Libbey distribution center opens

A USD 35 million distribution center for Libbey Glass in Shreveport, Louisiana means the 1,100 jobs in the locality are more secure, Libbey officials said 23 August 2006 at a ribbon cutting ceremony f…

A USD 35 million distribution center for Libbey Glass in Shreveport, Louisiana means the 1,100 jobs in the locality are more secure, Libbey officials said 23 August 2006 at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 60,000-square-meter building. “It“s another commitment to the community”, said John Meier, Libbey chairman and CEO. “We have every reason to be confident in the future”. Plant Manager Frank Russell agreed, saying that while the distribution center did not mean more jobs at the glass manufacturing plant, “it is helping to secure jobs”. The Libbey plant at Shreveport opened in 1974. The distribution center is the result of a two-year effort by city, parish, chamber, state and private organizations. After a successful glass decorating expansion at the plant in 2002, Libbey approached local officials about its future plans. Libbey“s consulting firm hired local real estate companies to find the location on Greenwood Road. Libbey has obtained state approval for a 10-year property tax abatement; in return, Libbey agreed to provisions that include paying property taxes in full in the year that employment falls below certain levels. According to previous reports, Libbey should save an estimated USD 10.7 million in property taxes on the warehouse. The motivation for local officials to work with Libbey was to keep the plant jobs in Shreveport; had Libbey chosen another site for the warehouse it could have moved the plant there too, local economic officials said in 2005. Libbey, which is building a plant in China, had been using several sites for warehousing but the new building will bring everything under one roof, offer more loading bays and allow more storage with a higher ceiling, Mr. Russell said. “We can prepare more trucks”, he said. “It will provide a more efficient shipping operation”. Shipping at the new center begins 1 September 2006.