Summerford Pallets sets up shop in Poplarville
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Summerford Pallets has a new home in Poplarville.
Summerford Pallets is a sister company of Summerford Truck Line, which began in 1928. Poplarville Plant Manager Pat Helland said the trucking company started their own pallet division in 1994 to recycle pallets. The company also operates in Alabama and Georgia. Each location serves a 150 to 200 mile radius.
The company currently employs about 30 people in the Poplarville area, and about 350 company wide throughout the pallet and truck divisions, said Helland.
Previously located in Purvis, the location moved to Poplarville in January of this year and began work in February. The move from Purvis to Poplarville was conducted because the company needed room to grow and because of the close proximity to the Interstate, Helland said.
The Poplarville site sat dormant for about five years prior to Summerford taking occupancy, but the company has plans to renovate the building, including additional truck docks and bays and the addition of automated equipment. The aim is to employ 50 people when the site has reached capacity, Helland said.
“With the growth we’re expecting I don’t see us losing employees, I see us growing employees,” Helland said about the possibility of automation negating the need for more employees.
The company recycles, renovates and makes new pallets at their facilities, including Poplarville’s. Helland said the Poplarville site recycles about 5,000 pallets a week, and makes new or renovates 2,500 pallets in that same time.
Their pallets are provided to several kinds of customers, including the produce industry during their peak season, which will reach its pinnacle on July 4. Between 70 to 80 percent of their pallets are sold to food vendors in the areas of sugar, poultry and peanut, and the rest are split between the plastics industry and agriculture.
In her short time in Poplarville Helland has noticed the town has a close-knit community with a focus on family values.
The family owned and operated company prides itself on considering their employees as family.
“You are a part of a family if you are part of Summerford,” Helland said.
Applications are still being accepted at the facility, which is located on Industrial Drive in Poplarville’s Industrial Park off of South Main Street.