‘Project Horizon’ comes to fruition
CROSSVILLE – A Swedish-based automotive packager, warehouser and distributer is consolidating two of its North American operations, and a Crossville company could be a winner in the move.
SKF USA Inc. is planning to transfer its automotive vehicle service market distribution and packaging from Hebron, Ky., to Crossville’s CoLinx LLC. Operating under the code name “Project Horizon,” the deal could bring roughly 150 jobs to the Upper Cumberland, officials said. Hiring could begin as soon as April.
The SKF center packages, warehouses and distributes bearings, hub bearing units, seals and u-joints for the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarkets.
The consolidation will “further improve efficiency and output in common operations already in place for SKF in Crossville,” Tom O’Brien, president of SKF Vehicle Service Market, said in a release. “Consolidating these operations will continue to ensure optimized delivery, flexibility and superior customer service as we grow our business in the years ahead,” he added.
SKF spokeswoman Monique Turner said some employees in Hebron, which is located in Northern Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, will be given the opportunity to transfer to Tennessee. At press time, she didn’t know how many would accept that offer. The transition is expected to be complete by July and will result in the eventual closure of the Hebron facility, according to SKF. There’s 145 employees on site there.
CoLinx, a provider of shared e-commerce and logistics services located at 1536 Genesis Road, offers a larger facility, Turner said. SKF is also receiving $1 million in Tennessee Economic Development program funds for equipment, fixtures and building improvements. The company estimates a minimum investment of $3.9 million overall.
“It’s a bigger facility,” Turner added. As far as further growth, “at this time, it’s something that we anticipate,” she said.
“This announcement would not have happened without collaboration,” Don Louis, CoLinx president and CEO, wrote in a letter to city and regional officials. “The cost of moving and preparing space is very high, and without the assistance provided, we don’t believe we would have been the best choice for SKF.
“With this project, we are consuming all of the remaining warehouse space in the area,” Louis added. “We urge you to make land and space available for future growth as you have in the past. This growth announcement does not have to be the last.”
While it’s “extremely difficult,” O’Brien said, to close the Hebron facility, it’s an indicator that the North American aftermarket has became increasingly competitive, making it “critical that SKF provides the foundation for exceptional customer service in the most efficient way possible,” he added. “Consolidating our distribution and packaging operations in Crossville will place SKF in the best position possible to do this for many years to come.”