Expansion project promises customers more room
WCS Logistics says its 65,000-square-foot expansion in Winchester will increase productivity and improve safety while adding capacity for the company’s customers.
WCS broke ground on the expansion project in May. The opening is scheduled for February.
“The expansion will have room for approximately 8,500 pallet positions, expanding WCS freezer capacity and yielding better space utilization due to greater rack height and more optimized configuration,” says Brian Beazer, the company’s CEO and general manager. “It paves the way for additional WCS Logistics modern warehouses.”
Established in 1917 as Winchester Cold Storage Co. by Virginia politician and businessman Harry F. Byrd, the logistics company now serves national and international customers.
“It was originally founded because of the growing apple market in the area and the necessity to keep them fresh as long as possible,” Beazer says. “We were once known as the largest apple storage in the world, and now we are one of the largest.”
The company has diversified its services over the years, now handling dry, refrigerated and frozen products. It now has five locations — four in Virginia and one in West Virginia — for a total of approximately 2 million square feet. All of the warehouses are positioned near Interstate 81.
“We can store product at almost any temperature,” says Beazer. “We still store approximately the same number of apples, but it is only about 20 percent of our overall business.”
The expansion will allow the company to provide customers more services, he says. “We are utilizing a cascading [carbon dioxide] ammonia refrigeration system that is safer and more efficient than other systems,” Beazer says. “As things change in the industry, we are changing along with them.”
The company has made a concerted effort to provide support for all temperature ranges, he adds. “This new facility continues us down that road of being the best place for all your needs,” Beazer says. “We will be able to serve our customers more by giving them the added room they need to grow as companies. It will also allow us to take on new customers that want to expand their businesses and reach new markets.”