Shipping company acquires warehouse division


The 867,000-square-foot Paul Building stands in southeast Grand Rapids. Courtesy Premier Freight

A lakeshore shipping company has acquired a division of a Grand Rapids storage company, as well as its 100,000-square-foot lease.

Holland-based Premier Freight expanded its West Michigan warehousing capabilities to more than 240,000 square feet with the acquisition of American Storage and Logistics’s warehouse operations at the Paul Building, 3800 Eastern Ave. SE. Premier Freight expects to add 10 new jobs to its warehousing team with the move.

“We saw this as a major opportunity for Premier to grow and create a presence in the expanding Grand Rapids market,” said Doug Walcott, Premier Freight president. “New warehousing space remains in steady demand and our goal continues to be providing manufacturers with a trusted, full-service, logistics partner to manage the entirety of their supply chain.

“American Storage and Logistics has built a strong and loyal customer base that we’re confident we can continue to develop and serve.”

Premier began occupying The Paul Building in mid-August.

Premier sees former manufacturing properties, which had been disregarded as functionally obsolete, as a convenient repurposing opportunity to support the logistics infrastructure that manufacturers now require. The 867,000-square-foot Paul Building, formerly the site of Steelcase’s filing cabinet plant, had sat vacant for years until American Storage and Logistics owners the Despres family purchased the building in 2009.

Ownership of The Paul Building remains with The Paul Building LLC, wholly owned by the Despres family. Some of the major ASL clients have committed to remaining in the space under Premier’s management. Premier will continue to offer its warehouse customers light assembly, quality inspections and sorting and sequencing services.

ASL president David Despres said parallels exist between their company and Premier’s, specifically in their origins and how they operate today, making the deal a strong fit.

“The fact that they are family owned, have a high set of standards, a well-respected reputation and unprecedented customer service certainly influenced why we decided to partner with them,” Despres said. “Moving forward, we see a strong partnership with Premier that will help broaden the transportation aspect of what we do as well as helping Premier to expand within the industrial and commercial sector in Grand Rapids.”

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