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Henningsen Cold Storage Co. celebrates 70 years of growth and service.

When Waldemar F. Henningsen, Sr., a Danish immigrant, purchased his small ice business in Portland, Oregon, in 1923, he believed the only way to build a solid business was to provide his customers with outstanding personal service like they'd never seen before. So it's no surprise that 70 years later, this fundamental value continues to be the trademark of Henningsen Cold Storage Co. And because of its flexibility in meeting ever changing customer demands over the years, Henningsen Cold Storage Co. has developed into a leader, in the public refrigerated warehouse industry today.

Commitment To Warehousing and Distribution Excellence

Under the leadership of Michael E. Henningsen, Sr., Waldemar's grandson, the company made a commitment to expand their warehousing and distribution services. In 1973 they rented space in Forest Grove, Oregon, and two years later reaffirmed that commitment by constructing their own facility on its present location. Since then, it has been expanded to over four times its original size, to its present capacity of almost 4.5 million cubic feet.

The Forest Grove facility primarily serves local production warehousing needs of customers in the surrounding Tualatin and Willamette Valley's of northwestern Oregon. A major portion of fruit processed in the area is frozen each year at the facility, which has been designed to meet such demands. Its multi-purpose storage space, frozen, cooler and dry, even boasts blast freezing capacity in excess of 200,000 pounds per day.

Forest Grove's strategic location, twenty-five miles west of downtown Portland, also makes it an ideal distribution point for many products produced outside of the region which are destined for either export shipments or distribution to all major cities in the Pacific Northwest. An excellent pooled and truckload carrier base coupled with rail service by the Burlington Northern, make products like Florida orange juice and poultry from the South, available to major area retailers and wholesalers on a timely basis at competitive prices.

There is over 25 acres of prime industrial property available adjacent to the facility for future growth and expansion. Tony Lucarelli, Henningsen's Sales Manager, is focusing on attracting processors or allied industry to locate there. "We're looking for the right neighbor," said Lucarelli, "Ideally we'd like to find someone who can work in tandem in a win/win,partnership basis with us."

"In the mid-70's," said Michael Henningsen, Sr., Vice Chairman and President, "we became determined to expand our horizons and customer base in the frozen food industry." Accordingly, in 1977 Henningsen built a warehouse in Twin Falls, Idaho. Its main purpose was to better serve the growing needs of area potato and vegetable processors. High volumes and new distribution requirements prompted the expansion of this facility to double its original size and capacity in 1984. Today, this 5.0 million cubic foot facility is the largest cold storage warehousing operation in Idaho.

In 1992, the success in Twin Falls culminated with the completion of a second facility. Once again, Henningsen Cold Storage Co. answered the challenge of expanding customer requirements. This state-of-the-art, 3.4 million cubic foot warehouse serves as a consolidation point for their primary client's direct distribution programs. There is room to expand this facility to double its original size and capacity on site as well.

John Pool, President of Universal Frozen Foods said, "Henningsen's responsiveness and flexibility in meeting our needs is exceptional. Many times they have exceeded our expectations which is reassuring."

Both Twin Falls operations serve distinct roles in the distribution of products into the market place. Rail service provided by the Union Pacific allows product to move into major U.S. markets with necessary freight benefits. And access to one of the country's main interstate highways allows for just-in-time delivery directly to customers in the Western United States, Canada and Mexico. To assist in the placement of off-line production, the operation offers an efficient truck shuttle service to and from each warehouse.

The opportunity to expand on previous successes presented itself again in 1982 with the construction of a new facility in Richland, Washington. This 4.8 million cubic foot operation was designed to support the warehousing and distribution needs of processed potatoes grown in the eastern Washington Columbia Basin area.

Expansion of this facility in 1985 has enabled Henningsen to attract a growing number and wider range of customers from the surrounding Tri-Cities area of Washington state. Recently added capacity gives Henningsen the ability to blast freeze 200,000 pounds of product per day. There is also over twelve acres of available land near the operation for future growth and expansion.

One of the biggest attractions to the Henningsen's Richland facility is its strategic location on two railroads; the Burlington Northern and Union Pacific. This offers a competitive freight advantage for customers shipping from or to that location. The warehouse is also located near the intersection of two major interstate highways, allowing for quick distribution of products to regional customers. Equipped for cross-dock receiving and shipping, the operation acts as a centralized point, for products received from other parts of the country, destined for re-distribution in the Pacific Northwest.

Each Henningsen location has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence in sanitation by either the National Frozen Food Association or the American Institute of Baking. Each operation meets strict standards for USDA commodity storage. Additionally, the Forest Grove and Richland warehouses are approved USDA Meat and Poultry establishments.

Proximity to major west coast ports, makes import/export handling a natural Henningsen's operations. The company offers many import/export-related services including container stuffing, stamping, export documentation preparation, and container drayage.

Expanding Horizons

Construction is now underway in Stilwell, Oklahoma, on a new warehouse facility, scheduled for completion in the spring of 1993. This facility will offer 3.4 million cubic feet of warehouse space and bring the company's total capacity to over 21.2 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse space. The primary tenant at the new facility will be Stilwell Foods, Inc. The site will serve as the mid-west consolidated warehousing point for Stilwell Foods, Inc., but will also provide service for other regional food companies.

The Stilwell facility is the second new facility built in the last two years and marks the first major expansion out of the Pacific Northwest. Henningsen Vice President Johnny Hankins said,"We're excited about the Stilwell opportunity and the other opportunities coming our way in the U.S. and beyond."

Continued growth will be the focus of Henningsen Cold Storage Co. for the future. "We are in a global economy," says Henningsen, St. The company is actively pursuing many opportunities outside the U.S., including Mexico, and Central and South America. Their new company brochure was recently completed in two versions; English and Spanish - muy bueno tambein!

Henningsen is very active in the frozen food industry with participation in the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), the National Frozen Food Association (NFFA), and the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA).

Henningsen Cold Storage Co. has also played a key role in PRW industry's International Association of Refrigerated Warehouse (IARW) and The Refrigeration Research Foundation(TRRF). Henningsen, Sr. has been a past board member for the IARW, IARW Insurance Co., Ltd., and TRRF. He was very instrumental in the development of the IARW Insurance Co., Ltd's Guidelines For Handling And Storing Temperature Sensitive Food Products video, which has just been released.

The company is also an active member of The World Group, coordinating services world-wide.

A Tradition of Personal Service

One thing that has not changed in over 70 years is the personal service Henningsen Cold Storage Co. provides each of their customers. And this personalized customer service has certainly been a major factor in their growth and success.

As Lucarelli recently said, "We believe there is more to quality warehousing than just four walls. Even state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are meaningless without exceptional customer service. That means treating customers goods as if they were our own."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Frozen Food Digest, Inc.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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