FedEx Ground, NEMF to expand Washington County operations
New England Motor Transport's new truck terminal located at 16503 Hunters Green Parkway will be opening soon. (By Yvette May/Staff Photographer / December 8, 2012)
He said the addition itself will be built on the opposite side of Newgate Boulevard, on the lot where the employees park now, outside the already huge distribution center. Also, “in order to expand our building, we have to fill in the (stormwater management) pond that we have” on the distribution center side of the road, he said.
The 210,000-square-foot addition will be attached to the current center, Schussler said. That will enlarge it to the full 590,000-square-foot facility envisioned when FedEx Ground began operations here in 2005, Schussler said.
“The building itself has always been built so it can be modular,” he said. “There has always been a plan for this building to be expanded to full phase, which is what we’re doing.”
The addition will increase the number of bay doors to 462 from the 322 bay doors it has now, spokeswoman Truxal said. Drivers back their tractor-trailers up to the bay doors so packages can be unloaded and others can be loaded on.
The center is among the 32 so-called distribution hubs that FedEx Ground has throughout the nation, according to Sandi Waggoner, senior office administrator at the Hagerstown facility.
FedEx Ground, among several divisions of parent company FedEx Corp., specializes in the shipping of packages weighing up to 150 pounds each, Waggoner said. FedEx Freight, a division that has a large shipping center off Md. 63 west of Hagerstown, handles packages weighing more, she said.
Truxal said she doesn’t know how much the FedEx Ground expansion here will cost. She said construction will begin with a groundbreaking early in 2013, probably in February.
Schussler said plans for the addition already have gone out to area building contractors. He said their bids for the work are due soon.
“I’m getting a lot of visits right now from some of the prime contractors,” he said, adding that the work will “definitely” be a boost to the area’s construction industry. It was hit hard by and still is suffering from the nation’s recent recession.
“We try to use a lot of local” tradespeople, he said.
The expansion is the second at the distribution center since it opened in 2005, Waggoner said.
At that time, it had 330,000 square feet, she said. A 50,000-square-foot addition was completed in 2009, expanding the center to its present 380,000 square feet, she said.
According to stories The Herald-Mail published in those early years, the center was expected to have about 400 employees when it opened. The number of workers grew to about 600 by 2008, when construction of that first addition began, the newspaper’s archives show.
And by 2009, when that addition was completed, the company was planning to hire 250 more employees, the newspaper reported at the time.
Corporate spokewoman Truxal said she doesn’t know whether FedEx will hire more employees when the newest addition is ready.
“Right now, all the current employees will retain employment and we will add as dictates demand. We do not have a specific number,” Truxal said. “We chose to expand this facility because of the growth in the market and we will add the positions necessary to accomodate this growth.”
Waggoner said she doesn’t know either whether more employees will be hired.
She said the center has about 800 dock workers, some of them full time and some part time, plus about 88 other employees in management now.