Uline to Expand WI Headquarters, Hydrogen Cell Use - Modern Distribution Management

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Uline to Expand WI Headquarters, Hydrogen Cell Use

The packaging supplies distributior is set to add a fourth major office in southeast Wisconsin, and a lot more hyrogen-powered forklifts.
Uline ground sign at the facility in Allentown, PA, USA, Novembe
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Packaging supplies distributor Uline is set for another major expansion at its headquarters in southeast Wisconsin.

The company reportedly has bought an additional 45 acres of land from the village of Pleasant Prairie, WI for $8.32 million, where it will place a fourth headquarters office building that will staff hundreds of additional employees.

Citing a company statement from March 7, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported that the project involves adding a three-story, 325,000-square-foot office that will provide Uline with office space for an additional 1,300 employees. The company expects the office to have 700 full-time employees initially — many of whom would relocate from other Uline buildings in the area.

The company reportedly expects to break ground on the new office by the third quarter of 2024, with the expectation to move into the facility during the second quarter of 2026.

The distributor currently has approximately 2,500 employees in Pleasant Prairie across eight buildings, which include five warehouses and one that serves as both a corporate office and distribution center.

“We will be able to not only grow our total office employee base, but realign various corporate teams with dedicated space as needed,” the company’s statement to MBJ said.

Meanwhile, Uline is developing additional DCs in nearby Kenosha, WI and several others nationwide. Near its headquarters, four new warehouses are set to be built west of Interstate I-94 over the next 5 years.

Hydrogen Cell Expansion

Besides land and facility expansion, Uline is growing its carbon footprint reduction efforts. During February, the distributor announced a deal with Latham, NY-based Plug Power to supply hydrogen and fuel cells at more of its DCs in a bid to cut carbon emissions from its material handling operations.

The collaboration between Uline and Plug Power began in 2015 with a project at one of Uline’s Pleasant Prairie DCs, and it’s scaled since. Uline has used Plug Power’s fuel cell solutions across its operations, running 270 fuel cell forklifts between six facilities as of late February. That figure will nearly double under the expanded 8-year, $20 million partnership that will see YUline operate 520 fuel cell forklifts and 34 dispensers across 10 facilities — making the company one of Plug Power’s largest customers.

Plug’s hydrogen infrastructure to support the entire campus is set to be commissioned and fully operational within the next 10 months, with the first new distribution center in the campus slated to be completed this year.

“When we first partnered with Plug, fuel cells were still in their infancy,” Uline Director of Redistribution Wade Goff said in a news release. “They’ve made our associates more productive because refueling is faster and easier than changing a battery. Hydrogen is a good match with Uline’s three operating principles: Speed, Passion and Operational Excellence.”

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