RLS Logistics, a third-generation provider of cold chain solutions, through its affiliate RLS Partners, announced plans to develop a state-of-the-art 83,000 sq. ft. temperature-controlled facility in central Massachusetts. This site will be the newest addition to the RLS Partnering Regional Operator (PRO) network of family-operated cold chain experts and is scheduled to open in Q4 of 2021.
The facility will provide food distributors, processors, and importers in the New England region with much-needed cold storage capacity and access to RLS' established temperature-controlled LTL consolidation programs throughout the region.
"There's a tremendous opportunity in New England. We're developing a new facility in a market where we think it's needed and where there hasn't been a new offering in years," explains Bryan Hedge, who is working exclusively with RLS on developing this project.
The facility will put 18,000 temperature-controlled pallet positions near key interstate highways, which will position the facility in the middle of the New England region as well as RLS Logistics' transportation network. The location is well-situated for manufacturers, producers, or distributors who deploy inventory in the New England market and need a forward distribution center close to their customer base. "It's probably the most complete temperature-controlled supply chain solution available in this market today," Hedge says. "What it means for customers in the New England region is one solution for their cold chain needs. They can take advantage not only of our cold storage and value-added services, but also RLS Logistics' consolidation programs and transportation expertise."
For CPG manufacturers in New England, RLS will provide new technological advantages that improve efficiency. It will feature a state-of-the-art mobile racking system that creates 40-45 percent more pallet positions than standard double-deep racking scenarios. The facility will also use an environmentally friendly refrigeration system that consumes less electricity than standard ammonia-based systems, reinforcing the company's sustainability initiatives.
"Both are advances we've proven in RLS' Delanco, NJ facility, and we're excited to bring them to the New England area," says Ken Johnson, chief operating officer of RLS Warehousing Group.
Leading-edge technology, coupled with industry leadership and best practices, drives this new development. Regional operations will be led by Hedge, who brings decades of cold chain experience. "RLS is excited to not only have a presence in New England but also to have someone of Bryan's caliber associated with our business. Our values align perfectly, so you couldn't ask for a better situation," says John Gaudet, vice president, business development, RLS Logistics.
"I know a lot of these customers in this market, and it's a tremendous opportunity for them. The synergies are there: the state-of-the-art building, the location, the technology stack, and the transportation offerings, including the Walmart consolidation program. It's just the complete solution," Hedge says.
Customers will also benefit from world-class food safety processes. RLS has received food safety certification through the British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRCGS), garnering the highest AA rating at every one of its cold storage facilities and its distribution network. "The food safety program that we have in place is top-notch—in most cases, it's a lot better than what a manufacturer can do on their own. Taking that risk away from clients and protecting their brand is crucial. And we already have those systems and standards established," Gaudet adds.