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Two companies open new distribution centers in Suffolk

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Suffolk welcomed two new distribution centers last week when their companies celebrated with opening ceremonies.

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 26 for its 350,000-square-foot Northeast Distribution Center at CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Suffolk. Sumitomo Machinery Corp. of America (SMA) also celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Oct. 24 to celebrate the opening of a new 60,000-square-foot distribution center in Suffolk.

Nexcom’s new warehouse will be the distribution and freight consolidation point for 152 NEX and Marine Corps Exchange outlets located in the Mid-Atlantic and Europe/Africa/Southwest Asia regions. It is expected to handle about $140 million of merchandise, at cost, per year. “While our customers won’t see this distribution center personally, they will reap the benefits from this state-of-the-art facility,”  Robert J. Bianchi, NEXCOM’s
CEO, said in a statement.

The new distribution center reduces steps in receiving, picking and shipping and increases productivity through a more efficient layout and racking configuration. The center replaces two older buildings in Norfolk. “This project underscores the strategic importance and opportunity that exists for Suffolk and the entire Hampton Roads area, as they connect the Port of Virginia with the rest of Virginia’s transportation networks,” said Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia’s 4th District.

Sumitomo selected Suffolk as the location for a centralized distribution center to consolidate purchasing and stock inventories. The company said the project was part of its 2015 Manufacturing Vision,
designed to bring gear manufacturing back to U.S. operations. The center will distribute Sumitomo’s inventory to more than 10 assembly centers located throughout the western hemisphere.

The Suffolk location is in a foreign trade zone, where Sumitomo’s assembly components, both domestic and foreign, are held without being subject to customs duties and other taxes until they enter into U.S. commerce. In addition to the FTZ benefits,  the center’s location also shortens Sumitomo’s global supply chain.

“This event marks the completion of an important first step in our manufacturing vision and sets the stage for our continued reshoring efforts,” Ron Smith, president and CEO of Sumitomo Machinery Corp. said in a statement.

The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Chesapeake. SMA, a leader in the power transmission industry, ships thousands of drive products every month.


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