The growth of the plastics industry in central Massachusetts has led a Leominster-based resin distribution firm to add rail access and packaging services in a move that could double its delivery capacity.
SFT Logistics could be shipping as much as 80 million pounds of resin by late 1998, according to co-owner John Craite.
The firm moved into a 15,000-square-foot building in Ayer, Mass., in July. The building's rail access will allow SFT to package resin in bags and gaylords, offering customers offloading and distribution services at one location.
``We can go after larger chemical companies and say: `Just load your resin on rail cars and we'll do the rest.' Why modularize the process when you can go to one place and get it all done?'' Craite said in a Sept. 23 telephone interview from Leominster.
SFT already serves such clients as Huntsman Corp. and Fina Oil & Chemical Co. with truck delivery from its 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Worcester, Mass. Now SFT is talking with those firms about adding packaging service.
``There's definitely an increased need for packaging in central Massachusetts because of the heavy population of plastics manufacturers,'' Craite said. ``The key here is location. Other facilities are 30, 40 or 50 miles away from the end users.''
SFT, formerly known as Service First Trucking & Warehouse Co., will use 200-300 hopper cars in its new operation. The $200,000 expansion also will allow the firm to hire as many as six new workers in the next 11/2 years. SFT also is buying its fourth semitractor trailer.
Craite, a former accountant, founded SFT in 1988 along with James Long, a 15-year industry veteran whose resume includes a stint as general manager of Acro-Matic Plastics Corp., a Leominster-based custom molder.