Forward Air expands main hub in Columbus, Ohio

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Forward Air, a nationwide air freight trucking firm, says it has completed a $5 million expansion of its Columbus, Ohio, hub that doubled its footprint there. Forward has its corporate headquarters in Greeneville, Tenn., and 81 terminals in the United States and Canada, but has long had its less-than-truckload air shipment operations based at the Rickenbacker cargo airport in Groveport outside Columbus.

“This hub is the logistics cornerstone to Forward Air’s entire network,” says Chris Ruble, the company’s senior vice president for operations. “We increase the throughput potential of every sort, allowing for significant future growth and innovative business processes.”

The company says the hub’s expansion makes the Columbus base the largest ground transportation facility solely dedicated to moving expedited LTL cargo for freight forwarders and airlines in the United States. The base on 33 acres covers 125,000 square feet, has 168 trailer doors and can unload, sort and load upwards of 3.7 million pounds in five hours, Forward said.

Besides expanding its facility there, Forward Air says it modified its freight sorting to achieve reductions in the distance each shipment moves in the building to speed up the transfer process, less handling of freight to further improve service integrity, and flexibility to operate multiple sorts at the same time. That includes a new wireless freight scanning system that gives customers more visibility of shipments, the company says.

In addition to the hub, Forward Air has a second warehouse at Rickenbacker for local freight handling and key accounts.