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PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH-FedEx Ground Package System has finally closed on the purchase of a 44-acre parcel of land in Rossford, OH for a trailer unhooking area, which will be used to take trucks to a new $87 million, automated distribution center here. The new 400,000-sf center is part of a multibillion dollar expansion plan by the company to double average daily hub package volume capacity in North America. The new facility, on 127 acres in the Ampoint Industrial Complex, will serve as one of only two shipment gateways to Canada.

The company had to buy the parking area in this Toledo suburb as a triples trailer parking hub, adjacent to the Ohio Turnpike, because the three connected trailer trucks are not allowed onto Interstate 75. The trucks will be unhooked at the parking area and taken in twos to the new distribution hub. Robert Mack with Signature Associates, joined by Rick O’Brien with Grubb & Ellis, negotiated the sales of both properties. Mack tells GlobeSt.com that he’s working to get the law changed or a waiver issued to FedEx. “That area of I-75 is unique, it has up to five lanes, so the trucks would never really commingle with the normal traffic flow. But since it’s a federal road, Congress would have to approve of a change,” he says. FedEx bought the property just in case the law stays, Mack says.

The new FedEx hub is now under construction on Buck Road, and should be finished by this fall, says a company spokeswoman. However, it will take another year to install all the automated equipment into the building, she says. “We looked at a number of things when we decided on this location, including access to major highways, the proximity to customers and a strong local labor pool,” she tells GlobeSt.com. The site will have many finger-like spokes for incoming trucks.

When the hub is up and running, it will initially process 22,500 packages per hour, and 45,000 packages per hour when it eventually reaches full capacity after a projected expansion. Hiring will boost the operations from 550 employees to more than 800. “Enhancing our distribution capability in the Midwest is an important step in our ongoing efforts to increase the size, speed and efficiency of our network,” said Michael Mannon, SVP of operations for FedEx Ground in a statement.

Mack says owners of the vacant property in the 800-acre Ampoint Park, the Webb Corp., sold the acreage to FedEx. There’s about four million sf of development currently in the park, with about 1.5 million sf of that total owned and run by third-party firms, he says.

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