When the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) was in urgent need to temporarily store a thousands of artifacts—ranging from century-old Edison generators to hundreds of vintage electronic components that chronicle the evolution of telecommunications and computing—they turned to one of the region’s most trusted providers of comprehensive logistics support: AECOM’s Kelly Distribution Center (KDC) at Port San Antonio.
The company operates a 400,000-square-foot Class A secure warehouse where, for almost 20 years, it has provided strategic support to large and small enterprises in the region’s key industries. Clients include aerospace firms, energy operators, builders, retailers, manufacturers and, when the need arose, even museums.
“We pride ourselves in remaining flexible in the range and scale of services we provide and the businesses we serve,” says KDC’s Business Manager Tom Barton. “No matter the industry, we view ourselves as an essential partner. Our priorities mirror our clients’: accessibility, timeliness, security and flexibility.”
“Tom and his team really took care of us during a critical time in our growth,” says SAMSAT’s Chief Executive Officer James Castro. “As we made plans to move to our new location and grow our organization, KDC gave us with peace of mind by safeguarding our large collection as well as the many pieces of office equipment we will need. The facility is great. We knew that our items—many of which are very delicate—would be in a safe, clean environment and that we would have ready access to them.”
On any given day, KDC’s large facility hums along as commodities flow through: aircraft components, oil field supplies, office equipment, building products, manufacturing components and countless others.
In addition to providing short- and long-term storage in spaces that range from a few hundred to 50,000 square feet of contiguous space, Barton and his team provide an array of additional support, including kitting, packaging, container assembly, transloading and regional delivery and pick-up.
“Our customers include family-owned businesses and multi-national firms that are seeking to establish or expand their presence in South Texas,” says Barton. “We are always open to any conversation and want to have a clear understanding of our customers’ specific needs so we can develop a solution that fits their needs and budget.”
In fact, KDC allows clients to provide their own workforce at the facility to support an array of projects, including logistics, assembly and certain manufacturing activities.
“If customers want to lease production space here, they are able bring in their own employees or add KDC-based labor at a cost that makes sense for them,” says Barton.
He also notes that his company can partner with others at the Port to broaden the range of services a particular client might need. In addition to easy access by truck (KDC is within 10 minutes of downtown San Antonio and the area’s three interstate highways), customers can move cargoes by air and rail thanks to the Kelly Field industrial airport and East Kelly Railport—both within the 1,900-acre Port campus where KDC is based.
Additional advantages for KDC clients include the Port’s foreign-trade zone designation, where importers, exporters and manufacturers can defer or eliminate import tariffs. Similarly, cargoes from abroad can enter the U.S. directly at the Port thanks to an on-site U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Services facility along Kelly Field—just a few hundred yards for KDC’s location.
“We remain flexible because our own clients have to be nimble in order to compete. A few months ago, we would not have imagined that we would be supporting a sizable museum customer,” says Barton. “And yet here we are—happy to put our team and our unique facility to good and creative use and be a true partner in the success of that client.”