New Cat plant means 170 jobs will move from Morton

Paul Gordon

Caterpillar Inc.'s new parts distribution plant in Clayton, Ohio, will result in some jobs moving from its logistics center in Morton. It will replace the company's regional distribution center in Indianapolis, the company said Monday.

About 170 material specialist positions will move from Morton to Clayton when the new $65 million, 1 million-square-foot plant opens in 2011.

However, the Morton facility will remain the headquarters plant for Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc., the wholly owned Caterpillar subsidiary, company spokeswoman Bridget Young said.

"The Morton plant will continue to be a key part, the hub, of our parts distribution business. That isn't changing," Young said of the Morton facility that employs 1,900.

Affected workers will be able to apply for other jobs within Caterpillar, Young said.

The Clayton Distribution Center will be part of the multiyear expansion and enhancement of the North American Cat Parts distribution network.

It will be the second new distribution plant to be built as part of that strategy. Earlier this year Caterpillar opened a 750,000-square-foot parts distribution center in Waco, Texas.

"We are committed to customer success and to maintaining our leadership in parts distribution," said Steve Larson, vice president of Caterpillar and chairman and president of Cat Logistics. "One of the key reasons customers buy Caterpillar products is the superior product support capability our dealers provide. We support that capability through the industry's best parts distribution. The Clayton Parts Distribution Center will not only provide capacity for growth in parts demand, it will also enable optimization of the service parts supply chain as we continue to leverage Caterpillar Production System principles."

Once open and fully staffed, and dependent on market demand, the Clayton Distribution Center will employ 500 to 600 people, the company said.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010, dependent on approval of incentives from the state of Ohio, Montgomery County and the Dayton Development Coalition.

Caterpillar Logistics Services provides supply chain solutions and services to not only its parent company but also to more than 65 other leading corporations throughout the world.

Cat Logistics has more than 105 offices and facilities in 25 countries on six continents, the company said.

Paul Gordon can be reached at (309) 686-3288 or pgordon@pjstar.com.