RINCON — Literally, Estes moved its Savannah terminal about 15 miles. Figuratively, however, it was more like a million.
Estes, the largest privately held freight transportation company in North America, officially opened a new terminal at 2165 Old Augusta Road on Thursday, leaving behind a cramped, outdated one in Savannah two months ago.
Deemed a flagship terminal, the new 51,200 square-foot facility features 87 doors and will allow Estes to improve customer service while increasing its daily shipments by up to 60 percent.
“Savannah’s status as a global trade hub cannot be overstated, and our new facility there will help ease ongoing supply chain issues and allow us to better serve our customers throughout the region for years to come,” said Webb Estes, VP of process improvement for Estes. “We’re looking forward to seeing this state-of-the-art facility thrive, thanks to the great team we have in place in Savannah.”
Estes operated from its former Savannah terminal for more than 40 years. It has eight terminals in Georgia and 278 nationwide.
Terminal Manager Jason Mincey proudly led tours of the new building, including one that featured Commissioners Wesley Corbitt, Jamie DeLoach, Roger Burdette and Phil Kieffer. Mincey showed them a picture of the old terminal that featured trucks parked in a muddy lot.
“Never forget where you come from,” Mincey said.
Mincey pointed out that the new terminal features electric forklifts. He said they haven’t had a single breakdown. He said the propane models they replaced were costly to maintain.
Mincey has worked for Estes for 24 years. The company started as a one-man operation in 1931 and now has a team of more than 22,000 employees.
“We’re big on family,” Mincey said. “Our culture is very good ethics, morals and values, and that continually grows (the company).”
The new facility has resulted in the creation of 64 jobs and Estes plans to add 12 more in the coming weeks. The facility will employ a number of new technologies, including eDock, which provides shipment location visibility in real time.
Hiring for the Savannah terminal is ongoing and a hiring event will soon take place at the terminal. Jobs include drivers, mechanics, dockworkers and driver trainees. Individuals interested in a career at Estes can learn more at Work4Estes.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: See a free photo gallery of Friday’s opening at www.effinghamherald.net.