news-distribution-center-chicagoWhirlpool Corporation is investing $21 million to increase the size of its distribution network to better serve its customers. The company has established a new Regional Distribution Center near Chicago, bringing the company’s U.S. total of RDCs to 12, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Whirlpool is leasing a 750,000 square-foot warehouse in Channahon, Ill., which is southwest of Chicago. The new facility is a full-mix, rail-served warehouse, storing products from all Whirlpool-built major appliance categories and brands.

The new center improves service to customers through greater flexibility and more efficient operations, which results in better delivery times. The Chicago RDC serves Whirlpool local distribution centers in the Upper Midwest.

“The expansion of our network is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the best service to continually meet our customers’ needs,” said Jim Keppler, the company’s vice president, Integrated Supply Chain and Quality. “Chicago is the perfect location for a new facility. We have a large base of retail and builder customers in the metro area, and it provides easy access to multiple modes of transportation.”

Keppler said Kenco, a third-party logistics provider, manages the warehouse in Chicago, and will employ 60-to-70 people when fully operational.

Shipments into the Chicago center have begun and the first outbound shipments to the company’s local distribution centers will start later this summer.