XPO Logistics, a Greenwich, Conn.-based global logistics firm, will close its 571,000 square-foot warehouse on Harford County’s Perryman peninsula by the end of March, a company spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
“Our customer has decided to close its operations in Aberdeen,” spokesperson Joseph Checkler said in a statement. “We’re working to support employees during this transition, which may include opportunities to transfer to another XPO site in the area.”
The customer, whom Checkler said he could not identify in accordance with company policy, was using the services provided at the facility in the 600 block of Chelsea Road. The facility, which opened in the fall of 2016, is about five-and-a-half miles from Aberdeen.
The closing will affect 167 XPO Logistics employees, according to Checkler. Harford County officials expected about 400 people would be hired to work there, when the announcement was made in October of 2016 that XPO Logistics had signed a lease for the building developed by Chesapeake Real Estate Group.
"This is a big win for us,” County Executive Barry Glassman said at the time. “It really gets us into the e-commerce business, with a major logistics company that ships for the major Internet retailers."
XPO specializes in logistics and transportation, and it currently has more than 98,000 employees working in 1,529 locations spread over 32 countries. The company serves more than 50,000 customers, according to its website.
The Susquehanna Workforce Network will assist XPO Logistics employers affected by the closure of the Perryman facility, according to county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby. The nonprofit entity supports employers, workers and job-seekers in Cecil and Harford counties, according to the Susquehanna Workforce Network website.
“The industrial market in Harford County is strong with low vacancy rates, and if XPO no longer needs this space, someone else will,” Glassman said in a statement provided by Mumby Tuesday afternoon.
The county executive stated that former employees could “easily find other work in the area where demand is high and expected to grow,” noting 1 million square feet of space is being built nearby.
Three distribution and warehouse buildings make up the 2.2 million square-foot Eastgate industrial park being developed along Woodley Road. Glassman was on hand for the Eastgate groundbreaking in the winter of 2017. The site is about two-and-a-half miles from the XPO building.
The 1 million square-foot building Glassman referred to is the second phase of Eastgate, according to Mumby.
A number of other industrial facilities for companies such as Electrolux, Rite Aid and Sephora are also nearby. The area is part of the Greater Aberdeen/Havre de Grace Enterprise Zone, which allows companies that invest within it to qualify for property and income tax credits in exchange for creating jobs and capital investments, according to the county website.
“We see strong growth in this [e-commerce and logistics] sector in Harford County because of our location on the I-95 corridor, available workforce and competitive rental rates,” Mumby stated in an email.
She noted that Aberdeen is about a 45-minute drive from seven counties in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, plus it is close to regional ports, freight facilities and passenger rail lines.