In a massive construction project in Lodi’s industrial area, Pacific Coast Producers will expand its distribution center by 50 percent this year to hold its increasing demand for canned food.
The current PCP distribution center on South Guild Avenue — which measures about a million square feet — is the size of about 10 Walmarts. Once the new $23 million warehouse under construction is completed in August, the distribution center will be about the size of about 14.5 Walmarts.
It’s a big place.
The new building, just north of the current one, will save the company the expense of sending canned and packaged food back and forth to PCP canning plants in Woodland and Oroville, PCP Distribution Manager Robert Jeremic said.
When the expansion is completed, canned fruit from Woodland and Oroville can be sent by freight to Lodi and stay in Lodi until the product is ready for distribution to companies nationwide, Jeremic said.
The current warehouse is so large that workers often drive golf carts to get from one part of the building to another. Some employees walk around the building, which is almost a mile in perimeter, for exercise, Jeremic said. But it’s not big enough.
Currently, there isn’t enough warehouse space to store canned food from the three plants, he said. The new building will take care of that.
“You want to move them once, not twice,” he said.
Woodland and Oroville, along with the canning plant on Lodi’s South Stockton Street, send the fruit they package into cans to the Lodi distribution center.
PCP ships its products by train along the Central California Traction tracks. A railroad spur branches off to the existing distribution center and another one that will extend to the new building.
PCP doesn’t plan to add employees to the workforce when the new building is completed, but long term, the firm plans to hire new workers, Jeremic said.
About 50 employees in the current distribution center will move to the new building.
“We do plan to be in business for a long time,” he said. “We need to increase our revenue to be competitive.”
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