Business to build next to CSX site
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:59
Wood County officials have predicted it was only a matter of time before businesses started moving in next to the CSX rail hub in Henry Township. That time has come.
On Tuesday, Willmar International Inc. announced it was building a new facility near North Baltimore, across from the rail site.
The company has secured nearly 77 acres - enough for its facility and for other companies to develop on a "shovel ready site" along Ohio 18, one mile west of the CSX entrance.
Wade Gottschalk, associate director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission, said the customs company is a perfect neighbor for the CSX hub.
"We've been working with Willmar for awhile," he said. "They are a really good fit right across the street from CSX."
Gottschalk said many of the goods traveling to the rail hub require customs services.
"There's not a ton of local traffic yet," he said. "A lot of them are imports."
And that is a service that Willmar specializes in offering.
"We're happy they are choosing to develop in Wood County," Gottschalk said. "We look forward to working with them."
J.D. Martin, vice president of Willmar, said the intermodal site is ideal for the customs brokers.
"It gives us the ability to be so close to any intermodal business," Martin said Tuesday.
And while the number of imported and exporting goods passing through the rail hub may be limited now, company officials hope that changes.
"I believe we'll see that change dramatically in the next few years," Martin said. "That's the gamble we're talking."
The company, which has been in business since 1999, plans to move its Findlay headquarters to the Henry Township site. The firm currently employs five people. Martin said he is unsure how many new jobs will be created once the company opens its new site.
Willmar is a licensed U.S. customs broker, international logistics company and licensed ocean transport intermediary.
That means the company can clear cargo with U.S. Customs at any port of entry into the U.S., arrange the ocean and rail transportation from anywhere in the world, and distribute that cargo across the U.S.
Willmar handles shipments all over the world for companies that import and export all types of cargo, from agricultural to finished goods.
Willmar International offers service for imports, exports, domestic trucking, warehousing, transloading and truck brokerage services. According to the company's website, it can move and clear freight from "point A to point B anywhere in the world."
Willmar currently does not own trucks for transporting goods, but has contracts with carriers, Martin explained.
Company officials also hope to jump start economic development in the area by offering acreage ready for other businesses.
Working with general contractor Clouse Construction Corp., the Henry Township Trustees, Wood County Planning Commission and Wood County Economic Development Commission, Willmar officials are planning to begin construction in the next several months.