Harley-Davidson announces new logistics company, vows to keep 637 employees

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

The roughly 600 employees who handle third-party logistics for Harley-Davidson in York County will have a new boss come December — but their jobs will nonetheless remain.

Harley-Davidson announced Wednesday that it chose the Florida-based Comprehensive Logistics to replace Syncreon. The change, which prompted a notice to 637 employees, left many in limbo, wondering if layoffs would come next.

“We expect to transition 100% of them,” Paul Forberg, Comprehensive Logistic's vice president of sales and marketing, told The York Dispatch on Wednesday. “I would say it’s more of an administrative function just to get them converted over to Comprehensive Logistics.”

In a written statement, Harley-Davidson indicated it chose Comprehensive Logistics "based on their proprietary technology, commitment to quality, HR engagement and continuous improvement." The official changeover for the logistics facility in Springettsbury Township will take place Dec. 16.

The Harley-Davidson York plant.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Forberg said the biggest change for employees will come in the use of technology in their jobs. 

“The reason Harley-Davidson picked us was innovation and technology,” he said. “We have a proprietary warehouse management system that we are implementing which creates greater process control, inventory control, less going around searching for parts or lost parts, and overall efficiency and hopefully eliminate waste.” 

Current employees will be trained to be a part of the new system, Forberg said. 

“It will be part of the orientation into the Comprehensive Logistics culture,” he said. “In order for the warehouse management system to work effectively, you need robust training to get everything running smooth.” 

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Forberg said that the plan is to not only retain the current workforce at the Memory Lane facility but to add jobs. 

The hourly workforce at the facility will continue to be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2948, he added. 

Comprehensive Logistics has been pursuing Harley-Davidson as a client for almost a decade, Forberg said. It will be the company’s first foray into handling logistics in the motorcycle industry, although it has worked with automotive companies in the past.

“It was a very long vetting process to get selected,” he said, “but we are honored to be their partner.” 

“We’re excited to be in York,” Forberg said, "and be a part of the continued growth in that community."

Comprehensive Logistics operates 22 shipping sites across the country, mostly with automotive companies such as Ford and GM.