SOUTH BEND, Ind. (July 13, 2007) — To update and expand its Nevada distribution operations, Tire Rack is moving its warehouse activities to a leased 300,000-sq.-ft. facility in a new industrial park in McCarran, Nev., about 15 miles east of Reno.
“The new warehouse will be state-of-the-art with racking and fully automated conveyor systems,” said Matt Edmonds, vice president of marketing for mail order and Internet retailer Tire Rack, who said the new facility will be operationaly in mid-August, serving customers throughout the western U.S.
“Our old facility was a 'floor-stack' facility, just tires stacked on the floor and no automated systems.” The new facility is about a third bigger than the existing warehouse, but capacity will grow more than that because the automated storage system allow tires to be stacked up to 25 feet high.
The firm has four other distribution centers in the U.S., in New Castle, Del., Midway, Ga., Shreveport, La., and at its headquarters in South Bend. Tire Rack has been operating its Sparks, Nev., warehouse for 17 years.
The new facility will be the company´s fourth center to install an automated system designed to service the firm's growing Internet and catalog sales operations.
The system, designed by logistics firm Dematic Corp., features special conveyor belting and pushers for sorting and loading into trailers. Because the firm's tires, wheels and suspension components are often difficult to handle, extendable receiving and shipping unloaders reduce the amount of lifting.
“Obviously, we are shipping via ground carriers, and so it allows us to sort tires and load them into trucks more efficiently,” Mr. Edmonds said. “Beforehand, everything had to be done by hand.”
In addition to servicing the company's growing customer base, improved capacity will allow the company to have increased inventory on hand.
“We will be able to maintain the inventory we need to with the diverse product selection we have so we can ship right away when a customer calls,” he said.
Tire Rack chose to move to the new industrial park because of limited space availability to build a warehouse of that size in the Reno area, Mr. Edmonds said. The firm that owns the new warehouse also owns Tire Rack´s existing facility in Sparks, Nev., he added.