Inside Logistics

US pipe company opens New Brunswick distribution yard

Advanced Drainage Systems goes to Petitcodiac

Sewer and stormwater pipe manufacture ADS has set up a distribution yard outside of Moncton (Photo: ADS)

May 6, 2013
by Carolyn Gruske

HILLIARD, Ohio—Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) Inc is expanding its Canadian network.

Hilliard, Ohio-based ADS already has a distribution yard in Red Deer, Alberta, a manufacturing plant in Saint Germain, Quebec, and three facilities in Ontario: a plant in Heidelberg and two distribution yards—one in Chatham and one in Morrisburg (which opened in January 2013). The company produces corrugated polyethylene pipe products for the storm drainage market and polypropylene pipes for use in sanitary sewers.

The newest yard, is located in Petitcodiac, New Brunswick (just outside of Moncton). Although the facility is currently open for customer pick-ups, full delivery service won’t start for a few more days.

The facility is located on a few acres which were formerly home to a 3PL company.

“That was one of the reasons I liked the site, I knew it could handle a lot of trucks going in and out of there,” says Jason Moore, general manager of Canada and distribution yards for ADS.

“Our storage is outdoor storage. There will be an office building. We’ll have two indoor facilities we’ll be able to keep trucks and sensitive inventory in. We’ve got a broad range of products and some store better inside.”

ADS chose the Moncton area due to its central location in the Maritimes. Although the company was already selling into the region, Moore says it made sense to have a physical presence there.

“It allows us to get closer to markets where we don’t have a physical manufacturing plant and allows us to do next day deliveries because of the proximity to the market. We’ll deliver the pipe to a distribution yard and the distribution yard is staffed with our employees and our trucks will go out daily into the marketplace and distribute our products.”

While Moore prides himself on being able to deliver products to customers when they need them, moving inventory closer to the buyer makes everybody happier.

“In emergencies we would be able to get it there in a day or two, but it’s just not as convenient for the customer, not as consistent. There is an assuredness the customers have when they know the inventory is in their market. It’s psychological, just knowing it’s there. When we have these big projects, granted all the pipe for that project may not come directly from that yard, but what the yards are great for is the customer can start these huge projects or finish them. If they need five-foot of pipe, just to finish a job or start it, instead of bringing it from Quebec, boom, the product is right there.”

Moore says ADS’s big Canadian push began about three years ago, and it’s a strategy the company intends to continue.

“We made a move to put even more focus on it and to grow the business, not only from a sales perspective, but also develop the infrastructure. One of the things we’ve done is put this new distribution yard in the Moncton area.”

He added that there will likely be more facilities developed in Canada, but at this point he’s not prepared to say where they will be located.

“We’ll continue to evaluate what the market needs are as we go into future growth. Right now we have sales reps and engineers across the country from Vancouver all the way to the Maritimes. Our coverage is solid. We have multiple strategies to grow the various markets. I would say they’re all under review to grow, but as they grow, we’re going to need more facilities to support the growth.”

He added that because of the country’s vast distances and sparse population, Canada has presented distribution challenges ADS hasn’t faced before.

“Just sheer size of the country. And the distance from some of these metropolitan areas to the next. If you even think about western Ontario through Alberta, it’s a massive piece of land you have to cover by truck. So that distribution alone is different. The dynamic of it, if you look at a map, you say the States is big too, but there are more larger cities with large populations to help fill in those gaps.”