Fonterra USA has expanded its Shorewood, Ill., warehouse in the Heartland Corporate Center by 50,000 sq. ft. to channel significant amounts of its billion-dollar exports.

The warehouse has been vacant for several years but its owner, New York-based ING Clarion, is installing a new security fence to meet conditions of a Partnership Against Terrorism Act that requires cargo handling areas for imported products to be protected.

The warehouse was built in 2007 as the start of a projected 63ha business campus. Up to 20 trucks will enter and leave the site daily.

Product will be shipped from New Zealand to U.S. ports, and sent by rail to Chicago, which is considered a central point for U.S. distribution.

Two years ago, Fonterra opened a $4 million research and development site, now known as its Chicago technical center, near O'Hare Airport, and moved its corporate headquarters to Rosemont, Ill. The technical center's processing equipment and sample analysis lab are planned to be developed into a major sensory application center to work directly with North American customers for dairy proteins and other ingredients, including HP Hood, Nestle and Unilever.

Fonterra produces a series of caseins, whey powders, proteins, protein concentrates, hydrolysates, cheese, cream products and milk powders for the dairy industry.