Stacking up: Pallet company grows

VIENNA – Billed as among the largest three pallet producers in the United States, Vienna-based Millwood Inc. and its subsidiary are priming to get even bigger.

After its $3 million purchase in May of a former Delphi building east of Ridge Road and west of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, the company now is investing another $350,000 to renovate the space, Trumbull County records show.

Built decades ago for use as the infamous “blimp factory” that never came to fruition, the building stood vacant for many years before being occupied for a stint by Delphi. The location lends itself nicely to a pallet campus because it stands directly adjacent to Millwood’s corporate offices.

Millwood’s Liberty Technologies arm will operate out of the new space, manufacturing and reconditioning equipment utilized in plants across the country, said John Moore, Millwood’s director of corporate marketing, during a recent tour of the facility. It also will house the engineering group offices, warehousing and even a “packaging lab” where Millwood or Liberty can train clients the best ways to package, stack, wrap, strap, label and ship massive units on Millwood pallets.

What the layman may not know, Moore explained, is that maximizing resources for shipping is somewhat of a science. So much, in fact, the company operates machinery aimed solely at pulling, stretching and well, abusing, what many would describe as “plastic wrap” just to see how much it can take before it snaps.

It is tests like these that make Millwood and Liberty Technologies leaders in the field.

Locally based, the $275 million company employs about 1,500 workers in 26 facilities nationwide. Those facilities provide more than 150,000 new and 150,000 recycled pallets each week, according to information provided by the company.

“We are growing. Hopefully in another month or two, this will be all production,” Moore said as he walked through the vast open space. “You build pallets, you have to store them somewhere. There’s outside storage and inside storage.”

And with that growth, Moore said, also comes a demand for more people, including sales, operations, engineering, production and more.

Locally, the company employs more than 100 workers, including about 40 in the existing Liberty Technologies plant on Myron Street in Hubbard.