Whiplash Queues Up Southwest Distribution Hub with Enlinx Acquisition

City of Industry-based Whiplash Inc. said it acquired a Utah-based third-party logistics and fulfillment provider on undisclosed terms.

Enlinx, founded in 2011, operates a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Salt Lake City where it also offers fulfillment services such as pulling orders from inventory, sorting products by barcode, wrapping, packing and direct-to-consumer shipping. The company, which has 246 employees, can also handle returns.

The acquisition expands Whiplash’s presence in the fast-growing Intermountain West region, situated between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada on the west.

“We were attracted by both the geography and the labor market,” said President and Chief Commercial Officer Greg Morello. “We think that Salt Lake City is going to be a long-term shipping node for us, especially for our ecommerce customers, and we expect to open additional facilities in that market as part of the strategy of this acquisition.”

“We see more and more demand for regional markets, like the Salt Lake City region that can serve the Southwest with one- to two-day shipping, and that’s directly related to the movement of population from the coast into the areas like the Southwest and the Southeast,” Morello added.

Whiplash, which brought in about $300 million in revenue last year, according to Business Journal estimates, has some 3,500 full-time and seasonal employees. It operates 18 facilities totaling about 6.7 million square feet near major ports locally as well as in Ohio, Washington, Georgia and New Jersey.

Formerly known as Port Logistics Group, Whiplash handles warehousing and distribution for national apparel and consumer goods retailers, including Macy’s Inc. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., as well as the brick-and-mortar footprint for digital native brands such as Moda Operandi Inc., Goop Inc. and Betabrand. Whiplash’s transportation division picks up international cargo from major ports and delivers it to its warehouses to be processed while its brokerage division can arrange transportation of goods via trucks or cargo trains to other locations.

The company also provides value-added services such as placing clothes on hangers, retagging merchandise for various retail outlets, fulfilling online orders and inventory management, and shipping directly to end users on behalf of retailers.
With Whiplash, Enlinx will become part of “a much larger network that enables dual or multinode fulfillment strategies, something we were unable to offer in the past while still receiving the level of care they have come to rely on,” Enlinx founder and Chief Executive David Burns said in a statement. “The Whiplash technology and relationships with major parcel carriers round out what is sure to be a highly productive partnership.”

Burns and co-owner Ken Thompson will stay on board through the end of the year and then transition to consulting roles in 2022. The Enlinx acquisition follows the May opening of a 261,400-square-foot distribution center in Columbus, Ohio. The company said the facility addition was a “response to the continuing demands of the Covid-19 pandemic,” including the need for enhanced safety protocols such as social distancing for warehouse staff, as well as a surge in order volumes as consumers pivoted toward home delivery offerings.