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Oklahoma Expansion to Streamline Dot Foods Network

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The nation’s largest food industry redistributor is adding 33,157 square feet of cold storage space to its Ardmore, Oklahoma, site, a centrally located distribution hub that is 90 miles from both Dallas, Texas, and Oklahoma City. 

FCL Builders, LLC in April broke ground on the project, which includes 5,000 square feet of warehouse space, 8,500 square feet of cold dock space and nine new dock doors, said Eric Letner, senior superintendent at FCL Builders, who is overseeing the project.

LISTEN: Eric Letner discusses the expansion.

Dot Foods carries over 120,000 products and through Dot Transportation, Inc., an affiliated company, distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending products in all 50 states and over 50 countries. 

It operates 12 U.S. distribution centers in Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indian, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Dot Foods’ 13th U.S. distribution center is currently under construction in Manchester, Tennessee and the company also is spending $22-million to expand its Burley, Idaho facility.

The expansion will allow the company to decrease the number of loads needing to transfer from its corporate headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, to the Ardmore facility and other Dot distribution centers in the south.  Once complete, the expansion will bring the total campus to just over 200,000 square feet, larger than most of the company’s distribution centers. 

“This expansion is a huge plus for us, because we’re depending on others to pick up that slack where tomorrow we won’t – we’ll be able to handle that in house,” said Rob Hendry, manager of the Ardmore facility. “We put a lot of volume through this small box.”

LISTEN: Rob Hendry discusses Dot Foods’ supply chain.

The Ardmore building was last expanded was in 2005. With much of the nation’s cold storage infrastructure being over 20-years-old, FCL is on a mission to help customers modernize the supply chain for anything temperature sensitive, including food, flowers and pharmaceuticals.  

In addition to reducing the number of transfers, other sustainability highlights of the expansion include: 

Installing condensers, ammonia compressors and evaporators with variable frequency drives (VFD) to reduce electricity consumption.
Bi-parting high speed doors and dock doors with higher R values for faster opening speeds and less thermal transfer.
Motion-activated LED lighting.
White TPO roof membrane and insulation to reduce thermal transfer.

FCL has a local office in the area and strong relationships with local subcontractors, said Kathryn MacMillan, director of business development at FCL for the Midwest and cold storage projects.  

“We intend on being a partner for a long time – that’s always our goal,” she said. 

LISTEN: Kathryn MacMillan discusses FCL’s design-build approach.

Letner said it will take 18 days to take fully cool the freezer and expects the building to ready for product in November. 

FCL Builders ranked #54 on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2023 Top 400 Contractors list. ENR is a sister publication of R&FF.

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