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Premier Freight acquires warehousing division of Grand Rapids-based American Storage and Logistics

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Premier Freight, a West-Michigan based shipping, logistics and warehousing company, announced the acquisitions of warehouse operations and the lease of 100,000 sq. ft. of space from American Storage and Logistics in Grand Rapids, Mich. Premier’s expansion increases its warehousing capability to more than 240,000 total sq. ft. in West Michigan. The lease will also add 10 new jobs to Premier Freight’s warehousing team.

Premier Freight specializes in full-service logistics, with an emphasis on transporting large, complex and unique items for manufacturers throughout the United States. Distinct among logistics providers, Premier Freight offers premium, “One-Touch” service, a supply chain program that spans all aspects of the fulfillment process from transportation, to warehousing, to customer acceptance. The addition of ASL’s Grand Rapids warehouse operations and customers will expand the company’s 140,000 sq. ft. of warehousing space, currently in Holland, Mich., and expand its geographic reach to serve customers across West Michigan.

“We saw this as a major opportunity for Premier to grow and create a presence in the expanding Grand Rapids market. 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,” said Doug Walcott, president of Premier Freight. “American Storage and Logistics has built a strong and loyal customer base that we’re confident we can continue to develop and serve.”

Premier continues to show interest in residing inside buildings that hold a long history in their respective communities as a means for repurposed warehousing space. Former manufacturing properties, which were once considered undesirable or functionally obsolete, are now a convenient component to the transportation and logistics infrastructure that today’s manufacturers require. The Paul Building once served as the Steelcase filing cabinet plant and sat vacant for years before the Despres family, owners of American Storage and Logistics, purchased the more than 867,000 sq. ft. building in 2009.

Ownership of The Paul Building will remain owned by The Paul Building, LLC, which is wholly owned by the Despres family.

“There exists some very strong parallels between our company and Premier Freight, specifically in how we began, and how we continue to operate today. 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,” said David Despres, president of American Storage and Logistics. “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.”

Colliers 2017 Economic & Commercial Real Estate Forecast showed the West Michigan industrial market has had a strong showing with 276,769 sq. ft. of positive net absorption, bringing the market vacancy rate down to 5.12 percent. This compares to a national average of 5.3 percent, according to Colliers International’s national research team.

Some major American Storage and Logistics clients have already committed to remaining in the warehouse space under Premier Freight. Labor-intensive tasks such as light assembly, quality inspections and sorting and sequencing product are just some of the services Premier will continue to offer their warehousing customers.

The deal was structured and facilitated by Jessica Starks with TransWorld Business Advisors, who helped establish the introductions between Premier Freight and ASL and managed the transaction proceedings.

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