April 7, 2021

GAB Operations to build cold storage distribution center in Laredo

GAB Operations, a Mexico-based distributor of fresh and frozen produce, has contracted with A M King to begin construction of a Texas distribution center to service the U.S. and Canada.

The new 45,590-square foot facility, when complete, will provide increased cold storage capacity for fresh produce and will serve as a hub for the company’s U.S. and Canadian customers. The project is scheduled to be completed in October. 

GAB, founded more than three decades ago in Guanajuato, Mexico, specializes in the production, development, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits. Items include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and other leafy greens, varieties of lettuce, celery, sweet corn, snow peas, pumpkin, sweet mini peppers, berries and more.

In addition, the company — which operates under the brand name Mr. Lucky — is one of the largest garlic and organic tomato producers in Mexico, prepares fresh-cut produce for food service clients and provides pre-packed salads and private-label products for many U.S.-based produce outfits.

Fifteen years ago, the company initiated internal food safety standards and set its own documentation and traceability program. They use the latest technology in advanced irrigation systems, integrated fertigation and pest management systems to guarantee delivery of high-quality produce worldwide. 

GAB’s Laredo, Texas distribution center will be located in the Pinnacle Industry Center, which is just minutes from the Rio Grande River and the Laredo International Airport. It is neighbor to Mission Produce’s new 262,000-square foot greenfield ripening, processing and distribution center, also an A M King project that will be complete this summer. 

GAB President Jaime Usabiaga said, “The GAB project will not only house the cold storage warehouse and offices of the GAB Laredo distribution center but will also feature a trucker dormitory where our fleet drivers may rest before continuing their route.”

During the design phase, A M King worked with GAB to ensure that the layout and flow of the space met current as well as future needs. As part of the process, we also included a forced air cooler that would bring the temperature of the produce down quickly and safely and incorporated different vertical leveler lengths for cargo flexibility. 

The scope of work on this project includes 7,717 square feet of refrigerated spaces ranging from 34-45 degrees; a 13,030-square foot, -10-degree freezer; 2,502 square feet of 75-degree dry storage; 10 dock positions and 4,570 square feet of office space. In addition, there is 82,000 square feet of concrete truck apron adjacent to the building. The exterior of the warehouse will be constructed using Insulated Metal Panel (IMP), but the office section will utilize an EIFS/Stucco finish and a decorative metal accent panel system. 

“We’re happy to be working with another prominent produce company in Laredo,” said Dan Crist, A M King Vice President. “Our food industry expertise, coupled with our track record of successfully completed cold storage and distribution facilities, places us in a great position to design and build this project, and serve as a resource for a new international client.”

A M King is an integrated design-build firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with offices in Greenville, South Carolina and Chicago.

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