Pillow Logistics expanding across Indiana
Indianapolis-based courier service Pillow Logistics is expanding its footprint around Indiana. The company, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, says it is investing approximately $1.5 million as it opens new locations in Indy, Louisville, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Merrillville with plans to double its workforce over the next year. The expansions, according to the company, are due to “unprecedented growth” over the last three years, largely attributed to increases in e-commerce and demand for fast delivery.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, President Matt Straub said leadership spent about six months restructuring the organization, which unintentionally prepared them for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When COVID hit, we were very well positioned. We invested in our recruitment processes, not only for internally, but for contract drivers. We invested in our technology platform at that time to get something that was much more robust and up to date. And really…at that point, we started looking at investing in property and facilities that would support the growth we were anticipating.”
After the pandemic hit, Pillow Logistics partnered with Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis to deliver medications to patients and also provide warehousing services for personal protective equipment that the health system was having to order in bulk.
Straub said the company was also working with retailers such as pharmacies throughout the state to deliver COVID tests.
“That gave us an injection of capital that we continued to reinvest in the organization, and that allowed Pillow to buy their first building, which is this corporate headquarters we’re in today,” he said. “And then, we expanded into our 20,000-square-foot facility that we’re leasing here locally. That’s our distribution hub.”
Pillow Logistics was founded in 1988 by George Pillow and has grown to provide on-demand courier, routed and freight services, as well as warehousing, medical delivery, life sciences and final mile services.
Pillow opened its Louisville office in late 2021 amid growing customer demand. Since 2019, the company has grown from 20 employees and 35 contract drivers to more than 50 employees and 150 drivers.
The company recently secured a contract with the Indiana State Library to provide delivery services for its InfoExpress program, which delivers library materials throughout the state. Straub said that partnership will allow the company to expand statewide distribution for all of its clients.
“It provides an anchor for us to provide next day distribution. What we’re going to be able to do is take packages from multiple clients, put these all on the same distribution routes, so I don’t have three drivers going up into the same territory every day, reducing that carbon footprint, and really reducing cost.”
The library contract will result in Pillow Logistics opening locations in Evansville and Fort Wayne in the second and third quarters of this year, respectively. Another location in northwest Indiana will open at a later date.
Straub said with the new offices, the company expects to double its employee and driver headcount over the next 12 months.
In addition to the expansion, Pillow Logistics announced Eddie Pillow, son of founder George Pillow, has been promoted from president to CEO. Pillow told IIB the company is looking at continued growth through acquisition in surrounding areas as well as additional business verticals.
“We just really want to kind of emulate the footprint that we have here in Indiana and just continue to grow that network and really be a strong regional player,” Pillow said. “We’ve also looked at some other different categories. We do well on final mile, but we might want to see what else is out there. We do some middle mile work, which is where we’re actually providing some fulfillment on site. So we’re looking at expanding those capabilities as well.”
Straub adds the company looks to expand where the customer demand is greatest.