MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Looking to deal with the "extreme seasonality" of the Canadian market, Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc. is opening a 182,000-sq.-ft. "inventory support center" in Toronto to help improve deliveries to its existing wholesale distribution network.
The facility, which has 24 loading docks and 30-foot high ceilings, will not replace any of Atlas' six existing distribution centers (D/Cs), in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, Atlas Tire President Peter-James Gregory said.
Instead, the center will allow Atlas Tire to take in and store winter tires and wheels when they're shipped from the manufacturer — primarily in the second and third quarters — and then re-ship them to the outlying D/Cs in the fourth quarter, when retail orders ramp up.
Atlas Tire is pitching this move under its "Power of Inventory" strategy, Mr. Gregory said, which is designed to help Atlas manage SKU proliferation more effectively while also reducing congestion in the existing D/Cs, facilitating faster receiving of bulk shipments and improving the replenishment rate for D/Cs.
Mr. Gregory explained that major wholesalers such as Atlas Tire have to place their winter tire orders with manufacturers in February/March and be prepared to start accepting deliveries as early as April, resulting in higher levels of inventory for up to six months.