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Harford lands big e-commerce logistics firm; more than 400 jobs expected in Perryman

XPO Logistics has leased a 571,000 square foot building in Perryman, shown under construction a year ago. The company is expected to hire at least 400 people for e-commerce related clients, County Executive Barry Glassman said.
XPO Logistics has leased a 571,000 square foot building in Perryman, shown under construction a year ago. The company is expected to hire at least 400 people for e-commerce related clients, County Executive Barry Glassman said. (Provided photo / Baltimore Sun)

A large national logistics company has signed a lease for a recently completed 571,000-square-foot building in Perryman, that is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the county in the growing e-commerce field, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said.

An announcement that XPO Logistics has taken a full lease of the building on Chelsea Road was made jointly Thursday afternoon by the building's developer, Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC, its financial partner USAA Real Estate Company, Harford County government and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

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"We are proud that a global industry leader like XPO Logistics sees the tremendous benefits of doing business in Maryland, and in particular along the I-95 corridor," Hogan said in a statement. "With this new facility, XPO Logistics is continuing to grow its footprint in Maryland and creating new jobs and opportunities for our citizens."

Glassman said the county has worked closely with the building's owner and state economic development officials to close the deal for XPO.

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"I've been working on an ulcer the past two weeks; it's kind of been a big whirlwind for us," he said. "This is a big win for us; it really gets us into the e-commerce business, with a major logistics company that ships for the major Internet retailers."

A massive new warehouse occupied by makeup giant Sephora Americas is set to officially open Friday in Perryman.

Glassman estimated XPO will hire about 400 people over three shifts initially.

Although the Perryman building was built on speculation, he said the county fast-tracked the interior fit-out under tight deadlines.

"They [XPO] want to be up and running by Black Friday of this holiday season," he explained, "and we met our part of the deadline to get them operational by then."

Glassman said Harford has added about 1,000 jobs since he took office in late 2014, "so were getting a 40 percent increase with one major acquisition."

He said the county's location, access to I-95 and available land should continue to be a plus in attracting e-commerce players.

Kohl's already has a fulfillment center in Edgewood, and Glassman said distribution centers for Macy's in Joppa and Rite Aid in Perryman also do some e-commerce related shipping. The Chelsea Road building, which sits on 48 acres, is only a few miles from I-95 interchanges at Riverside and Aberdeen.

Matt Laraway, a partner with Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC, praised the county's involvement, also saying Harford's highly skilled labor market was "another important key" to landing XPO.

"Harford County provided every resource and advantage, and answered every question, to make this decision by XPO an easy one," Laraway said in a statement.

According to its website, XPO provides "a range of supply chain services, including highly engineered solutions and high-value-add contract logistics. We perform e-commerce fulfillment, reverse logistics, factory and aftermarket support, packaging and labeling, distribution and managed transportation."

The Greenwich, Conn., company's transportation segment includes freight brokerage, last mile, expedite, intermodal, drayage, less-than-truckload, full truckload and global forwarding services.

"We have a strong franchise in each of our service offerings, including leading positions in fast-growing areas such as e-fulfillment," the website states. Among the company's customers are Nissan Motor Manufacturing, The Home Depot, Whirlpool Corporation and SmartWay Discounters.

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The company operates more than 1,440 locations in 34 countries and employs more than 88,000 workers.

XPO has already posted job vacancies for the Perryman facility online, including general manager, human relations generalist and shift safety supervisor.

Glassman said Harford County did not commit any "discretionary funds" for incentives to XPO; however, the Perryman area is already in an enterprise zone, which means the company will be eligible for county and state tax income tax credits based on its employment levels.

"We're really glad to get this one done," he said.

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