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story.lead_photo.caption The loading area for the FedEx Freight Service Center is seen May 3, 2019, in Texarkana, Arkansas. The center had a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the freight service and allowed tours throughout the facility to demonstrate how it will operate. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

Many local luminaries, including Arkansas-side Mayor Allen L. Brown and Texas-side Mayor Bob Bruggeman, arrived to celebrate the opening of the new FedEx Service Center on U.S. Highway 67

They were greeted by a sprawling, sparkling and spit-shined hub that was created with the expectation it will expand in size, capacity and staffing.

Located just northeast of the Texarkana, Arkansas, city limits along the Interstate 30 corridor, the center syncs with a growing ground transportation system.

Because expandability is built into its design, the new facility can meet current needs and then be modified to meet future transportation activity, company officials told the crowd.

"This is the perfect location to process freight coming out of locations like Memphis and Houston," said Gann Brooks, FedEx's Director of Operations in Arkansas and Oklahoma, whose district includes the new facility.

"FedEx as a company was aware of Texarkana becoming a center for several traffic arteries and we wanted to be near that," he said.

The new, state-of-the-art facility initially employed 100 workers. It has 155 working freight doors and is a 132,000 square foot working area located on 60 acres near the Mandeville I-30 exit. I

John Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Freight, said, "The U.S. economy looks to expand as much as 2 percent annually on the average and we are trying to stay ahead of that, from a facility perspective."

"The choice of location here in Texarkana is a statement of confidence from the company. We want to be ready for the expansion of the transportation network, allowing for growth over the next few decades."

Smith, who has been with FedEx 19 years and in the freight business 33 years, has seen his share of these facilities and the lessons learned.

"We make them better and better and apply our knowledge and what we have learned," he said.

Brooks added, "We have other service centers in the region. Main one closest is Shreveport. But it is at capacity. The region needed more capacity to expand into to serve our customers in this region. This facility does just that and gives us plenty of room to grow. This center is a great center, beautiful and ready for that job, operating 24 hours, six days a week."

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