Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will outsource operations at its distribution facility near Knoxville, Tenn., to DHL Exel Supply Chain in a logistics restructuring that will include laying off about 186 workers at the site, according to local reports.
Pfizer said the action at the Vonore, Tenn., distribution center is part of a larger overhaul of supply chain operations that will have the contract logistics division of Deutsche Post DHL manage more of the business.
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"The restructuring of our U.S. logistics network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive in the future so that we can meet customer needs," Philip H. Rose, a spokesman for logistics and supply operations in the Americas at Pfizer Global Manufacturing, told the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
DHL Exel is already a major provider for Pfizer in other countries.
Pfizer said employees at the Vonore site would be given a chance to apply for positions with DHL Exel. Some distribution from the facility will switch to Pfizer's main U.S. logistics center in Memphis, Tenn.