Gabler Adding Warehouse at Chambersburg Business Park
Jim Hook, Public Opinion
GREENE TOWNSHIP – A logistics business is expanding its operation in the Cumberland Valley Business Park by 20 percent.
Excavation is under way for a 39,000-square-foot warehouse at H.C. Gabler Inc., 5195 Technology Ave.
“There may be a job or two,” General Manager Harold “Chip” Gabler said. “If things come our way, we may see substantial jobs for a period of time. It’s just a matter of needing more space to store what we’re storing now. Customers see more business coming our way.”
Gabler’s expansion is a sign of a growing economy, according to L. Michael Ross, president of Franklin County Area Development Corp.
The company stores and delivers international parts for original equipment manufacturers and needs more space to accommodate production schedules, Gabler said.
“There was no more available space in the Cumberland Valley Business Park,” Gabler said. “We need more space. We’re at capacity and to service our customers we need more space.”
Just as the recession sent a ripple through the supply chain in 2009 and 2010, the turnaround is slowly moving from OEMs to suppliers, according to Ross.
Ross and David Mackley, special projects coordinator for FCADC, earlier this spring visited Volvo suppliers near Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“We’re trying to work with the supply chains of all these OEMs,” Ross said. “It’s the first time we tried this. We’re soliciting interest in companies who want to be here. We’re trying to work closely with the supply chains of all these OEMs.
Three of our primary OEMs all have primary production facilities in Brazil. “
Gabler does a lot of work with suppliers to Manitowoc in Shady Grove, JLG Industries in Shippensburg and Volvo in Shippensburg, according to Ross.
In addition to customers’ increased demand, Gabler said the company considered current competition among contractors and lenders for new projects before moving ahead.
“It’s the best opportunity now to expand our own facility,” he said. “We had to store outside last year. We don’t like to do that. Our customers certainly don’t like us to do it. That’s a last resort.”
Gabler acquired Greene Township approval for the project in March. The township levied a transportation impact fee of $35,105 to go toward unspecified road improvements in the future.
The expansion will add about 17 trips a day to the area road network, according to township records.
Warehousing is probably the strongest part of H.C. Gabler’s business, according to Gabler. Half of the company’s truck fleet runs with the warehouse.
The family sold its trucking business in 1995 after nearly 60 years in the industry and found a niche opportunity in warehousing for a local OEM, Gabler said. The company employs 75 people and has 200,000 square feet of space in four buildings at the business park