Cold storage operator RLS Logistics announced it has added Merchants Cold Storage to its network of facilities.

Kentucky-based Merchants operates a 250,000-square-foot temperature-controlled warehouse near Cincinnati. The site has nearly 8 million cubic feet of storage space serving frozen and refrigerated food manufacturers in the Midwest. In addition to warehousing, Merchants provides cross-docking and blast freezing services. The facility has rail access via a two-car siding that is serviced by Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC).

The transaction was executed through RLS Logistics’ investment joint venture, RLS Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not provided.

The entity will now operate as RLS Merchants.

“[Merchants is] an ideal complement to our network of top regional family run cold storage providers,” RLS Logistics CEO Russell Leo said. “We look forward to watching RLS Merchants grow for many years to come.”

New Jersey-based 3PL RLS has been actively rolling up independently owned cold storage operators.

Through RLS Partners, the group seeks to partner with family-operated companies so that current leadership stays in place to run the facility after the deal closes. RLS prefers to maintain existing management teams as they are the experts in their respective markets and usually have deep relationships with customers and vendors.

“Merchants Cold Storage is excited to be part of RLS. … We look forward to continuing to grow our operations in our market as well as participate in the growth of the RLS group nationally,” said Phil Castellini, president and regional partner at RLS Merchants.

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