New company to employ 218

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A California-based distribution and shipping company will open a new site in Suffolk in July, Mayor Linda T. Johnson announced Tuesday.

California Cartage Company signed a lease with McDonald Development Company at the Virginia Commerce Center on Kenyon Road. The facility will employ 218 people and provide third-party logistics services for the nearby Target Import Warehouse.

“We are extremely pleased that Cal Cartage has selected Suffolk and the Virginia Commerce Center to establish this major presence in Virginia,” Johnson said in a press release. “The site for a distribution and warehousing center is ideal to serve the Target Import Warehouse in Suffolk as well as providing ease of access to the Port of Virginia.”

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Johnson said during her State of the City address Tuesday that the port was the “impetus” for the company’s location in Suffolk.

Cal Cartage opened in 1944 as a small pick-up and delivery carrier in Los Angeles and supported the country’s aircraft industry during the latter part of World War II. They operate seven California warehousing and distribution centers, as well as facilities in Mexico, Canada, New Jersey, Illinois and Georgia.

“We are very excited to be expanding our partnership with this very important customer of Cal Cartage,” said John Amato, Cal Cartage vice president. “We believe the city of Suffolk, along with the building developed by McDonald Development, will give us a unique opportunity to provide logistics services. Our model has been to be an attractive employer in the market through working with first-class clients and by treating our associates with the highest degree of professionalism and opportunities for growth.”

The company will occupy the first of three buildings developed for the Virginia Commerce Center, a 101-acre site established in 2006.