United States Cold Storage (USCS), Camden, N.J., opened the doors to its new food distribution facility in Laredo, Texas.

Stellar, Jacksonville, Fla., broke ground on the 232,366-square-foot warehouse in July 2017.

The 8-month schedule was driven by the timing of the Mexican strawberry harvest.

The facility distributes a variety of produce goods, including strawberries and avocados.

The $35 million Greenfield project includes a -10°F freezer area, a 35°F cooler area, refrigerated loading dock with 21 truck doors, a separate cross-dock area with four truck doors for inspections and transloads, a state-of-the-art refrigerated repack room tempering room, 27,000 pallet positions, a fully secure drop trailer yard with 50 spots for ease of import/export of goods and border crossings, a bonded warehouse and 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.

“Not only was it a race against the clock to avoid missing the harvest and losing product, but [also] significant weather delays posed a challenge as well,” says 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 10-hour days and 6- to 7-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,” says George Cruz, senior vice president – Southern region, USCS. “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.”