Uline to add 500 jobs company-wide by mid-2017

Another 600 employees moving from Illinois to Wisconsin in spring

Uline's second corporate office building in Pleasant Prairie that will look similar to the existing office building on its campus there.

Last updated on May 26th, 2022 at 11:40 am

Pleasant Prairie-based packaging materials distributor Uline has done it again.

The company, which has been hiring by the hundreds and expanding its footprint rapidly, has plans to add another 500 employees by mid-2017, said Frank Unick, chief financial officer.

Uline had 2,841 employees in 2011. With this most recent hiring push, it will have a total of about 5,700 employees, doubling its headcount in just five years.

Of the 500 new jobs, about 200 of the roles will be based in Pleasant Prairie. The others will be distributed across Uline’s 10 other North American locations.

That’s not to mention the 600 jobs that will be moving from Waukegan, Illinois to Kenosha in spring and summer of 2017, once a new 800,000-square-foot Uline facility is completed there.

The packaging materials distributor has experienced double-digit organic sales growth, Unick said. It has done particularly well with material handling—pallets, pallet jacks, pallet racking, warehouse racking like the ones from uk pallet racking suppliers.

With an inventory of 30,000 products and an average of 3,000 new products added each year, warehouse space is at a premium, which is why Uline is in the process of building several facilities totaling 5.3 million square feet of distribution and office space in Wisconsin.

“We add new product categories, we add new locations, and that necessitates us growing the headcount to keep up with our organic sales growth,” Unick said.

Setting Uline apart from peers in the competitive packaging materials distribution industry is its same-day shipping, he said.

“It’s in stock, you order it, you get it,” Unick said. “The huge organic growth is awesome, we enjoy it, but it also puts immense pressure on having appropriate warehouse space available.”

How do you find thousands of employees to make your massive growth a reality? Unick said the Kenosha Area Business Alliance has been enormously helpful by keeping track of the job market and local labor market statistics.

“KABA has been doing a great job just watching that and making sure the availability of workers does not become a constraint on hiring and growing your business in Kenosha,” he said. “We have been delighted with the area workforce. It’s been fun to see all the companies relocate to Kenosha County. To this point, we have not seen any pressure on the hiring process.”

Uline, which moved its headquarters from Illinois to Pleasant Prairie in 2010, was named the Business of the Year in Kenosha County as part of KABA’s Ovation Awards. The award winners will be recognized at an event on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4:30-8:30 p.m., at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. BizTimes Media is a partner with the event. For more information, or to register, click here.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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