Volvo Group’s Byhalia Facility to Employ 250

By Amos Maki

The Volvo Group will build a massive new distribution center in Byhalia, Miss., that should employ around 250 people.

The 1 million-square-foot distribution center will support the company’s Mack, Volvo and UD truck brands, as well as Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta. 

The facility, which is being called the Central Parts Distribution Center, is expected to serve as the centerpiece of the company’s streamlined North American parts distribution network.

While the new facility will mainly support Volvo’s North American customers, its proximity to logistics hubs such as Memphis means it will be able to export products to other regions.

“In addition to featuring the industry’s best logistics technologies and lean processes, we also intend for the new CDC to be energy efficient, by careful and innovative design of the building,” project manager Marcus Avenstam said in a statement. “The improvement in our overall network will allow us to handle higher volumes much more efficiently, while simultaneously improving profitability.”

Construction of the building has already begun and should be complete by the end of the year. Avenstam declined to say how much Volvo is spending on the distribution facility but told The Daily News the investment is significant.

“We’d prefer not to get into that level of detail,” said Avenstam. “But obviously, given that it’s a 1 million-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, it’s a significant investment.”

The facility will be located inside Panattoni Development Co.’s Gateway Global Logistics Center, a 1,500-acre industrial development that straddles Fayette County, Tenn., and Marshall County, Miss.

Panattoni had plans to launch a 554,000-square-foot speculative warehouse that would have been expandable to 1.3 million square feet in the roughly 1,000-acre Marshall County portion of the industrial park. But talks with Volvo intensified and the planned speculative warehouse, located on U.S. 72 in Byhalia, turned into a build-to-suit for Volvo. 

Jim Mercer, executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis Memphis, has been handling leasing for Panattoni.

Gateway is located adjacent to Norfolk Southern’s $100 million, 380-acre intermodal yard in Rossville, which has more than 12,000 feet of track for working trains.

Andy Cates, a majority owner of Colliers International Memphis, said the Volvo distribution center helps solidify the new industrial park’s position in the regional logistics and distribution market.

“That’s another huge stake in the ground for Marshall County being a player in the industrial development world,” said Cates. “I hope other businesses will continue to see the Memphis area as North America’s distribution center, as it always has been.”