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FedEx Corp. planning distribution hub

October 02, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

FedEx Corp. plans to open a central distribution hub for its ground delivery service in the region in 2006, the company said Monday.

A final site has not been selected for the new hub, said David Westrick, a spokesman for Pittsburgh-based FedEx Ground. A decision on that site should be made within six months, he said.

He would not say what sites were being considered and couldn't say for sure that the hub would be in Washington County.

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"I know we're looking at several sites. The best I can say is the Hagerstown area," Westrick said. The hub would serve Hagerstown and draw employees from the city, he said.

"We're probably still competing against some adjoining counties," said Tim Troxell, acting executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

"It's definitely not just ours automatically because they said so in a press release," Troxell said.

Troxell said FedEx officials were looking along Interstate 81 and looked at two sites in Washington County that he would not identify. The company wants approximately 75 acres.

"They came to us" in June, Troxell said.

Bob Crawford, executive director of the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Development Authority, would not say whether FedEx was considering any sites in Berkeley County.

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said he has not spoken with FedEx officials.

"We have not had any contact with them but I think having another hub in this area is very much needed," Ross said.

Westrick said it was too soon to say how many jobs would be created for the hub or what the salaries would be.

The jobs would range from part-time package handlers to management positions and professional engineers. He did not know the minimum staffing for a hub, but said the number of employees would increase as business at the hub ramped up.

Westrick couldn't say how much it would cost to build the new hub or how big it would be, but he said it is expected to be at least 200,000 square feet.

FedEx Ground's largest hub, which is in Woodbridge, N.J., is approximately 400,000 square feet and employs 800 people, including independent contractors, Westrick said. The hub planned for this area would be smaller, he said.

The new hub is part of a $1.8 billion, six-year expansion to double the delivery service's network, Westrick said. The three other announced hubs will be in Dallas, Memphis and Cincinnati.

The Hagerstown area was chosen because of its central location and easy access because of Interstates 70 and 81, Westrick said.

FedEx employs approximately 185 to 195 people, including independent contractors, at its three facilities in the Hagerstown area, local FedEx officials said.

The company has a FedEx Ground terminal at 16608 Hunters Green Parkway, a FedEx home delivery terminal at 16126 Business Parkway and an express facility at 1409 Oakmont Drive that handles business packages, FedEx officials said.

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