Port Logistics Group has acquired the Washington-based warehousing and transportation provider Pacific Distribution, adding more than 600,000 square feet of warehouse space to its 4 million-square-foot portfolio.
The new company also brings with it several national retail clients in the apparel, footwear and coffee sectors. PDS will keep its own team in place and will operate with a certain bit of autonomy.
Port Logistics’ Greg Morello called PDS a “well-respected and experienced operator in their market” and said the acquisition gives Port Logistics a strong presence in the Seattle-Tacoma gateway. Though the acquisition expands’ Port Logistics presence, he added it’s important that the 60-year-old PDS, which had been a partner of Port Logistics’ for the past two years, maintains its own identity.
“One of our core principles is maintaining strong, local operations in each gateway location,” he told American Shipper
. "It allows us to provide customers nationwide service without giving up the knowledge and experience of the local market, which is critical in port operations — especially for retail customers with demanding delivery requirements.”
Port Logistics saw an increase in business last year that was fueled by shipper consolidations and their movement toward port-based distribution. The company just added 70,000 square feet of space in Los Angeles and anticipates that this new addition, and the acquisition of PDS, has Port Logistics well positioned for strong double-digit growth 2013, Morello said.
There will be challenges, however, and the biggest uncertainty is work stoppage. Morello said several customers diverted shipments from East Coast ports to Los Angeles at the end of last year due to labor issues, and he said Port Logistics is focusing on helping these shippers make these last-minute changes in plans to avoid any hiccups in the supply chain.
“Our ability to shift receiving and inventory from one coast to the other is a definite advantage,” he said, “but it still requires a great deal of pre-planning and cooperation with customers.”
Started in 2008, Port Logistics actually began with the acquisition of three regional providers, but has since focused mostly on organic growth. Morello expects that moving forward, Port Logistics will concentrate on opening more locations instead of buying companies.
“We'll consider acquisitions that would allow us to enter a particular gateway market or help us to build scale in our current markets,” he said. “However, I expect that our primary growth engine will be organic growth with retail industry customers.” - Jon Ross