Bridgestone/Firestone is building a new distribution facility in Lebanon, Tenn., that will become the company's primary distribution center for customers in the mid-south states as well as the sole center for large truck tire distribution to customers east of the Rocky Mountains.
The 750,000-sq.-ft. warehouse will have capacity for more than 1 million tires ranging from passenger sizes to large off-the-road tires. It will employ more than 200.
BFS will consolidate distribution from its Memphis, Tenn., warehouse at Lebanon starting in April 2003, when the new facility is scheduled for opening, the company said.
Lebanon is located about 10 miles east of Nashville, near the junction of Interstates 840 and 40, and close to BFS plants in LaVergne and Warren, Tenn.
``By moving the distribution from our smaller Memphis facility, we can centralize our systems within the state and the region,'' said Nelson Miller, director of distribution. BFS contracted a local development company to build the center and will lease it, initially for 10 years, the company said. The facility's cost was not disclosed.
The distribution center will serve customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
All BFS employees and the majority of contractors in Memphis will be offered jobs at the new distribution center along with a relocation package, BFS said. Those who choose not to move will receive a severance package. The 400,000-sq.-ft. Memphis facility employs 40 BFS workers and 30 third-party contractors.
The Memphis facility will be phased out as the Lebanon location opens, a BFS spokeswoman said. BFS owns that building, and the spokeswoman said the company is looking at options as to what to do with it.
The announcement of the Lebanon move coincided with groundbreaking at a 608,322-sq.-ft. distribution center for the Southwest, in Roanoke, Texas. That center, near the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, will serve customers in nine southwestern states. BFS expects to occupy the warehouse starting in the fourth quarter of 2002.
To mark the occasion, BFS donated a year's supply of tires to the Roanoke Fire Department for its emergency rescue units.