CHARLESTON, S.C.BKT Tires Inc. has begun shipping tires from its first U.S. warehouse, in Wando, an unincorporated community north of the port of Charleston.
BKT Tires will use the Wando warehouse primarily to service customers in the eastern U.S. more readily, according to Shawn Rasey, president of BKT Tires, a U.S. subsidiary of India's Balkrishna Industries Ltd.
Together with its freight partner Charleston Freight Station, BKT will be shipping tires ranging in size from 25-inch rim diameters and larger, reducing order lead time and providing local access to BKT OTR products, Mr. Rasey said. The 52,000-sq.-ft. warehouse sits close to the intersection of State Road South 8-33 and Interstate 526 near the Wando River.
BKT's Manufacture-to-Cash software systems will facilitate the order process, Mr. Rasey said, and specialized lift equipment fitted with rounded forks, poles, tire clamps and tire slings will assure safe handling and management of OTR tires.
Warehouse services will include tire storage, inventory and reporting, non-compliant tire stamping, flatbed load-out, and over-sized tire handling and shipping.
Balkrishna hired Mr. Rasey, former head of Bridgestone Americas' mining tire business, in July to oversee its OTR Division.
Mumbai, India-based Balkrishna Industries is considered one of the world's leading specialty tire producers, offering a range of tires for earthmoving, mining, construction, agricultural, industrial, ATV and gardening vehicles.
It was ranked 41st among the world's tire makers with 2013 sales of $650 million. Sales in North America were $100 million, according to Balkrishna data.
Akron-based BKT USA Inc., the primary sales and distribution subsidiary, maintains a direct relationship with multiple distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada for BKT's agricultural, industrial and forestry products.