City Pipe and Supply Corp., one of Odessa’s oldest businesses, recently opened an $8 million new facility off South Highway 385 amid surging demand for parts the company sells to be used for the pipeline network moving oil and gas.
The new 100,000 square-foot warehouse, on land annexed into the city, helped the company more than double its inventory, President Brett Lossin said during a grand opening event on Wednesday. The warehouse is about four times the size of the previous facility on Second Street, which the company vacated earlier this year.
On Second Street, Lossin said the company had hit the limit of what it could move.
“We needed, obviously, to get more material out of the door and grow our business,” he said. “We were maxed out. 100 percent maxed out.”
The company now touts more than $30 million worth of stock inventory in the new facility, at 2794 South Highway 385.
The move comes during a rapid period of growth for the company, which became employee-owned in 2005. The last year and half saw the company more than double its workforce across its five branches to a total of about 130 employees. Of those employees, about 80 work in Odessa.
“The employee pool is gone — there is nobody left,” Lossin said. “So therefore, if you want to increase your sales, and your production, you’ve got to get more efficient because a lot of times you can’t get more employees.”
City Pipe was founded in 1942. In the beginning, as new steel pipe sold at a premium during World War II, the company resold pipe dug up in area oilfields. By the 1960s, the company had moved into the industrial pipe, valve and fitting market.
And now, almost all of the company’s focus is on selling parts to the midstream oilfield sector, where booming production of oil and gas creates intense demand for takeaway infrastructure, especially in the Permian Basin.
Through the decades, City Pipe expanded the Second Street operation several times and will keep the corporate office over there, near West County Road. But moving to Highway 385 also meant eliminating the logistical challenge of heavy truck traffic coming and going to City Pipe’s warehouse on the busy Business 20 thoroughfare, Lossin said.
He said work is also safer and more efficient at the new bigger warehouse, where workers humming around the facility on forklifts Wednesday quickly unloaded trucks and packaged and stored pipe and related equipment.
The company also added a bigger yard that makes managing truck logistics easier, and it constructed 13,000 square feet of office space with a modernized will-call center. The added warehouse space also meant the company could add some lines of equipment it sells, including higher-intensity steel parts used for certain pipelines.
Part of the thinking, Lossin said, was “quit trying to be so lean. Put your money into inventory, so you always have it.”