PHOENIX - In response to continued growth, United States Container Corp. invested $2 million in a new manufacturing facility in Phoenix and new equipment. The investment includes the addition of two blow molding lines at its Vernon, Calif., headquarters. The company also has opened a distribution facility in Salt Lake City.
A leased, 45,000-square-foot facility will house the company's Phoenix blow molding operations, scheduled to open in July with 30 employees and one production line.
President Jeff Levine, who represents the fourth generation in the family-owned business, said that from its beginning in 1956 until 1989, United States Container's primary business was distribution.
In 1989, the company moved into manufacturing by adding blow molding operations at its 200,000-square-foot Vernon distribution facility. The company wanted better control over quality and delivery for some types of bottles.
The company makes primarily 1-gallon containers, both in a narrow-neck jug and wide-mouth jar; half-gallon containers; quart bottles; and a line of sports bottles.
Most of the bottles are high density polyethylene, with some low density PE. All the company's blow molding machines are Uniloy reciprocating screw units.
Manufacturing now represents 50 percent of the company's to-tal business, which has annual sales of about $30 million. Distribution of household, industrial and chemical containers produced by major manufacturers makes up the other 50 percent of its business.
A new 15,000-square-foot distribution warehouse and sales office located in Salt Lake City will serve the states adjoining Utah. The company has a 40,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in Oakland, Calif., a 25,000-square-foot warehouse in San Diego and a distribution facility in Phoenix.
Levine credits the success of the company's blow molding manufacturing operations to Roy Straub, formerly with the Uniloy division of Johnson Controls. Straub, who has 30 years in the industry, is United States Container's production manager. He built and runs the company's Vernon production plant, and is overseeing the start-up of the Phoenix manufacturing plant, Levine said.
United States Container serves 12 Western states and employs 150 companywide.