Ryder Opens Third E-Commerce Distribution Center in Columbus Market
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Ryder System Inc. opened its third multi-client omnichannel distribution center in Columbus, Ohio, the company announced on April 25.
The Ryder E-Commerce by Whiplash service launched earlier this year as a distribution platform focused on customers shipping online. The Columbus facility will be the first to open in the region under the new supply chain offering. Ryder also considers the region critical for e-commerce execution.
“You have a more competitive square footage rate or real estate costs,” Steve Sensing, president of global supply chain solutions at Ryder, told Transport Topics.
“There are advantages with labor availability in this market as well as pricing compared to a northeast or southern California location,” he added. “I think what’s probably most important for our customers, from this location you can reach just over 50% of the population in a 10 hour truck ride.
Ryder noted that the facility is the largest e-commerce distribution center it operates in the region at nearly 440,000 square feet. The site includes 42 transshipment stations, 99 trailer locations and offers a full range of logistics services. It also includes automation enhancements such as robot-assisted order picking.
“In the race for e-commerce, the fastest and most agile wins,” said Jeff Wolpov, senior vice president of Ryder E-Commerce by Whiplash. “This new facility is well positioned to serve the Midwest region’s growing need for e-commerce distribution to US retailers and consumers across the United States with fast, cost-effective fulfillment and ground services. With three multi-client warehouses now in the Columbus area, we are ideally located to serve established and emerging brands.
Ryder now operates 22 multi-client and dedicated e-commerce facilities across the country. It also plans to open a 678,000 square foot facility in Atlanta later this year. The facility will have easy access to extensive road and rail networks.
“Atlanta’s footprint really helps us reach further south,” Sensing said. “We also have a growing presence in the state of Texas. And then, before the acquisition, Whiplash had acquired a small electronic processing company in Salt Lake City, which is also attractive.
Whiplash was a national provider of scalable e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment solutions that was acquired for $480 million. Ryder has been working to leverage its capabilities, which the new facility does by allowing greater nationwide access. It also aligns with its broader strategy to help its customers get ever closer to the end consumer and improve their speed.
Edikted is an online fashion brand that will be one of the customers operating from the new facility.
“The technical integration was seamless and straightforward, and the onboarding process was very professional,” said Edikted co-founder Zvika Alon. “Meeting our deadline was crucial, as well as moving inventory in a way that didn’t cost sales. If we had pushed back a week, it would have been a disaster for us, so the fact that our deadline was met was incredible.
Ryder expects to hire approximately 250 workers to fill various positions to support the new distribution center. This includes warehouse associates, engineers, leadership, management and support roles.
“Jeff and the team have done a great job selling these buildings,” Sensing said. “They have a pipeline of customers ready to move in. And then we also have the flexibility that if we don’t fill it, I can bring a big, bulky client into that same building. So we have a lot of flexibility, and I think that generates a lot of value for us.
Feeling that additional e-fulfillment and multi-tenant warehousing work well together because they don’t need to be as close to the end customer as compared to a large, cumbersome last-mile business. He also suspects that there will be more multifunctional warehouse openings in the future.
Ryder Supply Chain Solutions ranks 11th on the list of Top 100 For-Hire Carriers in North America. It ranks 13th on the TT Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.
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