Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FedEx to build distribution center in Delaware County

"The ground-shipping division of FedEx Corp. will build a $64 million automated small-package distribution center in Lester, Delaware County.

The center, when it opens in September 2013, will be one of the 50 largest that FedEx Ground operates in the United States and Canada, company spokesman David Westrick said.

Ground will be broken for construction at 10 a.m. Thursday for the 211,000-square-foot plant on Tinicum Island Road in Tinicum Township, near Philadelphia International Airport.

FedEx Ground, based in Pittsburgh, is the small-package ground-shipping division of FedEx Corp.

The new plant will employ 70 and be one of 500 local pickup and mail-delivery stations operated by FedEx Ground.

FedEx already has a ground-package distribution center on Townsend Road in Philadelphia, where packages arrive in trucks, are sorted, and then are shipped on trucks to various locations.

The new facility will operate the same way.

"In the mornings, vehicles are dispatched to make deliveries in the area with packages that came in overnight," Westrick said. "In the evening, packages that were picked up from local businesses during the day are sorted and sent out to go all over the country.

"All our packages are on the ground, similar to parcel post."

FedEx Corp., with headquarters in Memphis, has three divisions: FedEx Express for air packages, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight.

The volume handled by FedEx Ground has doubled in the last 10 years to more than 5.6 million packages daily. The ground carrier had $9.5 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2012 and 59,000 employees.

"When we open in September 2013, we are expecting to have 70 people there," said Westrick. Forty will be new hires, and the rest will transfer from 14300 Townsend Road, Westrick said.

"Some of the activity from the existing facility will move into the new facility, thus we need some of those employees," he said.

The new FedEx Ground facility is part of a nationwide network expansion, in which 11 major hubs have been added and 500 other distribution centers have expanded or relocated since 2005, the company said."

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