News Briefs: June 2005

June 1, 2005
Ace Hardware to Build 788,000 sq. ft. DC, U.S. Chamber Recognizes Tramco's Trammell, Kerouac Play Discovered in N.J. Warehouse

Ace Hardware Corp. announced plans to build a new 788,000 sq.-ft. distribution in Moxee, Wash. The new facility replaces an existing operation 10 miles away in Yakima, Wash., that the company has occupied since 1984. It will serve 400 retailers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Construction is expected to complete by early 2006.

Helen of Troy (El Paso, Texas), a marketer of brand-name personal care and consumer products, is building a new distribution center in South Haven, Miss. The 1.2 million sq.-ft. facility will replace an existing 619,000 sq.-ft. building and open up space for anticipated sales growth. Construction of the new building will be completed by the end of fourth quarter.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (Issaquah, Wash.) will build a new 300,000 sq.-ft, $40 million distribution center in Salt Lake City. The facility will serve stores in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Montana. Peter Kahn, the company’s director of real estate development, said they selected Utah because of its central western location, low operating costs and ample supply of affordable labor.

Blockbuster Online crossed a milestone, opening its 30th distribution center near Pittsburgh. The video rental chain now has the capacity to stock 40,000 movies at sites across the country. Renault-Nissan opened a European distribution center in the western Hungarian city of Gyor. The $16 million facility will provide Renault, Nissan and Dacia spare parts to five central European countries. With annual sales of 125,000 vehicles in the region, the company reports that it currently holds an 11.7 percent market share.

CorStone Industries (North Attleboro, Mass.), which makes 450,000 acrylic sinks per year for retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, announced expansion plans for its Greenville, Ala. plant. The addition of a new 31,500 sq.-ft. warehouse will make room for production of a new line of whirlpool tubs.

The United States Chamber of Commerce recognized regional vice chair and Tramco CEO Leon Trammell for the company’s success at exporting its products. The Wichita-based company makes chain conveyors, enclosed-belt conveyors and specially designed conveyors.

Lauyans & Company, Inc. (Louisville, Ky.) purchased the complete line of automated storage and retrieval carousel systems from Richards-Wilcox, Inc. The vertical and horizontal carousel units and high-cube vertical lift modules reportedly complement Lauyans’ automated pick-and-place transfer systems and custom material handling and conveyor systems. Crown Equipment Corp. (New Bremen, Ohio) signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China. When the construction of the new facility is completed, the company plans to close its plant in Galway, Ireland.

You never know what you’ll find hiding in inventory. Going through old files in a New Jersey warehouse, the long-time literary agent of Jack Kerouac discovered a previously unknown play written the same year (1957) that his classic book On The Road was published. An excerpt of the play will be published in the July issue of Best Life magazine. Kerouac died in 1969.

Dell Inc.'s (Round Rock, Texas) new plant in Winston-Salem, N.C., will begin manufacturing desktop computers in September. The company awarded the operation of its North Carolina Logistics Center to APL Logistics (Oakland, Calif.). APL is building a 500,000 sq.-ft. warehouse a few miles from the factory. The facility will manage inventory for Dell suppliers—receiving orders, picking parts and shipping them to the factory within a 60-minute window—and handle computer peripherals, such as monitors, speakers and computer chassis.