LAREDO, Texas — Yesterday marked the grand opening for United States Cold Storage’s new food distribution facility in Laredo. Stellar, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services worldwide, designed and built the 232,366-square-foot warehouse.
The facility distributes a variety of produce goods, including strawberries and avocados. The $35-million greenfield project included designing and constructing various features, including:
- -10°F freezer area
- 35°F cooler area
- Refrigerated loading dock with 21 truck doors
- Separate cross-dock area with four truck doors for inspections and transloads
- State-of-the-art refrigerated repack room tempering room
- 27,000 pallet positions
- Fully secure drop trailer yard with 50 spots for ease of import/export of goods and border crossings
- Bonded warehouse
- 24,000 square feet of office space
Stellar also included the option for two additions in the site's master plan to accommodate for future growth.
Construction broke ground in August 2017 and was officially completed in March 2018. The aggressive, eight-month schedule was driven by the timing of the Mexican strawberry harvest.
“Not only was it a race against the clock to avoid missing the harvest and losing product, but significant weather delays posed a challenge as well,” said Mark Momberg, senior project manager at Stellar. “Work was halted for 28 days of rain and two days of snow. To stay on schedule, we brought in additional crews that worked ten-hour days and six- to seven-day weeks.”
“US Cold Storage has had a presence in Laredo for over 50 years, and we have forged many relationships with our customers for as long. As food trade with Mexico continues to grow, we found ourselves in a position to respond to our customers’ growing needs with more space,” said George Cruz, Senior Vice President – Southern Region, United States Cold Storage. “Time was a huge concern as many imported agricultural products have specific windows for harvesting and manufacturing. This is where Stellar came in with an unprecedented timeline to build this state-of-the-art facility. The tenacity and perseverance of the teamwork between Stellar and US Cold Storage was spot on. The facility was built in record time, and we were able to accommodate our customers’ demand during the 2018 peak season.”
The facility is located at 18728 FM 1472 (Mines Road), and is the company’s third location in Laredo. Stellar has extensive experience designing and constructing refrigerated warehouses and distribution facilities, and the firm has completed numerous projects for US Cold Storage during their 30-plus-year relationship.