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Ingram Cuts Ribbon On Its Largest Warehouse Yet

Ingram Micro cut the ribbon Wednesday on a sprawling, new four-football-fields-long warehouse in Mira Loma, Calif., the largest and final addition to its five-year-old plan to serve the U.S. market through four "super" distribution centers.

The Southern California distribution center, located not far from Ontario International Airport, serves the western United States and includes a West Coast returns center.

The returns center should lower shipping costs on returns for some solution providers, which now have an alternative to delivering returns to the company's East Coast returns center in Harrisburg, Pa., said Terry Tysseland, senior vice president of North American operations.

But beyond that, solution providers are not likely to notice any change in service levels, positive or otherwise, from the center's opening, he said.

The facility, which actually began operations in late April, replaces a distribution center that Ingram shuttered in Fullerton, Calif. At that same time, Ingram Micro also relocated its configuration centers from Fullerton and Columbus, Ohio, to its super center in Memphis, Tenn.

Ingram Micro began laying plans for the Mira Loma warehouse about five years ago, when its major problem was handling 30 percent annual growth rates. As it turned out, the four super-warehouse model has also helped the distributor cope with the economic downturn by enabling it to consolidate regional facilities and operations into the larger facilities, Tysseland said.

Ingram Micro was also able to build the Mira Loma facility at about two-thirds of the original estimate by relocating materials handling equipment from the closed facilities.

Over the past two years, Ingram has closed regional warehouses in Denver, Atlanta and Miami, as well as various ancillary operations. While that has eliminated will-call service in those regions, Ingram can still reach 99 percent of U.S. with second-day ground delivery from its super centers in Chicago, Harrisburg, Memphis and, now, Mira Loma, Tysseland said.

Ingram Micro has one remaining regional distribution center, located in Dallas, which among other things provides logistical support to Dell Computer and is not in danger of closure.

Tysseland said he does not anticipate any further warehouse consolidations. "We are well-sized for current situation we have," he said.

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