Forward Air announces Ohio-based expansion plans

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · September 2, 2020

Asset-light freight and logistics services provider Forward Air Corporation said this week that it is making a significant investment into expanding its Groveport, Ohio facility, through a $31.8 million investment, as well as creating 50 new jobs.

This expansion will occur across two different properties. One is its existing facility at 6800 Port Road in Groveport, which is located near the Rickenbacker International Airport, and the other is a property it is acquiring at 6700 Port Road. And Forward will invest around $10 million to acquire the latter and around $22 million into the former, which will be redeveloped into a 120,000 square-foot office space that will house the 50 newly created positions.

“The Groveport terminal is our largest national hub, and this redevelopment project allows us to increase capacity and centralize operations,” said Forward President, Chairman and CEO Tom Schmitt in a statement. “The ongoing support we have received from JobsOhio and the state of Ohio has accelerated our expansion in the area. We are excited to grow our local workforce once the new campus is complete.”

A Forward Air spokesman told LM that this expansion was driven by the company’s rapid growth, which has exceeded capacity at the Groveport terminal.

“The opportunity to acquire the adjacent property presented itself, which made the redevelopment project possible,” the spokesman said.

As for the biggest benefits of the this expansion for Forward’s shipper customers, the spokesperson cited speed in and out of the terminal and increasing terminal capacity by approximately 30%.

“The redevelopment project will also allow us to provide our drivers with a state of the art facility with an expanded yard,” he added. “It allows us to centralize operations from other locations in the Columbus area. With the addition of adjacent property, we will be able to create a campus feel and a dedicated national support center for driver recruitment, training and support.”

In late July, Forward Air announced it was moving forward with a growth strategy focused on organic infrastructure investments, coupled with acquisitions of complementary businesses.

And it also announced an organic investment to expand the capacity of its Columbus, Ohio-based national hub (CMH) by 30%. This is the central hub for the company’s less-than-truckload network.

September 2, 2020