FedEx is on schedule to open its new southern Maine and eastern New Hampshire distribution center in Biddeford in late August.

The Biddeford center, set to open Aug. 26 in the former Hostess Brands plant at 1 Baker’s Way, is needed because of increased demand from online shopping, said Mike Williams, senior manager at the Memphis-based company’s Saco facility. Williams will assume the role of manager at the Biddeford center when it opens.

“We’ve sort of outgrown our capacity here (in Saco),” Williams said.

Daniel Stevenson, Biddeford’s director of economic development, said FedEx has received all the necessary permits to open in the former industrial bakery this summer.

The 40-acre property, which is within a mile of the Maine Turnpike, is a good fit for FedEx, with its 32 loading docks and truck maintenance facility. Williams said it will employ 25 to 35 warehouse workers and an office staff of about 10, in addition to drivers for about 30 delivery vehicles. Those drivers will deliver 3,000 to 3,500 packages a day, he said.

The larger Saco facility – which has about 65 on-site workers and serves 80 to 85 delivery vehicles a day – will remain open, but some of its staff will relocate to Biddeford, Williams said.

Still, hiring will begin for the new facility in mid-July, he said. FedEx will advertise those positions in local news outlets and on Craigslist, and those interested in a warehouse job also can visit the company’s website.

FedEx announced in January that it had signed a long-term lease on the former Hostess factory.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy and shut down the Biddeford operation in 2012, after years of financial problems and a strike by the bakery union. About 380 people lost their jobs.

The Biddeford plant made chocolate cupcakes, Sno Balls and other baked goods. In 2013, it was purchased by Georgia-based Flowers Foods for $15.3 million, according to city records. Former Hostess employees held out hope that it would reopen, but it did not.

The bakery had been on the market since June 2014, when Flower Foods opted to sell the plant along with eight other bakeries across the country. In late 2014, the plant was sold to a private equity firm.


Comments are not available on this story.