Horizon’s new Boston area warehouse/CFS facility is state-of the art

Company adds new service at JFK

By George Lauriat, Editor-in-Chief, AJOT

President Bud Mercuri is very pleased with Horizon Air Services’ new warehouse/CFS facility at 480 McClellan Highway in East Boston, close to Logan International Airport. It isn’t just the 55,000 sq. ft. of racked warehouse space or oversized doors and 24 ft. high ceilings and tidy layout or the easy access to the Ted Williams Tunnel and the highway system that pleases Bud. It isn’t the fact that on June 1st Horizon added a new CFS business at JFK. These are all contributing factors, but the real reason Bud is pleased is because he still remembers the old facilities.

‘We were operating from two facilities: 440 and 260 (McClellan Highway) and we had no more room,’ Mecuri related during a tour through the state-of-the-art facility. ‘Cargo Ventures then bought the property and let us design the facility the way we wanted it. They let us pick how many doors we wanted, and the size specifications for the doors,’ Mecuri said, adding, ‘But the main thing was that everything, from administration to the CFS operations, would be under one roof.”

The 480 McClellan Highway facility has 14 doors including some measuring 12 ft. by 14 ft., for oversized cargo. The company also offers rollerbed/air ride and drop deck services and is the only 24-hour CFS in Boston. Access to the facility is just off of the highway, with adequate parking and turn space for the rigs.

The new facility is a busy place. Horizon Air Services is one of the largest trucking companies in the Port of Boston. The company has a number of standard businesses. Overall, the business is split fairly evenly between air and ocean. A fair portion of the business is pick up and delivery in the greater Port of Boston area, including Logan International Airport. The company’s general service area includes Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Southern New Hampshire and services to Port Newark/JFK International Airport.

‘In an average week, Horizon drays some 2,500 on either the Conley (Massport’s Conley Container terminal) or Worcester (CSX railhead) for the commercial accounts in our coverage area. The CFS import side runs 1.5 million lbs. per week, and on a given day we bill out 240-260 bills, around 80 for commercial accounts and 20 for freight forwarders,’ Mecuri said. According to Mecuri about 25% of Horizon’s business is import CFS while trucking services accounts for another 65% of the business. The export warehousing represents another 8-10%, reflecting the general imbalance of imports to exports.

Horizon provides handling and transfer to airlines for international freight forwarders, or conversely, pickup and delivery in a coveted area. Horizon handles cargo for a variety of airlines including Finnair, Asiana Cargo, Cathay Pacific, El Al and Air China. Freight forwarders include, among others, Speedmark, U Freight, Aim High, DFDS and Jazz Forwarding.

Mercuri says the timing of the new facility was just right. The opening of the Ted Williams Tunnel in 2001 was a real boon to business. The tunnel connects Logan Airport in East Boston to South Boston and the seaport. Before the opening of the tunnel there was no real easy way to move from East Boston and the airport to Conley Container Terminal in South Boston.

Also, freight at both the airport and seaport is hitting new highs and creating demand for more trucking and warehousing/CFS services. From May 2005 to April 2006, the Port of Boston handled 193,000 teus while airfreight for the month of April amounted to 21,463,453 lbs. Over 14,000,000 lbs. of the total was international airfreight.

One clear indication of that growing demand is a new service that Horizon added on June 1. The company started a new warehousing/trucking business at JFK handling the airlines’ import CFS. Mecuri said the new business represents, ‘customer driven growth.’ The new business will offer a whole package and handling services out of a house s