Spartan Logistics Opens New Location in Houston, TX
A global beverage manufacturer, who has been a long-standing customer with Spartan, was seeking a distribution center in the Houston, Texas area. While they had an established presence in the Houston market, they needed a new partner to fulfill their location and service requirements. The manufacturer needed to locate a 100,000 square foot food-grade facility with an established 3PL operator in a short time from when the first contact was made. The warehouse also had to be within close proximity to the Port of Houston, as raw materials had to be received from overseas. This requirement was due to a global shortage on these materials throughout 2020 for various reasons related to the pandemic. The difficulty in obtaining raw materials combined with low vacancy on warehouse space left many American beverage companies searching for a solution to their supply chain issues.
NAI Harmon Group, Spartan’s commercial real estate brokerage partner, worked quickly to find a resolution for the customer. There was a broad search cast of the available real estate market in the Houston area before locking in on a potential distribution center. While this brand-new building looked like it was what the customer wanted, there were still several permits to finalize and inspections to complete. Therefore, this warehouse would not be move-in ready by their first shipment date. This required NAI & Spartan to also find a temporary distribution center for a short time before moving to the permanent location. In addition to locating a building, an experienced warehouse team would need to be hired and trained immediately to be able to successfully manage the operation. Josh Ledford, Spartan's Executive Vice President, shared that "we worked very hard with this particular customer to achieve a partnership that can make this possible. It takes a tremendous amount of trust and collaboration that has been built over the past decade."
Through their extensive network of warehouse relationships, Spartan was able to locate a warehouse for temporary storage. Shortly after this transaction, NAI Harmon Group and Spartan Logistics closed on the permanent building just two months after vital discussions with the customer had begun. While Spartan utilized the temporary warehouse throughout the startup, the permanent facility on 8230 Plummer St. is now fully operational and is led by Spartan’s skilled warehouse management. "Our veteran team understands and delivers this customer's specific expectations and was a key role for a seamless start-up," said Josh Ledford. The facility supports the distribution of cans throughout the country and has been crucial in maximizing the customer’s supply chain. Spartan was able to receive all of the customer’s scheduled loads and fulfill orders uninterrupted through the startup process. Merging a real estate brokerage firm to lease a warehouse with an experienced 3PL to run the operation efficiently is what made a solution possible in a quick turnaround time.
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Case Study written by Nick Harmon, Spartan Logistics