Web fulfillment, traditional 3PL services boost Bender

Bender Group, working both sides of the street as a provider of third-party logistics services, finds that the combination of two sets of expertise is driving its growth.

The Reno-based company, a pioneer in the logistics industry, said a few days ago that it’s leasing an additional 87,000 square feet of distribution space at 10991 Lear Blvd. in Stead. The company also is hiring about 15 additional staff.

With the expansion, the company employs more than 100 people in the Reno area and operates out of more than 500,000 square feet of distribution space. The company got its start as an operator of public warehouse space in Reno in 1945.

Driving the need for additional space and staff is the expansion of business from existing clients as well as the arrival of about 10 new customers in recent months, says Steve Reid, the president of Bender Group.

And the company’s success at landing new business, Reid says, has depended on its ability to serve both traditional and Web-based logistics clients.

The differences are substantial.

If a client — a manufacturer, for instance — hires Bender Group to provide warehousing and distribution services to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Reid says retailers typically have established a set of rules concerning vendor compliance, tight scheduling windows for delivery of shipments and the like.

But Web-based distribution is an entirely different business. Rather than shipping cases or pallets on freight lines, the company processes hundreds of small orders that are shipped through parcel-delivery services to individual consumers.

“We’ve always had a strong background in traditional 3PL services,” Reid says. “Now we feel we can be a one-stop shop for our clients.”

Jared Lindwall, manager of business development for Bender Group, says clients are widening their distribution channels.

Some who have shipped primarily to brick-and-mortar stores now ask Bender Group to fulfill orders directly through the clients’ Web sites or through retail sites such as Amazon.com.

Companies that got their start in e-commerce, meanwhile, are coming to Bender Group for help in opening traditional retail channels.

Either way, says Reid, clients look to Bender Group for its information technology expertise along with its fleet of trucks, warehouse space and skilled distribution staff.

The company’s multi-client, multi-channel approach to third-party logistics provides a diverse client base.

And that’s particularly important, Reid says, because clients typically have different busy seasons during the year. Diversity helps reduce peak-and-valley needs for staff and warehouse space.

“We’ve worked really hard to achieve this kind of growth in the Reno market,” Reid says.

The company was represented in its negotiation of a lease for the new space by Paul Perkins of Perkins Company Nevada Ltd.

The Stead space is part of the northern Nevada free trade zone, which allows for duties to be deferred on imported merchandise headed for U.S. markets. Merchandise that re-exported is allowed into the zone duty-free.


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