Lynden Ice announced on June 9 that it has selected a site in Quincy, Washington, to establish a new ice freezing, crushing and bagging operation to serve the eastern part of the state. It will be set up in a building leased from Columbia Colstor, a provider of temperature controlled warehousing with over 50 million cubic feet of refrigerated and/or frozen space in the US Pacific Northwest.
Lynden Ice, a producer of quality food grade packaged party and beverage ice, currently has a production facility in the northwestern part of the state (north of Bellingham, about five miles from the US-Canada border) with capacity to make 110 tons in a 24-hour period.
The company got into business in 1985 with 12 customers. Over the years demand, production and service grew quickly, and today Lynden Ice has approximately 500 customers in western Washington and nearly 300 clients in eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon.
Employing nine to 12 people once operational, the new facility in Quincy will be able to produce 210 tons of ice per day. It will allow the company to more efficiently supply customers in grocery and convenience stores in eastern Washington. If all goes according to plan, within the next 12 months Lynden Ice will increase its client base in the area to 350. Furthermore, it anticipates serving 600 customers in the region within the next five years.
The company’s decision to expand in Quincy, which is situated about 230 miles southeast of Lynden, complements the Port of Quincy’s emerging reputation as an attractive location for refrigerated and frozen shipping, storage and distribution. According to a recent study of 29 western US and Canadian sites with intermodal connections to regional markets, Quincy ranked as the lowest cost location for operating a temperature controlled or refrigerated distribution center or warehouse.
The study, conducted by The Boyd Company of Princeton, New Jersey, identifies the North Bay area of suburban San Francisco as the most expensive region to run a refrigerated warehouse in the United States. The independent corporate site selection consulting firm predicts a “second wave of exodus” of distribution centers from California, as operating companies flee high costs of doing business there attributed to unionized labor, over regulation (especially at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach), rising property taxes and high utility rates.