FedEx opens hub in Perrysburg Township


(Updated 9:13 a.m. 7-29) PERRYSBURG – Now open for business, the region’s bustling new FedEx Ground hub
is delivering tax revenues to the City of Toledo and Perrysburg Township as part of a landmark
The 584,000-square-foot sorting and distribution center – located at the Ampoint Industrial Park on J
Street, east of I-75 in the township – officially opened its bay doors at a ceremony Tuesday, although
the operation started moving packages last Monday.
The FedEx employees, customers and government officials involved in the 2-year process of building the
facility, which is five times larger than the one it replaced in Toledo, packed into the building’s work
floor to celebrate the efforts that allowed FedEx operations to remain in Northwest Ohio.
Because of a tax-sharing district created between Toledo and the township, the city will suffer no loss
from income tax revenues while the township will collect them from a business for the first time.
And perhaps most significantly, the region will retain jobs. In fact, the new $87-million hub will
increase its workforce from 420 employees and contractors to 470.
David Rebholz, FedEx Ground president and chief executive officer, said the hub will even allow for
expansion, potentially increasing its processing rate of 22,500 packages per hour to 45,000 at full
"We are clearly here for the long-term and look to only build on the relationship that we have
today," Reiboltz said.
The ribbon-cutting event began with some noisy spectacle as the No. 11 FedEx Express NASCAR wheeled into
the facility floor to strains of Sammy Hagar’s "I Can’t Drive 55." Rebholz said the company’s
car represents the values that make FedEx successful.
"This is about precision," he said, "It’s about technology, it’s about speed" and, of
course, safety.
He expressed gratitude for the cooperation that paved the way for building the transportation service
hub, which primarily will serve customers in parts of Michigan and Ohio. It is also one of only two
gateways for shipments destined for Canada.
"This is actually one of the largest (hubs) in the corporate network now," said Kimberly
Whigham, senior hub manager.
Perrysburg Township Trustee Craig LaHote called the Joint Economic Development District, which allows
both Lucas and Wood counties to benefit from operations at the FedEx terminal, a "shining
example" of how cooperation could foster new regional economic development opportunities.
Per the terms of the JEDD, Toledo will continue to receive the income tax revenues as it previously had.
The contract provides that the city will collect the first $223,000 of annual payroll income at a rate
of 2.25 percent, while Toledo and the township will split income beyond that amount.
The township additionally will draw property tax revenues from the facility after its tax abatements
expire. Initially, FedEx will enjoy a 15-year, 100-percent tax abatement on $48 million worth of
construction at the 127-acre site.
Among the many people and organizations recognized at the event, LaHote thanked State Rep. Randy Gardner,
R-Bowling Green, and State Sen. Mark Wagoner, R-Ottawa Hills, and the Wood County Economic Development
Commission for removing potential roadblocks during the planning phases as well as the City of Rossford,
for approving rezoning of a parcel that FedEx will use as a staging area for its trucks.
"It is our hope that FedEx continues to grow and prosper and add jobs to our local economy,"
LaHote said.
Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown said the work that resulted in construction of the new hub represented
his county’s cooperative spirit. Brown said the county appreciated, not only the nearly $90-million
investment, but also the prospect of expansion.
"That makes an already momentous occasion even greater," Brown said.
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said the JEDD would not only keep FedEx in the region but would serve as a
model for regional cooperation between Lucas and Wood counties.
"It’s a defining moment in the economic development relationship between Toledo and Perrysburg
Township," Finkbeiner said.
But that relationship got off to a bumpy start two years ago when it was learned that FedEx would move to
Wood County. The Toledo mayor accused Wood County officials then of "poaching jobs" from Lucas
County – a charge Wood County dismissed, maintaining that the company broached the topic first.
Finkbeiner told the crowd Tuesday that the Wood County officials were a "delight" and a
"pleasure" to work with, and that he did not wish to see jobs leave the city but that he had
no desire to see jobs lost altogether.
"I’m going to fight for all Northwest Ohio," he said.
The new hub includes 123 load doors and 32 load doors, with 10 scan tunnels and 10 sorters. During the
sorting process, packages are touched only twice by human hands at loading and unloading.
Doug Warfield, service manager for the hub, said the facility processed at a rate of 19,000 packages per
hour on Monday.
According to FedEx Ground, the new hub is part of the company’s nationwide expansion to increase daily
package volume capacity and improve speed and service of its network. Since the expansion program began
in 2002, the company has opened eight new hubs and has expanded or relocated more than 500 local
"You just have to live through this kind of project to understand the complexity, and we were
supported all the way," Rebholz said.
(Staff reports contributed to this story.)
Front page caption: FedEx workers Jared Schmidlin (left) and Jody Hug unload boxes at new FedEx location.
(Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

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