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FedEx Ground opens new Lebanon distribution center, expects to grow

By Chelsey Levingston - Staff Writer

The senior manager of FedEx Ground’s newly opened distribution center in Lebanon said Wednesday the package delivery company is growing at a “staggering amount” in the Cincinnati area.

FedEx Home Delivery, the business-to-consumer service of FedEx Ground, grew revenues and package volume 35 percent in Greater Cincinnati from Aug. 2012 to Aug. 2013, Bryce Newton, senior operations manager for FedEx Lebanon, said. Revenues for the business-to-business delivery service FedEx Ground is also growing by double digits in the Cincinnati market. There are five FedEx Ground locations in the Cincinnati and Dayton region including Lebanon, Newton said.

“By the addition of the new Lebanon facility, we’ve been able to more than double our capacity within the Cincinnati market” for material handling, he said.

FedEx Ground recently built the new $15 million, 200,000-square-foot distribution and sort center in Warren County at 325 Homan Road. The 28-acre property is situated near the Interstate 71 interchange, and also has close access to Interstate 75.

The center opened at the end of June and handles 40,000 to 50,000 packages a day for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery. It has capacity to handle up to 7,200 packages an hour through a series of conveyors and chutes, Newton said.

The new Lebanon mail distribution center employs 250 full- and part-time workers, including sorters, dock workers and contracted truck drivers. Expectations are FedEx will hire another close to 100 workers in the coming months for the busy holiday season, he said.

FedEx Ground is growing locally because of a blossoming distribution and fulfillment industry along the Cincinnati-Dayton I-75 corridor, and a successful customer base, Newton said. For example, retailers including Kohl’s and SwimOutlet.com have fulfillment centers in Butler County to fill customer Internet orders (they are not necessarily FedEx customers). FedEx Ground delivers items ordered online to customers’ homes.

He said FedEx Ground has the industry’s fastest ground delivery service.

“The Lebanon facility is allowing us to meet not only our current needs, but our projected needs for the next four to five years,” Newton said. The center was built with extra space for future expansion. “We expect for FedEx Ground overall to grow by 50 percent over the next five years. In Cincinnati, we’re growing at a much faster clip.”

FedEx tractor trailers and delivery vans load and unload packages at the Lebanon plant. Mail orders and other packages are brought to Lebanon, a FedEx Ground satellite station, to be sorted and delivered to area residents and businesses. Contracted truckers are also collecting mail and freight from area businesses to deliver to other parts of the country.

“All the packages, small packages, small parcel, that is being delivered to the majority of greater Cincinnati and southern Dayton facilities are coming from this facility,” Newton said.

Now the Lebanon center is open, FedEx Ground is also making renovations for all new equipment at its Sharonville center. When Lebanon opened, 100 to 120 employees transferred to Lebanon from Sharonville.

“We’re going to keep that open just to add additional capacity in the market,” he said.

FedEx Corp. is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. The division FedEx Ground has a network of more than 500 stations and hubs across the U.S.

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