Officials at APL Logistics in Coloma have confirmed that the massive warehouse, distribution center, and food-can labeling operations along Coloma Road in Hagar Township will shut down on June 30, 2016. It's a facility that has seen continuous operation in one form or another for 50 years.
General Manager Steve Mullins, Sr. of Hartford confirms what several employees told me earlier in the week, that the business will cease operations by July 1st, putting some 40 to 50 people out of work. Many of those workers have been employed with APL Logistics or its forerunner Michigan Fruit Canners for 30 years or more.
In a "Frequently Asked Questions" or FAQ Sheet prepared in response to our story on Monday night, company officials say, "Unfortunately, we were advised by our customer that they would not be renewing the contract for the facility due to changing business conditions." They add, "While this is certainly not the outcome we would have preferred , we are committed to working with our employees to ensure a smooth transition."
The FAQ Sheet asks about the fate of the employees, and answers, "Our number one priority is the well-being of the staff. We are actively working with local job placement organizations, staffing firms and governmental agencies to provide impacted team members with any needed support."
The statement further notes, "As is customary in an unplanned shutdown, employees will be given the opportunity to apply for and transfer to any APL Logistics site nationwide with available positions. Local opportunities may also be available at the Fennville, Michigan site where various canning and labeling operations are also being conducted."
The APL Logistics facility at 4412 Coloma Road provides a variety of services related to consumer packaged goods, including labeling, packing, warehousing and distribution for Pinnacle Foods.
All employees will be offered outplacement services, including job search and resume writing assistance, as well as connections to community job training opportunities.
APL Logistics is a global supply chain specialist for companies in the Automotive, Consumer, Industrial and Retail Sectors. The company has a global network covering all major markets; backed by a multinational workforce of about 6,000 people. The company is a member of the Kinetsu World Express Group, a global logistics services provider. North American headquarters for APL is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
APL's major customer at the Coloma Road facility is Pinnacle Foods, which also has operations in Fennville. Pinnacle is the parent corporation to many household names like Birdseye, Van de Kamps, Log Cabin, Duncan Hines, Mrs. Paul's, Wilderness, Vlasic, Lenders and Wish Bone.
General Manager Steve Mullins, Sr. himself just began his 33rd year with APL Logistics one month ago.