Saddle Creek To Build Cross-Dock Operation
Saddle Creek Corp. will expand its current campus operations in Lakeland, FL. The company has started construction of a 98,600-square-foot, high-volume cross-dock facility.
The facility will be utilized to provide distribution services for one of Saddle Creek's key accounts as well as potential new business in the future.
The decision to design and build a comprehensive cross-dock facility is mainly due to a fresh product manufacturer's increased growth in volume and projected double-digit growth in the coming years. The manufacturer has been using an existing Saddle Creek facility to handle its products while determining specific requirements and the volume of activity expected at the new facility.
"We're uniquely positioned to provide our customer with a flexible solution that will not only meet their requirements today but also in the coming years," says Tom Patterson, senior vice president, warehouse operations.
"Designing the facility exclusively as a true cross-dock tailored to meet the customer's requirements will result in labor productivity gains of approximately 15 to 20 percent. More importantly, it provides the ability to accommodate our customer's projected business growth."
The facility is expected to be approximately 40 percent larger than the customer will need initially. As a 3PL, Saddle Creek has the ability to use the remaining portion of the cross-dock building for other business until this customer has need for additional space in the facility.
"The market for industrial space in Lakeland is so tight and expensive that building some space of our own makes sense now," says Bruce Abels, president of Saddle Creek Corp.
Construction is projected to be complete in August, 2007. A team of 27 Saddle Creek associates will run the operation 24 hours a day, five days a week. Approximately 30 trucks will be required for delivery.
"During the past few years, we have seen an increased interest in the use of cross-dock operations—especially among Florida retail companies," says Abels. "According to our recent survey of food logistics industry executives, nearly 43 percent of respondents have increased cross-docking practices in the past five years. This is due in large part to the change in hours of service within the transportation industry and rising LTL transportation rates for inbound moves to Florida.
"Building this new facility will allow us to grow with our current customers and offer an important service to others in the marketplace."
ATA Forms Coalition To Oppose Private Tolls
The American Trucking Associations, along with five other groups, is forming a coalition to combat the growing trend toward the privatization or leasing of existing toll facilities to private investors.
Known as "Americans for a Strong National Highway Network," the coalition is designed to advance the rights of American motorists to travel on safe, reliable public roads; maintain a robust national highway network for the efficient transport of goods and the military; and to hold government accountable for ensuring financing is transparent, motivated by public good and dedicated to transportation purposes.
"The sale or lease of existing toll facilities generates revenue at great expense to taxpayers and the trucking industry and carries potential negative impacts on highway safety, security and the motoring public," says Bill Graves, ATA's president and CEO.
"We must consider the long-term impact privatization will have on our nation's transportation system and explore all available financing options to ensure that the government is motivated by public good and transportation purposes."
The trucking industry supports the objective of a toll-free national highway system where funds to finance highway improvements primarily come from highway user fees, such as the fuel tax.