Last updated: February 12. 2014 11:22AM - 639 Views
By Heather Rutz hrutz@civitasmedia.com



File photo | The Lima NewsBear-shaped bottles are filled with honey on the line at Wannemacher Total Logistics' warehouse and packaging facility in Van Wert. The company acquired the plant in 2011 as it diversified from being primarily a trucking and warehousing company.
File photo | The Lima NewsBear-shaped bottles are filled with honey on the line at Wannemacher Total Logistics' warehouse and packaging facility in Van Wert. The company acquired the plant in 2011 as it diversified from being primarily a trucking and warehousing company.
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LIMA — With several acquisitions in recent years, Wannemacher Total Logistics is living up to its name change.


Previously Wannemacher Enterprises, the company was known for years as a trucking and warehousing operation. Today, that’s nearly turned on its head, Wannemacher Business Development Director Scott Cockerell said.


“In a nut shell, we’ve transformed from a trucking company to providing logistical and packaging services to customers. Our fleet has gone from 60 trucks to eight,” Cockerell said. “Greg Wannemacher, and now his son Andy, have a great vision. They’re always looking ahead.”


The company still does plenty of warehousing and logistics, but it has added technology and customer service functions.


Also, the company now offers food-grade liquid fill and spray drying. In 2011, Wannemacher acquired a liquid fill facility in Van Wert and is now filling 22 million pounds of honey each year.


In 2012, it acquired a spray drying facility in Upper Sandusky. The facility is FDA, Agriculture Department and kosher certified. The facility takes liquid flavoring and converts it to powder; think of an orange flavor for a drink mix or savory flavors for a soup base.


The company has grown by leaps and bounds since 1991, when Greg and Donna Wannemacher acquired Baumgartner Trucking. In 2007, Wannemacher’s warehouse square footage reached 1 million square feet, and the company earned the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year Award. In 2013, it completed construction of 30,000-square foot, temperature-controlled warehouse. Now Wannemacher has 1.2 million square feet of warehousing space. Today the company employs 140 people.


As the recession sunk in to the economy, one of the industries hit hard was trucking. Seeing the tough times, the Wannemacher family branched out the business in other ways, Cockerell said.


“We had wanted to grow our packaging business,” he said. :We do a lot of repacking things for customers and realized we could do all of the work here — storing the product, shipping the product, doing custom pallets and floor displays, and ship it right to the customer.”


More than anything, Wannemacher is in the customer service business and evolving with those customers, Cockerell said.


“Customers are always changing their inbound and outbound requirements based on their needs, and we have their product in our warehouse. It’s vital on each end,” Cockerell said. “If you’d have told me a few years ago that we’d be packing 22 million pounds of honey, I would have laughed. When we built our 100,000-square foot warehouse addition on Hanthorn Road, people thought it was a garage for our trucks. Every day is a great day to come to work; it’s fun to be a part of the progression and growth.”


 
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