Doing business in Albany since 1960, Gray Distribution Services Inc. was sold recently to Gray Logistics LLC, a company formed by two Gray Distribution employees, Wesley Griffin and Michael White. New company owners say they hope to continue Gray Distribution’s customer service reputation. “This company’s always provided great customer service,” White said. “We’re going to keep it that way.” (Staff Photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Longtime Albany business Gray Distribution Services Inc. announced last week the sale of its warehouse operation to Gray Logistics LLC.
The current warehouse operation consists of two warehouses in Albany and one in Ashburn. The new company, formed by current Gray Distribution employees Wesley Griffin and Michael White, will also take over Gray Distribution’s leases on warehouses in Albany and Leesburg, giving the company 635,000 square feet of storage space.
Headquartered in Albany, Gray Distribution has been providing storage and distribution opportunities to the agricultural chemical industry for more than 50 years, something that the owners hope will continue for years to come.
“This company’s always provided great customer service and we’re going to keep it that way,” White said. “We’re just going to try to make what’s already really good even better.”
Founded in 1960 as the warehousing division of Gray Communications Systems Inc., which was then the parent company of The Albany Herald, Gray Distribution has been led by President and CEO Phil R. Greene, who purchased the business in 1993. Recently, Greene decided it was time to retire and began looking at options for the company’s future, finally deciding to sell the business to two of his trusted employees.
“I have arrived at a stage of my life where I am going to spend more time with my growing family,” Greene said. “I was fortunate to have two very capable managers, Wesley and Mike, who had an interest in buying my ownership.
“They both have many years of experience in warehousing and distribution and there is no doubt in my mind that they will carry on the tradition of strategic controlled growth of business.”
Greene said that the success of the company has always derived from a knowledgeable and dedicated staff and that he feels confident the new business will have the same kind of success for that reason.
“They will be starting off with well-seasoned employees who have a combined 275 years of employment with Gray Distribution,” added Greene. “Without a doubt, I firmly believe that these employees were the primary reason for my success.”
Having both been employees, Griffin and White understand the value of the work force and hope to continue the the legacy Gray Distribution in that regard. Despite the initial surprise of learning that Greene was retiring, White said, he has received nothing but positive feedback from the employees.
“Its always been a family atmosphere here and we’re going to keep it that way,” White said. “Everyone’s been very positive and supportive.”
In addition to the strong work force, Gray Logistics also starts out with a diverse customer base of more than 50 manufacturers, many of which have already committed to continue doing business with the company.
“I’ve heard some great feedback from our larger customers,” said Griffin, who was the acting vice president and general manager of Gray Distribution before becoming an owner. “They’re excited and look forward to growing with us.”
According to White, who has specialized in warehousing and distribution for more than 25 years — including having worked for Russell Athletic and Wal-Mart before joining the Gray team — one of the areas in which the company hopes to grow is by adding trucking services.
“We’ve had several requests from customers for trucking,” said White. “We’re definitely going to look at that. It’s a way to grow.”
Services provided by Gray Logistics include hazardous materials storage, inventory management, rail shipping and receiving capabilities, crossdocking, frieght consolidation, repackaging, return goods handling, product relabeling, shrink wrapping, and import/export services.
Although primarily handling the needs of agriculture-related companies, Gray Logistics is equipped to handle non-agricultural businesses as well, the company officials said.