DALLAS – A milestone project is nearing completion as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service moves its Korea warehouse operations from Camp Market to Camp Humphreys to better deliver a taste of home to Warfighters and their families.
Relocating operations from Camp Market near Seoul to Camp Humphreys near Pyeongtaek, which is 60 miles farther south, is expected to save the Department of Defense retailer an estimated $225,000 in transportation costs over five years as the Exchange supplies its Pacific Region stores and other facilities.
In addition, the Exchange expects to save about $2 million in operational costs over five years once a new warehouse management system is put in place later this year at Camp Humphreys.
“Camp Humphreys offers modern facilities that will help the Exchange operate more effectively, efficiently and safely,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. “This move is in keeping with the Exchange’s mission of providing unmatched service to our Warfighters and their families.”
The move is part of the Yongsan Relocation Plan, which began in 2004 and involved moving most U.S. Forces and command activities formerly stationed in Seoul to Camp Humphreys. The project to move the distribution center began in 2012, and its successful completion will allow the returning of Camp Market to South Korea.
Every associate at Camp Market, which has served as the Exchange’s Korea Distribution Center since 1975, was offered a place at Camp Humphreys. About 160 associates will staff the distribution center and a new, state-of-the-art bakery, which is expected to move to Camp Humphreys by the summer.
The move is a milestone for the Exchange, which has been operating the distribution center and bakery at Camp Market since 1975 from buildings constructed in the 1930s. An oven that dates to the 1970s, dubbed “Big Bertha,” is still running at the bakery.
The 25,000 square-foot bakery will produce name-brand products—including Krispy Kreme pastries—bread, buns, cakes, chips and tortillas, and distribute them to U.S. schools in Korea, commissaries, exchanges and dining facilities to give Warfighters and their families a taste of home.
Over the past 10 years, the Camp Market bakery has produced more than 13 million products, including 5 million loaves of bread and about 6 million packs of buns. Products produced by the bakery arrive fresh where they are needed, unlike products that are frozen and shipped from the U.S.
Camp Humphreys is much closer to more than 200 facilities in the region. The average travel distance is expected to be about 229 miles, down from a 343-mile average from Camp Market.
The Korea Distribution Center supports Exchange restaurants by storing dry, chill and frozen items used in food concepts. It also ships water, frozen and chill retail foods and carries expense items such as paper towels, toilet paper, cash register tape, cleaning soaps, brooms and mops.
The project, a partnership between the Exchange and the Republic of Korea, includes the Exchange’s new distribution center and a small structure for fleet operations, as well as the new bakery, a new racking system, interior fittings, furniture and transition costs.