Monday, May 7, 2018

FedEx Freight Plans 25 Distribution Center Openings, Expansions Across U.S.

A company official for FedEx Freight, which just moved into a large new service center in the North Jersey Meadowlands, reported Wednesday that the company will be opening or expanding roughly two dozen more such facilities this year.

FedEx Freight and North Arlington, NJ, officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the 140,000-square-foot distribution center at 38 Porete Ave. (pictured, above). The new building features 165 docking doors and sits on 45 acres, making it as one of the largest FedEx Freight terminals in the nation by acreage.

The service center, which employs 165 people, opened in January. It is just one part of the Memphis, TN-based freight carrier’s growth plans nationally this year, said Sean Healy, senior vice president of transportation, international, planning and strategy for FedEx Freight.

"In 2019 we will have over 1,500 dock doors throughout our network," said Healy of the company's plans to open or expand 25 facilities in fiscal 2018.

The new facilities will include one in Rockaway, NJ, and several in Long Island, NY. 

The debut of FedEx Freight's center in Bergen County is yet another sign that the demand for logistics and distribution space in the Meadowlands - with its available land and proximity to New York City and metro highways, ports and airports - isn’t waning.

The new facility that FedEx Freight is leasing, built on a former Bethlehem Steel site, is owned by Moishe Mana, the billionaire moving-company magnate and real estate investor.

He and his Jersey City, NJ-based company, Mana Fine Arts, are so bullish on the North Jersey industrial market that they just put the North Arlington property on the market for an asking price of $145 million., or $1,041 a square foot. That would, by a wide margin, top any other price paid in recent years for an industrial property in the Garden State.

Nir Eshed, a Mana Fine Arts executive who is also the sales broker on 38 Porete Ave., attended the ribbon-cutting, along with about 60 other people. Afterward, Eshed defended the high asking price for the property, citing the 20-year lease that FedEx Freight signed, backed by an investment-grade guarantee from its parent FedEx Corp., and the size of the tract, which is large enough to construct additional buildings.

As evidence of the strength of the Meadowlands market, Eshed said that Mana Fine Arts was in the process of selling two acres of a roughly 20-acre site it owns at 500 Schuyler Ave. in North Arlington, for $4 million, or $2 million an acre, to the utility PSE&G.

FedEx Freight relocated to North Arlington from a service center that it had outgrown in South Newark, according to Healy. 

"We had 50 less doors than here," he said. "We weren’t able to expand that facility and we needed more capacity. The yard was too small for the trucks we had in it."

The New York metro market is a crucial part of FedEx Freight’s network, and the new facility will help the company expand its presence there, said John Smith, senior vice president of operations for the company.

FedEx Freight already had eight New Jersey service centers in Delanco, Elizabeth, Farmingdale, Monmouth Junction, Vineland, Wayne and two in Newark, according to Smith. And it is in the process of trying to enlarge a facility in Middlesex County.

"There are some locations in New Jersey that we are looking to expand," Healy said. "We were at one today at South Brunswick. We’ve got about 110 doors in South Brunswick and we need to add probably 25 to 50 more doors there. So we’re working with the township and the council there to get approval to acquire some additional property that’s adjacent to our current facility."

The company is also already planning to expand the North Arlington facility, to add onto the building, a couple of years down the road, both Healy and Smith said. 

FedEx has more than 10,000 employees in New Jersey, said state Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-36th District, who also spoke at the event.

FedEx Freight is one of three operating companies of FedEx Corp., with the other two being FedEx Express, for air-parcel delivery service, and FedEx Ground, for ground delivery, according to Healy. FedEx Freight offers Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) delivery service, with a typical load being two pallets weighing 1,000 pounds, he explained.

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