Commodity: Wooden Playsets
Customer: Backyard Discovery
Location: Pittsburg, Kansas Warehouses

If you pass close enough by Watco’s Pittsburg, Kan., Terminal warehouses, there’s a good chance you’ll catch a whiff of what’s being stored inside. Fortunately, it’s the smell of fresh cedar. That’s because the team is transporting and storing cedar swing sets, slides, and other playset components for Backyard Discovery.

Backyard Discovery is the largest manufacturer of wooden swing sets in the U.S., and operates its corporate offices out of Pittsburg, Kan. Products can be ordered directly from them, and they also partner with major retailers like Sam’s Club, Amazon, Lowe’s and The Home Depot to provide thousands of pieces of equipment to homes across the country each year. Storing and distributing all that inventory is a challenge, and that made a partnership with hometown neighbor, Watco, a natural choice.

Watco’s Pittsburg Terminal consists of two separate warehouses. One is located behind the corporate headquarters building near downtown Pittsburg, and the other is on the north side of town, near Pittsburg’s Northeast Industrial Park. Together, they provide up to 85,000 square feet of space.

That space and more is needed. Backyard Discovery has several of their own warehouses in the area. Throughout each year, the company receives nearly 3,000 containers of the playsets at the Port of Long Beach in California. The playsets are moved by rail to Kansas City, where they’re loaded onto trucks and transported to the local warehouses for storage before distribution.

The Pittsburg Team unloads and stores the playsets that come to them, but also provides outbound trucking service from all warehouse locations when orders need to be filled. The Pittsburg truckers deliver nearly anywhere within about a four-hour driving radius, but hope to expand that in the future.

“There are a lot of moving parts to this operation,” said Commercial Manager Chris Goodwin. “Sometimes, we’ll load their trucks for them, but we provide a lot of the trucking services. Someday, we’d like to be able to provide that to places like Dallas or Houston as well.”

Backyard Discovery also uses the industrial park warehouse as a workspace sometimes. They assemble of some of the products there, and treat some of the wood as well. This provides a little more flexibility for the Customer. Next time you’re in the market for a backyard playset and you find yourself looking at a Backyard Discovery product, it may been transported by the Watco Team.

“Backyard Discovery has been a longtime Customer for the Pittsburg warehouse. The relationship started a long time ago, and (Terminal Manager) Bart (Maransani) has done a great job keeping the relationship going for the past couple years,” said Goodwin. “We’re happy to provide these services to another hometown business and to handle a product that keeps families across the country entertained.