WENATCHEE — In a couple of nondescript warehouses downtown, a small, locally-owned business is shipping everything from tennis shoes and snow skis to solar panels and condiments — all over the world.
Streamline Fulfillment moved into the former Lineage Logistics property on Columbia Street in October 2021, and is the 11-building complex’s newest tenant.
Streamline, a third-party fulfillment and warehousing service for ecommerce and B2B businesses, takes up two of the old refrigerated warehouses, with almost 20,000 square feet, and recently leased three more bays in another building for a total of 27,000 square feet.
The company plans to add an east coast location.
Its current space is part of the 128,000 square feet of Lineage Property, now owned by the Chelan Douglas County Regional Port Authority.
The port inherited tenant Badger Mountain Brewing, which was already in about 9,000 square feet of Lineage property, called Building A, when the port bought the former freezer and fruit storage space in 2019.
The port is considering remodeling the remaining five Lineage buildings, B, C, D, E, and F.
Meanwhile, Streamline Fulfillment has been quietly operating in Buildings G, I, and F, shipping between 2,000 and 5,000 boxes of all sizes worldwide each week.
Co-owners/presidents Phil Foshee and Carl Skerlong also have a smaller warehouse north of Sunnyslope at 3710 Hwy 97A Suite C, which provides cold storage and shipping for sliced apples.
The two and their spouses hung out one evening at a wine bar in 2019, when shipment issues came up.
“... Problems the owners and their wives were facing both personally and professionally with long lead times, delayed or inaccurate shipments from ecommerce vendors struggling to keep up with demand, and challenges professionally sourcing available fulfillment offerings,” according to the website.
Vendors who could handle custom items also seemed lacking, said Foshee.
“I looked at Phil and said, ‘Are you going to do this?’” Skerlong said of the wine bar conversation.
Foshee and Skerlong were in different careers at the time, they said, and had no shipping experience, but their backgrounds translated well. Foshee was in the medical device and sales/marketing industry, while Skerlong was a property developer and distributor of building materials. Foshee said his marketing background helped promote the new venture and Skerlong said helping run Streamline was similar to building homes in that he had to be detail oriented.
The company leased 75% of Building F from the port because it’s quickly outgrowing its space. It will also go from 10 to around 20 employees, and will have 60 when it eventually builds its own facility in the next few years near Pangborn Memorial Airport. In fact, it has a “big” customer waiting to send goods, Foshee said, until Streamline can get more space.
“We’re looking to expand in general,” he said. “It’s great to be full, but you want to have room.”
The new, big customer, which will ship pool floats, also faces a backlog at the Shanghai, China, port, he said. That port closed down during the pandemic and still hasn’t caught up with orders, he added. Not only that, he said customers generally plan several months in advance, so back to school and Christmas goods will be waiting to be shipped soon. In the meantime, Streamline and others like it can catch their breaths, he said.
As far as customizing shipped goods, Streamline packs things like leadership gifts for Zillow and other companies. Workers were packaging 750 of Zillow’s gifts on a recent afternoon that would go worldwide. Streamline typically packs such items for clients. It also packs and sends packages for some vendors selling their goods on Amazon, and fulfills promotional marketing orders.
Besides expanding in Wenatchee, Streamline is looking at the east coast, Foshee said, but that likely will be next year.
“Wenatchee will never go away,” he said. “Geographically, it makes a lot of sense for what we do. … We’ll always have a permanent home here.”
This story has been updated to reflect the business's growth and to remove irrelevant information.