Nichiha USA Inc., a producer of fiber cement products for the construction industry, has turned over the logistics management of a new manufacturing facility to Saddle Creek Corp., a logistics service provider. The $78m site is still under construction in Macon, Ga. It represents the first manufacturing venture in the U.S. of parent company Nichiha Corp., which is based in Japan and also operates 11 manufacturing sites in that country as well as two in China. Nichiha USA sells patterned fiber cement panels which are used in commercial, residential and multi-family buildings. Occupying 60 acres, the Macon facility will have a workforce of around 100. The manufacturing plant covers 300,000 square feet and is expected to turn out more than 100m square feet of fiber cement products. Production is scheduled to begin early in the fourth quarter of this year. The products will be stored in a 100,000-square-foot warehouse, to be managed by Saddle Creek. The vendor will also support Nichiha's distribution and transportation requirements from that facility. Construction of the plant marks a new corporate strategy by Nichiha to begin domestic manufacturing of its products. The Macon site fit best with the company's logistical and production requirements, according to Katsunori Takamitsu, president of Nichiha USA. The company has been importing fiber cement products into the U.S. since 1998.
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