Logistics Council Member Company Celebrates 50 Years of Operations

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2010

Contact: Rob Higley – 317-430-3769 

Distribution Company Celebrates 50 Years of Innovations
Integrated Distribution Services Remains Midwest Powerhouse

INDIANAPOLIS-Integrated Distribution Services (IDS), a national third-party logistics provider (3PL), this year marks its 50th anniversary in the transportation and warehousing business. The Indianapolis-based company was originally formed as Trans-City Terminal Warehouse, Inc. in the summer of 1960 and has been in continuous operations in Indianapolis since.

That survival story is no small feat considering that most companies fail within the first five years according to the Small Business Administration and the average life cycle of a company is 13 years.

Founded by James Durnil, the warehouse and transportation company has served regional and national businesses while helping to grow the Indianapolis region as a logistics hub.

“Durnil and those early team members were really pioneers in the outsourced logistics industry,” said current owner and company president Mark DeFabis. “They recognized that clients needed to stick to their core competency yet did not want to sacrifice customer service.”

During the 50 years since it was founded, the logistics company has adapted to meet the changing needs of the market.

In the early years, the company focused on serving the public storage needs of local Indiana businesses. Their client list was diverse and included some of the largest businesses in the state such National Starch, RCA, GE and Navistar. 

The company expanded its offerings in the 1980’s to include transportation services tailored for the bulk plastics and starch industry. Trans-City also handled the bulk transfer from rail cars to over-the-road tankers for these commodities.

Trans-City was sold to its current owner, Mark DeFabis, in 1993. DeFabis and a group of investors transitioned the company into a modern logistics provider with an enterprise-wide warehouse management system (WMS) in 1995. With this new technology, Trans-City became an industry leader in implementing electronic data interchange (EDI), a capability now required by most large retailers and manufacturers. 

Throughout the remainder of the decade Trans-City was at the forefront of technology adoption in the 3PL Industry. The company was the first 3PLs in Indianapolis to implement bar code scanning and radio frequency (RF) technology in their facilities. Trans-City became known for offering advanced technology enabled solutions customized for individual distribution needs.  

As customers began to look to 3PLs to provide more services at the warehouse level, Trans-City began providing packaging and assembly services. The company quickly established a track record of efficiently managing complex and high-volume projects for catalogue retailers in the emerging direct-to-consumer market.

Trans-City joined two other 3PLs to form LOGSICO in 2000 to expand their footprint beyond central Indiana. Although the company developed a national footprint as LOGISCO, it met only limited financial success. 

In 2007, DeFabis regained ownership of the former Trans-City and renamed the company Integrated Distribution Services, Inc. The name reflects another evolution in the services the company offers to meet changing client demands.

As catalogue retailers became ecommerce companies and the number of retail channels selling direct to consumers exploded, IDS leveraged its logistics expertise and advanced technology to meet those clients’ direct-to-consumer order fulfillment needs.

IDS also delivers best-in-class transportation management services and intermodal expertise for clients throughout the country. Intermodal transportation via train and short-haul trucking is becoming a viable option for many companies looking to connect with Midwest markets.  

DeFabis says clients in the next decade are going to be looking for the integration of outsourced supply chain services for greater visibility and efficiency.

“Our clients are finding that partnering with one firm like IDS for transportation management, warehousing, and fulfillment simplifies their management and increases their economy-of-scale,” he says. “On top of that, by handling the complete supply chain for a client we’re able to make recommendations that can reduce transit time, lower total distribution cost and improve efficiencies on the client’s side as well.”

Employees and family members will celebrate the lifelong Indianapolis company’s 50th anniversary milestone with an outing at an Indians baseball game this summer.

About Integrated Distribution Services

Integrated Distribution Company is a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that delivers a comprehensive mix of supply chain services including transportation, distribution, and fulfillment to customers in diverse industries. The 50-year-old company is supported by best-in-class processes and is led by a core ownership team. IDS operates a state-of-the-art, 315,000 square foot distribution center in Plainfield, Ind. near one of the largest air shipment hubs in the U.S. The IDS facility offers fulfillment, packaging, and retail distribution in a food/OTC grade environment. In the heart of Indiana and America, IDS provides excellent parcel, truckload, LTL, expedited and intermodal service for national distribution.