Watco opens a new warehouse and logistics operating center in Arkansas. Also, Sandersville Railroad (SRR) adds another customer to its list of Hanson Spur users in Georgia.
Watco’s logistics company on Sept. 28 celebrated the launch of a warehouse and operating center in Springdale’s I-49 Logistics Park. The new 185,000-square-foot building includes a 165,000-square-foot warehouse—offering 18 dock doors, three ramps, and the ability to hold up to 18,000 pallets—plus 20,000 square feet of office space.
The new facility will serve customers in both domestic and international logistics, specializing in full truckload, less than truckload, rail/intermodal, air, ocean and inland river barge management. According to Watco, the warehouse will be dedicated to its Retail Services logistics operations, including inbound inventory, storage, outbound distribution, ecommerce management, special projects, roll-out management and reverse logistics. Sixty-five employees work on-site.
A technology lab is slated to be added in 2024 to prepare product and update existing hardware in bulk. Watco Logistics President Eric Wolfe said it will “make us more than a service partner, but an extension of the customer.”
“The new logistics center is not just a building, but an investment in Northwest Arkansas,” said Watco CEO Dan Smith at the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was attended by local government officials, customers, suppliers and Watco staff. “It represents Watco’s commitment to customers and our priority to meet their growing needs in the future.”
SRR on Sept. 28 confirmed that Southern Chips LLC will use its planned rail spur in Hancock County, Ga. The Hanson Spur will provide access to CSX’s network, allowing Southern Chips to transport pulp and paper-quality wood chips to mills throughout the southeastern United States and beyond.
According to SRR, the 4.5-mile spur will connect the CSX rail line that runs along Georgia Highway 16 to the Heidelberg Materials aggregate quarry in Sparta. Expected to be in service by the end of 2024, the spur will be SRR’s first expansion in the county. It will offer one trip each weekday at 20 mph or less and generate more than $1.5 million in projected annual economic benefit, according to the railroad. SRR operates over a 37-mile system, which includes 10 miles of main line with an interchange with Norfolk Southern in Tennille, Ga.
“Southern Chips will be able to reach new markets, increasing their demand for pine and hardwood supplied by Georgia’s robust logging supply chain network and locally owned timberland,” SRR President Ben J. Tarbutton, III said.