MD Logistics marks 20 years of growth |

MD Logistics marks 20 years of growth

Duane Johnson |
A forklift operator navigates the storage area at MD Logistics in Stead.

MD Logistics, a third-party logistics firm, has seen exponential growth since its inception just two decades ago.

The company, headquartered in Plainfield, Ind., has reported revenue has doubled over the past seven years with its highest revenue year in 2015.

In 2011, the company moved into a 55,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility it purchased on Moya Boulevard in Stead.

As business grew, MD Logistics executives began entertaining the idea of expanding to the West in the late 2000s. They scouted several areas in the western states before finally picking the location in North Valleys.

They chose northern Nevada mainly for its favorable business climate as opposed to neighboring California.

The facility, which had previously housed a pharmaceuticals company, suited MD Logistics’ operations.

“It was really a turnkey solution for us, because it was built for what we needed,” said Mark Sell, president and co-founder of MD Logistics.

The company was also attracted to the strong transportation infrastructure already in place, including railways and highway systems. The location gave MD Logistics the ability to service 80 percent of the United States population within a 48-hour period.

“Reno has been the perfect place for us,” Sell said. “We can distribute more than we can from California.”

The company has since made big investments in the facility to keep up with logistics industry standards and mandated safety regulations. It added 7,000 square feet of cooling capacity and spent approximately $500,000 upgrading its sprinkler system.

MD Logistics’ northern Nevada facility’s staff has grown to 10 employees. Occasionally, MD will bring in seasonal workers when needed.

Sell said the Stead facility compliments the Indiana operations by providing viable risk management and system backup services.

“That’s the secret of our sauce, to have flexibility in our facilities,” Sell said.

Sell, a veteran of more than three decades in the pharmaceuticals industry, founded MD Logistics in 1996 alongside his late business partner Dave Keibach. The first two letters of the company’s name is derived from the pair’s first initials.

Sell, and Kiebach had become a little leery of the corporate life in the industry and decided to start their own venture. Kiebach stayed with the company until his sudden death of a heart attack in 2007.

The company originally operated out of a 10,000-square-foot warehouse, housing a staff of seven employees. MD Logistics began as a freight forwarding business, moving shipments both domestically and globally, for central Indiana-based companies.

The company has branched out to provide third party logistics solutions such as supply chain management for the retail industry, cold-chain management to the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

It also offers freight management, global freight forwarding and customs brokerage services to its clients through its sister company, MD Express and SEKO Logistics, headquartered in Itasca, Ill. SEKO has a branch in Reno.

MD Logistics operates under a million square feet in its facilities in Plainfield and Stead and employs a workforce of 200 in both areas.

Sell said the company recruits employees through avenues such as social media and Internet, but also receives referrals from business contacts. He said the company provides employee training at both Nevada and Indiana locations.

He indicated Nevada has provided a quality labor pool from which to draw from, although it at times has been drained with new companies coming into the market.

“The people in Nevada seem to be a dedicated labor force,” he said. “It’s sometimes a challenge to find those people, but it’s something we work very diligently at.”

MD Logistics marked its 20th anniversary with a celebration on March 4.

Sell is proud of the company’s growth, but doesn’t want to lose sight of the positive atmosphere he feels the company created for its employees and customers.

“It’s a challenge for any mid-tier company,” Sell said. “We know things in our industry have to change, but our culture doesn’t have to change.”