TRAILMOBILE Parts & Service Corp has greatly expanded its Canadian operations by opening a new distribution center in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga. The move into the new, larger warehouse was marked by an open house event in July staged in the new facilities at 550 Matheson Blvd East in Mississauga — only 2½ miles (4 kilometers) from the Trailmobile manufacturing plant.
This distribution center for Trailmobile Parts & Service Canada Ltd will serve Trailmobile's 70 distributors and five company-owned branches in Canada. It is similar to the Trailmobile Parts & Service Corp Distribution Center in Erlanger, Kentucky, that serves Trailmobile's 210 distributors and six company-owned branches in the United States. In fact, the Canadian company can draw from the larger inventory stocked at the Erlanger Distribution Center.
“The majority of the transportation activity is in the Ontario market,” says Dean Varro, national parts manager for Canada. “Our new location is at the hub of a major transportation corridor. It's convenient to the Trailmobile factory and has easy access for our carriers to make daily pick-ups and deliveries. Other manufacturers are just a few hours' drive from us. We've already had people asking us about becoming parts dealers.”
The Canadian parts distribution center has 40,000 square feet of leased space in its new location, which is part of a 240,000-sq-ft business park. Under a 28-ft-high ceiling, parts pickers are pushing carts, driving forklifts, and moving skids as they make ready their distribution orders for seven shipping and receiving doors.
“Everything from full rails to steel and aluminum rims are stored inside under one roof,” says Varro. “We have enough space to bring a trailer inside the PDC for loading and unloading during inclement weather. We carry complete bogies from all the major manufacturers. We also have an inhouse decoiler to cut coil to whatever custom size is needed by our retail stores.
“Some of our customers come to the PDC to see first-hand what is in stock. At the same time, online orders are increasing. Internet sales at our big sister in Kentucky have increased significantly. This is an area that we want to increase as well.”
More than 140 different product lines are stocked in the Mississauga PDC. The 4,000 different line items range from Class 8 truck and trailer parts to light-truck accessories. While parts for Trailmobile trailers predominate, the PDC carries standard body parts for 10 to 12 other trailer makes.
Much of the PDC activity can be viewed by walk-in customers who are visiting the adjacent retail center separated by large glass windows. The 1,000-sq-ft retail showroom and parts counter display a variety of parts — everything from taillights to headache racks to eye-catching chrome tractor bumpers. Some of the newest items in the showroom and warehoused in the PDC are aluminum toolboxes manufactured by Road Gear. The retail center operates 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.
The primary mission of the PDC is to provide wholesale parts supply for its Canadian distributors and branches. Serving a country as wide as Canada presents some logistical problems, but generally speaking, parts shipped Friday afternoon will arrive Monday morning at the Vancouver branch, some 2,800 miles to the west. Trailmobile's biggest branch in Edmonton, Alberta, is more than 2,100 miles distant, and it also does repairs and servicing on tank trailers. Trailmobile's big branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is about 1,200 miles away.
However, Toronto is the ideal location for this PDC because many Canadian fleets are headquartered in the Toronto area. Many suppliers also have locations in the Toronto hub.
In addition to serving Canada, the Mississauga parts center routinely receives calls from US dealers. “With parts centers in the United States and Canada, Trailmobile can serve customers on either side of the border through a seamless, routine process for fast and efficient service,” Varro says.