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Uline expanding its footprint in Kenosha County

Uline expanding its footprint in Kenosha County

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The H-101 carton sizer was made to custom-cut cardboard boxes for customers looking to fit and ship their products without wasting space.

It was this innovative device that Liz and Dick Uihlein brought to the forefront and helped lead to the success of their shipping, industrial and packaging business, which had its modest beginnings in the basement of their suburban Chicago home four decades ago.

Forty years later, Uline has grown to become the continent’s leading distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies, having initially identifying the need in the region for shipping supply distribution.

A decade ago, Uline moved across the border to Pleasant Prairie from Waukegan, Ill., and established a 275,000-square-foot headquarters and a million-square-foot warehouse.

Four years later, the company expanded its headquarters, fitting a mirror-image corporate office building and warehouse and thus doubling the size of what had originally built at its 200-acre corporate campus at 12100 Uline Drive.

Uline also operates a conference center and owns or leases more than dozen other warehouse, distribution and customer service centers in Kenosha and in the village, including a 420,000-square-foot warehouse and storage facility in the LakeView Corporate Park.

“The village is proud that Uline, a business that is the leading distributor of shipping, package and industrial supplies, is a corporate resident. They are a company that not only offers quality products, but is a responsible employer and is a catalyst for economic growth in the village,” said Jean Werbie-Harris, the village’s community development director, shortly after project in the corporate park was approved in 2018.

A year earlier, Uline built an 800,000-square-foot distribution facility in Kenosha at Highway 142 and Interstate 94, according to Gil de las Alas, the company’s human resource director. With similar symmetrical fit, the company completed construction of a second facility of the same size at the Kenosha campus late last year.

In December, Uline submitted plans for two more facilities, which would bring the total of Kenosha facilities to four, before the city’s plan commission. This latest proposal includes a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse building and a 643,000-square-foot fulfillment facility at 12656 and 12354 Uline Drive, a $130 million investment, according to de las Alas.

Uline’s proposed new Kenosha campus facilities are expected to add about 350 new jobs.

Currently, Uline employs about 2,800 people who work in both at the Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha campuses.

Since moving to the Kenosha area a decade ago, Uline has nearly tripled its workforce in North America. In 2010, de las Alas said Uline had 2,400 employees and by the end of last year, it had employed nearly 6,700 workers.

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