By Blair McCowen
In the most recent endeavors of the PCCA Warehouse Division, a $12.5 million cotton warehouse expansion project is underway in Clearwater, Kansas. The new warehouse facility will serve the growers and co-op gins of Southern Kansas, bringing benefits such as shipping and storing efficiency and new employment opportunities to the area. The new construction project will also further advance PCCA’s goal of adding value to its grower- owners’ cotton at each level of the supply chain.
“The logistics of getting the cotton from the gin to the warehouse can be a challenge for gins,” said Jay Cowart, PCCA’s Vice President of Warehouse Operations. “The closer it is, the easier and more economical it is for them. Since the gins are grower-owned, the growers also benefit from this increased efficiency.”
The decision to build the new warehouse was made due to increased cotton production in Kansas and Northern Oklahoma, as well as the need to shorten the distance from this production area to the nearest PCCA warehouse. Other PCCA warehouse locations are Liberal, Kansas, Altus, Oklahoma, and Rule, Big Spring, and Sweetwater, Texas.
Cowart said the goal is for the new facility to be available for use in the 2020 crop with 470,000 square feet of space, better described as a 150,000-bale capacity. The new addition will bring PCCA’s total warehouse capacity to roughly 1.6 million bales.
The Clearwater location was selected because of its proximity to cotton production in the area, as well as to Wichita, Kansas, which provides greater access to transportation sources and the necessary workforce to keep the facility running at optimum levels. Cowart also said the new facility will reduce freight costs and provides an exciting opportunity for PCCA to provide an additional service to its grower-owners.
“Predominantly, this facility will serve the Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Gins at Winfield and Anthony,” he said. “We also expect Next Gineration at Cullison, Kansas, to deliver there from time to time. It will also allow PCCA to store all of the cotton we receive from that area in one of our warehouses.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, construction for the warehouse is progressing. PCCA looks forward to adding value to its grower- owners’ cotton with the new Clearwater warehouse facility and the 2020 crop year.