Freight transportation and supply chain management provider Averitt Express has opened a distribution and order fulfillment facility in Nashville, Tenn., to address rising demand by e-commerce shippers to place their inventory closer to key markets.
The site is the first property in the Cookeville, Tenn.-based company's plan to establish a Averitt Distribution and Fulfillment division that will provide customers with end-to-end logistics, and inventory warehousing and management solutions.
While Averitt already has several terminals and standalone facilities that offer joint warehousing and logistics services, the new location expands the company's ability to cater to a more diverse field of shippers with varying needs, the company said Jan. 6.
Averett declined to disclosed the locations of its planned future fulfillment centers, but said they would offer similar access to large population centers.
Located adjacent to Nashville International Airport, the 93,000 square-foot facility opened just before the 2018 holiday peak, and can accommodate a wide variety of shipping needs, including import and export management, online order fulfillment, pick and pack, small parcel and white glove delivery.
"The first of many to come, our Nashville facility leverages the strength of our existing less-than-truckload and full load network to offer shippers a centralized distribution hub in the South," Eddie Adkins, the director of Averitt Distribution and Fulfillment, said in a release. "At the same time, we can handle the order fulfillment needs of the growing ecommerce market space that tend to move small parcel shipments to both business and residential locations."
By offering distribution services in its own facility instead of following a contract warehousing plan in customers' buildings, Averitt gains the capability to offer a "total throughput operation" for customers who want to concentrate on manufacturing and sales instead of managing distribution, Adkins said in an interview.
Locating that center in Nashville gives Averett the ability to reach half the country's population with next-day less than truckload (LTL) service within 500 miles of the city, he said.
The company distinguishes its service from other fulfillment providers through that reach, as well as a technology platform that supports inventory visibility either via Averitt's own warehouse management system (WMS) or through the client's own preferred shipping platform, according to Adkins.