Logistics firm Plantgistix formally opened its new 330,000 square-foot location in Baytown, Texas, on Dec. 11.
The Houston-based firm, which provides in-plant, contract packaging and specialty services to the resin industry, marked the opening with a customer appreciation event and open house.
The new facility represents a $24 million investment for Plantgistix. The site has created 17 new jobs and increased the space occupied by the firm's resin packaging operations to 1 million square feet.
The expansion “demonstrates our commitment to cultivating advanced technological solutions and capacity to solve our customers' toughest challenges,” CEO Marc Levine said in a news release.
Plantgistix specializes in resin, primarily of polyethylene, but also including high-EVA content PE, EVOH, PVOH and polycarbonates. In addition to optical sorting, de-metalizing and screening, the firm recently added two additional services: resin drying and volumetric blending.
Plantgistix now has the ability to remove both surface and embedded moisture to return out-of-spec material to prime quality resin, officials said. For precision blending, the firm can guarantee a uniform and repeatable flow of packaging material when pulling from up to four different material sources.
Officials with Plantgistix previously told Plastics News that a major new resin bagging line at the new site will be able to move resin from hopper cars into bags in less than 90 minutes. The new location is in the AmeriPort Industrial Park and will support Plantgistix's off-plant contract packaging services.
The site also will provide railcar storage and switching services for the firm's customers through a partnership with Rail Logix, a privately owned rail yard operator.
Growth at Plantgistix and other logistics firms is in response to major ethylene and PE capacity expansions currently underway on the Gulf Coast. Most of this new production will be exported globally, and the nearby Port of Houston has a 75 percent share of the nation's waterborne exports of PE resin.
More than 6 billion pounds of new PE capacity has come online in 2017 in the form of major projects from Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil Chemical, Chevron Phillips Chemical and others.
Plantgistix, formerly United DC, has been working with resin makers for seven decades. The firm was one of the first in the U.S. to provide contract packaging to the plastics industry. Its history dates back to the early days of the U.S. plastics industry, when brothers Harry and Louis Levine founded injection molder Commonwealth Plastics in Leominster, Mass., in the 1930s.
The Levine family then over the years founded several companies, including UnitedTrans, United Warehouse and United DC, offering contract packaging and trucking services for resin makers across the United States. Those combined firms — operating as UnitedCompanies — were renamed as Plantgistix in 2013. The firm handles more than 2 billion pounds of resin every year.