Polymer safety barrier manufacturer A-SAFE Inc. officially unveiled its new 30,000 sq. ft. distribution center with Howard County officials in Elkridge, Maryland.
County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and officials from the Howard County Economic Development Authority joined A-SAFE owners and employees in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the company to their new location at 6635 Business Parkway in Elkridge.
“We welcome A-SAFE to the Howard County business community,” Kittleman said. “The company has a truly unique product that complements the local industrial ecosystem. The county offers a multitude of assets that should allow A-SAFE to flourish here.”
The British company fabricates flexible, polyolefin barriers that dissipate and absorb impacts better than more rigid steel alternatives. Distribution and industrial facilities rely on these barricades to protect workers from vehicles and hardware without damaging their equipment and buildings.
“Our challenge is getting businesses over the negative perception of plastic,” said James Smith, owner of A-SAFE USA. “Once people try it, they see that it’s safe and that the cost-savings pay for the product almost immediately.”
A-SAFE has successfully introduced the plastic barriers in Europe and is now looking to expand its operations into the United States. The company opened its first American distribution center in 2013, before relocating to Howard County in April 2016.
“We’re are very excited to help growing companies find a home here in Howard County,” said HCEDA Chief Executive Lawrence Twele. “The management team at A-SAFE has been a great group to work with during their relocation and I look forward to partnering with them as they grow.”
The Howard County Economic Development Authority worked closely with A-SAFE to assist in its relocation. The new facility is located in Elkridge between the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas and provides quick access to I-95 and I-70. Already, A-SAFE is taking advantage of its proximity to the Port of Baltimore, where the company ships its manufactured product in from Halifax, England.
“Howard County provided us everything that we were looking for in a new location,” said Claire Porter, president, A-SAFE USA. “The close proximity to the port of Baltimore as well as great access to major highways will be very helpful as we grow our business. We look forward to supporting the growing manufacturing and distribution industries throughout this region for years to come.“
Elkridge also places the company adjacent to Nestlé, one of its largest business partners, operations in Columbia, Maryland and Howard County’s thriving manufacturing and distribution sectors.
As of now, the venue is strictly used for distribution, but company representatives indicate their hope is to expand into manufacturing their product locally in the near future.
Since its arrival in April, A-SAFE has hired 10 employees locally, with plans to add 25 jobs within the next 3 years.
The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. The Authority also maintains several programs aimed at the special needs of small and agricultural businesses. Additionally, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. The Authority can be reached at www.hceda.org.