United Freezer and Storage Gets Grant to Improve Rail Spur

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – United Freezer and Storage Co. was awarded a $21,000 grant by the Ohio Rail Development Commission that will enable the company improve a rail spur so it can receive 72-foot rail cars.

The grant was approved by ORDC during its meeting Wednesday in Columbus, and will be matched by the company to fund the $42,000 improvement project.

United Food and Storage Co., founded in 1950, operates a 700,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in multiple buildings at 650 N. Meridian Road in Austintown Township. UFSCO houses products and provides third-party logistics for businesses that operate throughout northeast Ohio, from the plastics industry to food production, according to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which was instrumental in securing the ORDC grant.

“Receiving this grant with the Regional Chamber’s assistance is just plain awesome,” said UFSCO President John Pendel in a news release distributed by the chamber. “As a small regional player in the third-party warehousing arena, this grant is very important to us and will make a huge impact with securing the rail business, which is retiring the smaller 50-foot rail cars.”

The chamber introduced the company to the rail commission, which operates within the Ohio Department of Transportation and funds rail-related economic development projects.

“This project is a great example of why our engagement with our local industries and economic development partners in Columbus is so important,” said the chamber’s manager of business development, Shea MacMillan.

Given the Valley’s abundance of rail lines and operators, the chamber said it has identified more than 100 businesses that may benefit from the maintenance of rail service in this region — United Freezer and Storage among them.

Business outreach initiatives will ensure that local companies are aware of resources available to support their retention or growth, the chamber said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.