Solo cup manufacturer will open distribution center in Delaware this fall


Brandon Holveck,

The manufacturer of the red Solo cup is moving part of its east coast distribution to Delaware.

DART Container will be the first major tenant in the Delaware City Logistics Park, being built on a 190-acre site between the Delaware City refinery and Route 7. The shipping and warehousing center is expected to open some time this fall, a company spokesperson said.

Construction of distribution centers is a growing trend in the Mid-Atlantic, a region home to tens of millions of consumers but where traditional blue-collar manufacturing jobs have been decimated.

DOT Foods, the nation's largest food redistributor, opened a nearly 200,000-square-foot facility in February on what was previously farm land near Red Lion and Wrangle Hill Roads in Bear. Amazon is preparing to open a 3.7 million-square-foot logistics warehouse at the former General Motors plant site on Boxwood Road.

In addition to the red Solo cup, DART Container produces foam and plastic containers and plastic dinnerware.

When it opens its Delaware facility, DART will close locations in Havre de Grace and Hampstead, Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland's ban on foam containers, which takes effect July 1, played into the company's decision to move. DART spokesperson Margo Burrage did not respond to a question regarding the ban.

"The move to Delaware will enable us to consolidate inventory into a single location that serves our East Coast customers more efficiently from a trucking and logistics standpoint," Dart CEO Jim Lammers said in a prepared statement.

The Delaware City Logistics Park is being built by Northpoint, a Kansas City construction company. The facility will be comprised of four buildings, spanning 2 million square feet. Total costs are estimated at $136 million. 

The state provided $3.9 million through a capital expenditure grant in September. The facility must provide 800 new jobs to satisfy the grant. DART says it will employ 60-70 people, with about 15% of employees from the closing Maryland facilities moving to Delaware.

Michael Chesney, Delaware Division of Small Business director of communications, said there can be "claw backs" if terms of the grant are broken. Northpoint has through 2022 to draw on the grant funds, Chesney said. The company has not announced any other tenants. DART is slated to take about half of the facility's space.

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