Facilities: Creating for Consolidation

April 1, 2009
A new DC helps a food supplier merge two divisions.

By Roger Morton

Saddle Creek Corp. has opened a new 150,000-square foot distribution center on its Lakeland, Fla. campus to serve the need Ebro Puleva, S.A. had to bring together two of its divisions under one roof. Ebro Puleva is a leading supplier of Spanish foods in the U.S. Its offerings include rice, sugar, dairy, biotechnology, delicacies as well as pasta, sauces and semolina.

Steven Cook, Saddle Creek’s vice president of marketing and business development, explains that when Ebro purchased Riviana Foods and New World Pasta, the two organizations were not using the same distribution network. After the purchase, it was decided they needed to consolidate inventory.

Ebro conducted a study to determine the most strategic locations around the country to locate its distribution facilities. “Their study indicated they needed to have a consolidated forward DC to be located in the Tampa, Orlando or Central Florida area,” says Cook. “We were selected to be the provider here, at Lakeland.”

In the new facility, Saddle Creek provides warehousing and transportation services, giving Ebro Puleva the ability to consolidate inventories for Riviana and expand capacity for New World Pasta.

“We also offer secondary packaging and transportation services out of this campus location as well as crossdock,” adds Cook. “We offer both inbound and outbound for our customers on the campus. We have other grocery customers on the campus, so we are delivering to major grocery DCs, presenting an opportunity for consolidation.”

During construction of the new facility, Saddle Creek was able to accommodate an interim solution for New World Pasta on its Atlanta campus. With the completion of construction, New World Pasta will pull out of Atlanta, putting all of its products and those of Riviana at Lakeland.

The Saddle Creek Lakeland, Fla., campus

The new Ebro consolidated space is just part of a total 486,000-square foot DC. “It includes drive-in racking, pallet racking, single-face select pallet racking and floor storage,” details Cook. “There is one other major customer in the building. Each of the customers is located on different ends of the building. The two combined occupy about 75% of the building. Space is available in the center of the building for either or both of them to accommodate growth or seasonal fluctuations. It affords them a great deal of flexibility.”

The entire Lakeland campus is 2.3 million square feet. From the perspective of Joseph Marelli, vice president of logistics for Ebro North America, “Saddle Creek’s convenient location in Central Florida, flexible campus environment and integrated logistics capabilities will allow us to serve our customers in the Southeast more efficiently and cost effectively and accommodate future growth.”

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