Dave Tu has been President of DCL Logistics since 2014. This is his annual note addressing the company’s projected year ahead.
We have built a special culture at DCL Logistics, one based on solidarity and support. Our success isn’t derived from any singular person or accomplishment, rather our business is driven forward by the collective dedication and hard work our team puts in, day-in and day-out.
Last year marked DCL’s 40th year in business, a milestone that prompted me to examine our core values and business trajectory. While our services and operational procedures have changed significantly over four decades, I can confidently say that our values haven’t changed at all. Dedication to quality and service has been a throughline in everything we do.
Despite predictions for a slow 2022 holiday season, our facilities tracked record volume during the Black Friday peak, and our team came together to meet it. I’m continually humbled and impressed with the hard work and grit I see at DCL.
In 2022 we took some big leaps—we opened a new East Coast facility, doubled our headcount, and invested heavily in automation and technology to give our customers the best tools in the industry. I’m proud to lead our team as we grow from a regional logistics business to a truly national presence.
Looking ahead, I see 2023 as a year of stabilization and strength. Our industry has felt the gamut of hurdles in the past few years, but I’m confident that DCL’s core values (the same we started with in 1982!) will guide us to meet the demands of the market: adherence to quality work in all departments of our business, dedication to service in all aspects of our operations, and investment in our employees and infrastructure.
Here’s how I’m thinking about 2023 and beyond.
New East Coast Facility Brings Faster Shipping to More Regions
In August of 2022 we launched our sixth, fully owned and operated warehouse in York, Pennsylvania. Adding this location completes a full nationwide footprint of warehouses, which now gives our customers the ability to offer next-day and two-day shipping to most regions throughout the US.
The York warehouse is 125,000 square feet and is being custom-built with many automated systems, conveyance, robotics, and more. Located just 50 miles north of Baltimore, the facility is centrally situated between many major East Coast cities, giving our customers faster delivery times to New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and the Eastern South. Our York facility will have:
- Projected 10,000 packages shipped per day
- 2-day ground delivery to 22 states
- 10,000+ pallet locations
- ISO:9001 certified operations and staff
We started out in York with a lean team and a small batch of inventory from a few brands. Operations are running smoothly, and we will continue to build capacity at this facility in the year ahead. Our York team is still growing, and we’re excited to see it reach full operational capacity this year.
We’re Growing Our Team to Provide Better Service
In 2022 we doubled our headcount. With our expanding footprint of facilities and our core customers seeing a higher volume of orders than ever before, we’ve been focused on growing our teams across departments and across regions.
We hired more full-time employees to stabilize and provide better quality service and manage the rising labor costs in our industry. We increased our leadership positions in all areas of our business, often promoting from within.
Our employees at DCL are like family. Some people are tenured at 15, 20, even 35 years here. It’s been natural to fold our new members into the culture of quality and service that DCL has held from the very beginning.
Adding Automation and Technology for More Efficient Throughput
Ecommerce, as percentage of total global retail sales, went from 13% – 17% in 2020 alone. It’s projected to rise to 24% by 2026. Our industry has skyrocketed in the last few years, and there’s no slowing down.
As a service provider, situated in the middle of the supply chain, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our operations. In 2022 we doubled down on automation, conveyance, and warehouse efficiency. All our facilities are fitted with robust automation systems which help provide flexibility for our customers—we can quickly scale up and down to meet order volume fluctuations, provide custom kitting or assembly, add tailor-made fulfillment projects like bundles, and easily sort shipments for pickups from any number of carriers or retailers.
We are constantly improving our proprietary fulfillment software platform, eFactory. This is the main tool our brands use to manage their business. We built the platform with operators in mind and continue to make improvements and feature updates to support our brands’ global fulfillment needs.
What I look forward to this year, above all, is seeing our customers grow and scale. We work with some of the most creative, determined, and innovative brands, who are shaping their respective industries and making changes for the better. Whatever this next year will bring, I’m determined to make it great in service of our customers.
Cheers to a bright year ahead,