Major shipping/logistics company to boost Shell profile in Pennsylvania

Paul J. Gough
Pittsburgh Business Times

A big national logistics provider is about to open a regional distribution center in Washington County built to serve a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.

Kenco Logistics plans a ribbon cutting March 1 at its regional distribution center at Starpointe Boulevard in Burgettstown. The 455,000-square-foot building at the Starpointe Industrial Park will serve Shell Lubricants, the engine oil and lubricant business of Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell Lubricants was drawn to the Pittsburgh region not because of its proximity to the petrochemical plant — that’s another division of the multinational corporation — but because of how close it is to the lubricant market. The distribution center will handle finished and packaged Shell lubricant products like Pennzoil, Quaker State and Shell Rotella. This facility doesn't have anything to do with Royal Dutch Shell's (NYSE: RDS.A) petrochemical complex in Potter Township but instead serves a West Virginia lubricant blending plant.

“This location will allow them to get 11 percent more customers within a one-day delivery range,” said Dennis Reilly, CEO of Kenco Logistics. “With the speed of the supply chain nowadays, getting products quicker to the customer is a big thing.”

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said the streamlined operations model made possible by the Kenco facility will allow for better customer delivery service and helps maintain costs — and cuts down on about a million delivery miles annually and carbon emissions.

Kenco’s distribution center will serve the Shell Congo Lubricants Blending Plant plant in Newell, West Virginia, about three dozen miles from Burgettstown and much closer than the current center in Columbus, Ohio.

It’s the first time Kenco has worked with Shell Lubricants, although Kenco is a powerhouse in its own right. Kenco provides distribution, transportation, materials handling and real estate with 90 locations in the United States and Canada. The privately held company has $600 million in revenue and between 4,000 and 5,000 locations.

The Burgettstown location is fully staffed up with about 50 employees and shipments with Shell’s network began this week and will begin shipments to Shell customers on March 18.

Reilly said Pennsylvania in general — and Pittsburgh in particular — is a great location for logistics.

“This location makes a lot of sense,” Reilly said.