Spartan Logistics Partners with L Brands and the State of Ohio to Assist with Covid-19 Pandemic


On March 15, 2020, Leading business organizations across Ohio praised Governor DeWine's response to rein the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his administration took several actions to develop state-wide strategies addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns associated with it. Dewine called on manufacturers to help assist with viable solutions to protect Ohioans. Every Ohioan was required to play a part in helping to save lives as well. For many, this meant staying at home, washing your hands and practicing social distancing. For others, it meant taking care of the most vulnerable among us or providing healthcare, food, education, information, or the things we take for granted to stay safe. Unfortunately, not all Ohio non-profit agencies have access to an abundance of hand soap for their employees and residents. As with any fast-moving policy and public infectious disease in its ever-changing stage, timing is critical to limit further spread. As of April 6, 2020, there were 4,043 confirmed cases and 27% hospitalizations, in over 81 Ohio counties.

Spartan Logistics and State of Ohio Collage

Picture 1 Left: Pictured left to right: Spartan Logistics President Steve Harmon, daughter Sara Harmon, and Governor Mike Dewine, during a fundraiser event in November 2019.

Picture 2 Middle: A makeshift sign at the entrance of Spartan Logistics in Columbus, OH directing incoming fleet traffic to the warehouse for inbound pallet shipments of hand soap.

Picture 3 Right: Staged pallets of hand soap at Spartan Logistics’ Columbus, OH warehouse scheduled for delivery to Community Action Agencies.


L Brands of Columbus, OH, an international company that sells lingerie, personal care, beauty products, apparel, and accessories, initiated a call to Governor Mike Dewine’s office following Dewine’s call for help to manufacturer’s to assist with protecting Ohioan’s. L Brands was in a position to donate 500,000 Bath and Body Works soap bottles to Ohio non-profit agencies to slow the spread of the virus but would require the assistance of its freight partner, North American Logistics, and a local 3PL (third-party logistics) company to oversee the storage and distribution endeavor. Consistent communication would be paramount between the L Brand Logistics team, the State of Ohio Administration office, and a 3PL for seamless coordination of ten hourly inbound shipments to be received and ultimately distributed to the following non-profits:

  • Community Action Agencies – 20k soap bottles
  • COHHIO (Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio) – 30k soap bottles
  • Ohio Foodbanks - 450k soap bottles


Governor Dewine’s office contacted Spartan Logistics President, Steve Harmon, to discuss the availability of a centrally located warehouse. Without hesitation, Steve Harmon offered Spartan’s Columbus, OH warehouse based on the number of experienced professionals, material handling equipment, and dock doors required to successfully manage the intense time-driven coordination of inbound shipments, staging, and distribution; consistent logistics communication between all parties was involved. The first truck delivery of pallets arrived at Spartan Logistics at 8:00 am on Monday, March 30, then each hour for ten hours. The challenge for Spartan Logistics was to maintain its existing contract customer business within the warehouse while collectively supporting the State of Ohio Effort. Within 2-3 weeks, the mission was accomplished to help deliver these critical supplies ahead of schedule. 

Photos credit: Sara Harmon

Case Study written by Kelly Swingle, Spartan Logistics