The facility, built to house 35,000 sq. ft. of dry storage and an additional 13,000 sq. ft. of temperature-controlled space, provides a strategic expansion for both First Call and Horton’s shipping, warehousing, and distribution networks.
“We are thrilled to be operating in Texas and to become a resource for all types of businesses,” said Mike Wise, Horton president. “Our team has extensive experience in produce and logistics, and now we can offer efficient and effective solutions to our customers from a region experiencing tremendous growth.”
The office’s location gives First Call partners several advantages in managing dry goods and produce originating from Mexico and Texas, including access to a variety of fresh products and a crucial quality assurance checkpoint for more successful deliveries, the company said.
First Call partners with Horton, Grow Farms
Horton Fruit’s sister company, Grow Farms Texas, will operate a sales office out of the new facility, the companies added. Tommy Wilkins, director of sales with Grow Farms Texas and a 47-year veteran of the produce industry, says the collaboration with First Call and Horton “heralds exciting opportunities” to serve a wider network of businesses.
“Logistics plays such a major role in our business,” Wilkins continued. “This new facility and this partnership can provide so many options and solutions for our customers. Through excellent communication, customer service, and our collective industry experience, this will be an asset to a lot of companies.”
First Call, FC Trans, and Horton’s combined resources will enable this collaborative effort to meet increased demand for both full truckload and LTL shipments, and provide partnering businesses with more efficient year-round supply chain solutions.
Growing produce network
First Call’s partnerships are essential to providing clients with the best available rates, network connections, and assets needed to achieve a resilient supply chain, the company said. Through the new Irving location, First Call and its partners will gain access to a supply of goods in the food and beverage vertical, including:
- Horton’s packing and distribution center in Louisville, along with its Midwest and Southeast fruit and vegetable growing programs and partnerships sold under the Grow Farms brand.
- A substantial network of operators in Mexico, represented by Grow Farms, supplying mangos, avocados, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and beans, as well as Texas farmers producing cabbage and onions.
“We spoke to a few customers recently at a big show in Orlando who were talking about loading LTLs in different parts of the Midwest,” Wilkins said. “If we could get them to Dallas, we could be so much more efficient than what they’re doing now.”
First Call partner benefits will include:
- Robust shipping network: Access to additional network contacts, facilities, and shipping assets with efficient solutions for moving freight anywhere in the country.
- Key location: Irving is a hub for commerce across most verticals, placing partners closer to their end customers.
- LTL and warehousing services: Beyond the shared warehousing space, First Class will offer additional value-added services, including pallet restacking, cross docking, LTL, and expedited freight.
- Real-time communication: Investments in shipment tracking technology support real-time visibility for the entire carrier network.
“First Call’s expansion into Irving, Texas, will put us in prime position to help out new and existing partners,” concluded Kyle Bland, First Call co-CEO. “We want to be a one-stop shop for customers to carry, warehouse, and distribute. Warehousing services are the next logical step in making that vision a reality.”