Four Seasons Family of Companies' CEO Jason Hollinger Announces Major Distribution Center Expansion Project
EPHRATA, PA - Just as a growing family may outgrow their home, so too has The Four Seasons Family of Companies. As it saw double-digit growth over the past several years, the wholesaler needed more room to house its operations. As its customer partnerships continue to expand, the wholesaler has announced a new expansion project to meet increased demand through a 131,000-square-foot addition to its state-of-the-art warehouse.
“At the Four Seasons Family of Companies, our mission is to ‘Help Others Succeed in Fresh,’” said CEO, Jason Hollinger. “Whether it is bringing the best and freshest produce to a retailer’s location and supporting their merchandising, or providing the freight and distribution services to allow a grower to get their product to the marketplace—we want to be capable and valuable for them, so that everyone can thrive.”
The distribution center in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, will now include a second dock, more multi-temperature cold storage rooms, and more ripening rooms for bananas and avocados. According to a press release, the construction of the addition to the warehouse began this month and is expected to reach completion in the spring of 2022.
“Food distribution is a tight timeline, 24-hour business. One of the goals of this expansion project is to be able to ship and receive simultaneously using a second dock. This will allow us to bring a higher portion of work to daytime hours for our associates,” continued Hollinger.
The new expansion project will also feature:
- A 48,000 square foot multi-temperature receiving dock with 39 added doors
- 72,000 square feet of cold storage with 4-high racking with over 6,000 more pallet spaces
- 10 unique temperature zones suited for fresh produce, plus flex-temp rooms for seasonal peaks
Including extensive sustainability features as well, the warehouse will now have a 3,900-panel solar array on the building, with the roof on the expansion prepped for future solar panels. Additionally, Four Season will be updating to energy-efficient Lithium-ion electric material handling equipment, an EPA-certified electric generator, an energy-efficient refrigeration system, and full LED lighting with motion sensors will be installed alongside a total facility energy monitoring system
As Four Seasons enhances its capability and capacity, the wholesaler will be positioned to support the future needs of independent retailers, natural food stores, food co-ops, e-commerce, and other buyers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
In addition, Sunrise Logistics, the third-party logistics and freight solutions provider business, and Earth Source, the importing business, will gain additional cold storage space to provide supply chain services to growers and shippers of highly perishable products due to over ten unique temperature zones and on-site quality control and ripening experts. Sunrise Logistics' cross-dock and storage customers will benefit from more access to a large inbound and outbound delivery network with full-load and less-than-load capabilities throughout the East.
As the company expands its operations, Four Seasons will be investing more than $3 million into higher wages for its operations associates and professional drivers in 2021, and the company is continuing to actively hire.
“Our purpose as a family business is to be a blessing as we are blessed. We want to make a positive impact in the lives of our hard-working associates, their families, and our community. We are so grateful for our front-line associates who put forth so much effort all through 2020’s pandemic challenges and now through 2021’s labor crunch,” Hollinger shared. “We have the most committed and hardest working team that truly cares about our company and our customers, and we want to show our appreciation to them. In 2020, we invested over $1 million in ‘on-site-required appreciation pay’ and other benefits to our associates, and we also distributed significant profit sharing to all associates in every area of the company. It is our associates’ commitment to excellent service and innovation that drives our business success and growth, which then enables us to reinvest in our people. We are truly people-driven!”
By adding more employees to its workforce, the distributor will be able to meet the increased demand from customers as it prepares for the expansion project.
What is next for Four Seasons as this expansion plan gets underway? Stick with AndNowUKnow as we keep an ear to the newswire for answers.