Joliette, Quebec — Bridgestone Canada Inc. plans to build a $45 million (€39.2 million) automated warehouse in Joliette, adjacent to its passenger and light truck tire plant there, increasing its ability to serve North American customers.
With a maximum storage capacity of 500,000 tires, the new building will use fully automated technology to store tires produced at the Joliette plant. The warehouse is expected to open in early 2020.
This investment builds on an ongoing expansion and modernization of the Joliette plant announced in 2016. This five-year, $250 million project is designed to boost the 51-year-old plant's capacity roughly 18% to 20,000 tires per day by 2020, while also shifting its product mix to 18- to 22-inch rim diameter sizes.
"The construction of a highly technological warehouse demonstrates our commitment to use innovative solutions to optimize our operations to better serve our customers," Joliette Plant Manager Robert Verreault said, noting that the investments "underscore Bridgestone's commitment to our team, the Lanaudière region and all North American customers."
The new warehouse will enable the company to reduce transportation costs and shorten time-to-market of its products to meet customer demands in Canada and across northern US states.
"We continue taking important steps to better deliver the high-value-added products our customers want and need," said Erik Seidel, president, consumer replacement tire sales, US and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
"The new distribution warehouse will provide more space to house tires onsite at the Joliette plant, improving the ability to get the right tires to the right place at the right time."
At the same time, Bridgestone said it is committed to preserving a 7-hectare wetlands on its property, which has influenced the design of the warehouse. Accordingly, the new 127-foot tall building will be built close to the existing plant facility and be attached by a walkway.
With 1,300 employees, the Joliette plant is the largest private employer in the Lanaudière region of Québec.