COMPTON, Calif. -- Rebuilding its earthquake-damaged dry grocery distribution center in Glendale, Calif., has allowed Ralphs Grocery Co. here to deliver about 1,700 additional orders per month from the facility, lowering the retailer's transportation costs.
Following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, these orders had been handled by Ralphs' Riverside, Calif., facility, located approximately 40 miles farther from the majority of Ralphs' stores than the Glendale facility.
The two facilities handle more than 5,100 orders per month, according to Larry Young, facilities manager at Ralphs. In August, the Glendale facility had 3,410 deliveries, compared with 1,748 at the Riverside facility, he noted.
"Glendale now handles two-thirds of the deliveries; Riverside handles one-third," Young said, noting that the proportion was reversed during construction.
Glendale's return as the primary distribution center is saving Ralphs about $40 each time the trucks run, because the Glendale facility is closer to its 340 stores than its Riverside distribution center.
Riverside began handling an additional 1,700 dry grocery deliveries per month following the earthquake, said Young. Trucks operating out of the Riverside facility carried orders for three stores per load, as opposed to one store per load prior to the quake. "We were making three times the deliveries out of our farthest point of origin," Young said.
The reconstruction project began late in 1996 and was completed in July 1997. Oltmans Construction Co., Whittier, Calif., was the general contractor for the redevelopment of the Glendale facility.