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Photo by Danette M. Watt
Guests react after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lake Dr. Logistics in Godfrey.
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Photo by Danette M. Watt
Tim Kuebrich, owner of Lake Dr. Logistics, stands in front of the Kansas City Southern train that delivered 112,000 bags of road salt to be warehoused before the bags are trucked to other cities.
GODFREY — The Metro East is uniquely positioned to move goods through the country.
Centrally located, the region has access to four interstates, two airports and a major waterway. So when Tim Kuebrich cut the ribbon Nov. 24 on his new business venture, Lake Dr. Logistics, he was tapping into that intermodal powerhouse.
Kuebrich, 51, started looking for a new place a couple years ago after his first business, AB Machine Shop, outgrew its space in Jerseyville. The 16-year-old business was a one-man operation repairing farm machinery. Gradually, Kuebrich took on more industrialized work and when he did, the business grew — and outgrew its space.
When he saw the 71,000-square-foot building at 6344 Lake Drive in Godfrey and the Kansas City Southern railroad spur that ran alongside it, he recognized its value. That’s when he got the idea of getting into transloading, a method of shipping goods using more than one mode of transportation.
“We’re changing the mode of how things are done,” Kuebrich said. “Whatever a logistics company can do, we will. Short term or long term (warehousing), trucks to train, train to trucks, trucks to trucks.”
He said it was a challenge to get the business up and running because the railroad company had to first give it the go-ahead, which took 18 months. The rail line and spur inside the fence also needed repairs. They hadn’t been used since the Mead Corp. closed in 1997.
Tim Carr, a senior sales account executive with Kansas City Southern who worked with Kuebrich, said the railroad company was “elated to open service and expand the network in the region. The Kansas City Southern line ends in Jacksonville. This extends shipping out to Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago.”
“Now we’ve got the ball rolling,” Kuebrich said.
And to demonstrate that to local dignitaries, employees, media and other interested parties, a KCS engine pulling four train cars made its first delivery — more than 100,000 bags of road salt destined for points well beyond Godfrey.
Once material — including salt, lumber, wood and paper products — is off-loaded into the warehouse, it can be shipped within a four-hour radius to Chicago, Indiana, Kentucky or St. Louis. Short-haul trucking allows truckers to make deliveries and be home at night.
Kuebrich’s son, Andrew, will run the logistics company. If all goes as planned, Kuebrich said the warehouse will be filled to near capacity with a variety of products by mid-summer.