When Mallory Alexander International Logistics moved into what had been the Freightliner warehouse in the Delp Distribution Center in early 2011, there was much to do.
So much that Mallory didn’t get around to marking the move until last week with an open house for customers and others in the business.
So they set up a buffet and wine bar near the pallets of groceries and had a drawing for an abstract painting with a logistics theme featuring the BNSF Railway Co. logo on a rail car among the images.
It is the proximity to BNSF that drew Mallory Alexander to Delp, in particular the needs of Evergreen Packaging, a Memphis-based client whose massive paper rolls are a large part of an even larger warehouse.
“Evergreen is the only customer we have on rail and that’s what drove us to this facility,” said Neely Mallory III, president of The Mallory Group. “We needed a rail-served facility for Evergreen. We got with a shortline operator, R.J. Corman (Railroad Group). They went on a search with us to find a good spot they could get in and out of and maybe give us two switches a day.”
Mallory Alexander did some renovation work in the 300,000-square-foot facility, including a lighting system that activates on and off when someone is in a particular section or leaves it.
The building is owned by BRE/Tn Industrial Properties of Atlanta, which is based in Chicago.
“We got a favorable rate on the building,” Mallory said. “We don’t own any buildings that we operate in. We lease everything we operate in. Part of us moving in here was switching out the lights, building the offices and putting in new bathroom facilities, fencing it, putting in a guard station, expanding the parking lot. … We’re very happy with the location.”
“We like this part of town. It’s close to our headquarters.”
–Neely Mallory III
President, The Mallory Group
Mallory Alexander moved out of its facility on Mendenhall Road as it made the switch to the Delp building.
“We like this part of town,” Mallory said of the firm’s operating philosophy. “It’s close to our headquarters. We don’t normally operate in the brand new buildings. We like the older buildings to operate in in most cases.”
The Delp warehouse was built in 1981, according to the Shelby County Property Assessor.
“There’s a lot of that space available, not only in this part of town but in other parts of town as well,” Mallory said. “We believe as long as you can run a clean efficient operation, it doesn’t really matter what the age of the building is.”
The renovations also included a refrigeration unit for the 1-800-Flowers.com operation where flowers are flown to and arranged for distribution via FedEx.
“They were a customer at our old facility at Mendenhall and we moved that operation here,” Mallory said. “We built new refrigeration units for them – more efficient refrigeration facilities. That’s an ongoing day-to-day business as well.”
The flowers are stored at around 34 degrees and the arrangers work in about 43 degree conditions to keep them fresh.
With the recent cutback in Amsterdam service at Memphis International Airport, Mallory said flowers are coming to the warehouse from markets in South America.
The business is not a new one for Mallory Alexander, which has worked with other floral delivery services including those with lines of gift products.
The operations are a bit of a challenge for an industry that seeks long-term agreements with a steady flow. The floral arrangements see sharp peaks during holiday seasons.