Reports of APL’s Kenosha warehouse demise are greatly exaggerated

A logistics warehouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, reported as about to be closed is actually being sold by APL Logistics to an unidentified buyer.

The confusion that developed around the closure/sale is based on APL’s submission of a WARN letter with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development last week, the subject of which is “Notice of APO Logistics’ Kenosha Facility Closure.” WARN, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, notices are required by states in advance of closures or cutbacks. 

A news report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the WARN letter and the “closure,” and that story was linked to in a widely read Wall Street Journal feature on logistics.

The result? A spokesman for intermodal freight forwarder APL, Thad Bedard, the company’s vice president of strategy, told FreightWaves that he has received multiple calls about the fate of the facility.

It isn’t hard to see why. The wording in the WARN notice says nothing about the facility being sold. “The entire facility will close, and the closure is expected to be permanent,” the Thursday letter says. “The expected last date of employment at the Kenosha facility will be October 31, 2020, with all employment separations taking place on that date. All affected employees have been notified of their separation dates and that their separation from employment will be permanent.”

But Bedard said the warehouse is not closing. Technically, the workers there are being laid off by APL as it sells the facility to the unidentified 3PL. The spokesman added that APL at present expects “most”  of the workers at the warehouse to be hired by the new owners but the process requires APL to file a WARN notice with the state.

There were 86 positions at the facility identified in the letter as being affected by the “closure.”

APL is an international freight forwarder with extensive oceangoing and rail services. It’s part of Japan’s KWE group.

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