ground said in a statement.
"This new facility will enable us to meet the growing demand of local shippers and transport shipments across the country."
FedEx Ground has a workforce of more than 70,000 employees and independent contractors in the United States and Canada. The company reported annual revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2011.