It was December 1971 when Ohio Distribution Warehouse opened its first warehouse in Columbus, OH. Bob Ness, Chairman of ODW Logistic, and John Berend, retired co-founder, had a vision for warehousing and distribution,“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers.” So, with a $5,000 loan, they leased an 88,000 sq. ft. facility on Refugee Road and founded Ohio Distribution Warehouse, Inc. Within the first month, the facility was fully occupied with satisfied clients and profitable. As the company expanded services and beyond Ohio, it was rebranded as ODW Logistics. Today, ODW Logistics has over 240 clients and operates 25 distribution centers in 10 markets across the United States. In addition to warehousing and distribution, Dist-Trans operates a fleet of power units serving the Midwest, and ODW LTS is a full-service transportation management company offering freight brokerage and managed transportation solutions for clients across the country. “Hard work, honesty, integrity, and our people made us a success,” shared Bob Ness who is retired but remains active with the ODW/Ness Family Foundation.
When we started ODW, we believed customers would find value in a company that provided quality services delivered by people with integrity. I’m delighted how well it has worked as we’ve grown handsomely right along with Columbus.
Bob Ness | Founder
The logistics industry is always evolving and ODW Logistics continues to provide innovative solutions. We have autonomous mobile robots working side-by-side with our employees, technology solutions that provide track and traceability for our clients, and automated e-commerce fulfillment.
We continue to progress and advance our solutions to deliver value to our clients, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to our people and Columbus.
John Ness | CEO
John credits the company’s growth to its people, culture, and values. ODW’svalues are Trust, Team, and Opportunity, which are the foundation of the company. We build TRUST with our associates and clients, accomplish more together as a TEAM, and create OPPORTUNITY by encouraging everyone to realize their potential professionally and in the world around us. We remain committed to our associates and encourage continuous learning, career development, and giving back to their community. To recognize associates, we celebrate individuals with our Delivering the Difference award program. This honor spotlights associates who promote our values and show leadership by delivering exceptional customer service. Today, ODW Logistics has over 1,600 associates. To promote open communication and support our growing workforce, the company launched a new benefit in 2018. The ODW Care Team visits ODW facilities weekly to check-in on associates. The ODW Care Team includes chaplains who are skilled and trained to support people facing personal challenges. The model works as over 14,000 confidential conversations occurred in 2020 alone. ODW also offers an Employee Fund administered by The Columbus Foundation to assist associates facing financial hardships. Funding comes from company profits, shareholder and employee contributions.
We’ve found this personal engagement has helped build employee morale and the family culture of ODW.
Michelle Beiter | VP of HR
ODW has a long history of supporting our community and company growth has enabled a broader and deeper impact. Our 2020 Community Impact report highlights the organizations we support through volunteering and the work of the ODW/ Ness Family Foundation. The following are just a few of the great organizations we engage within our community: ODW Logistics participates in the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk. Hundreds of ODW Logistics employees raise money, volunteer, and walk to raise awareness of heart disease in central Ohio. ODW Logistics has supported the heart walk for 12 years and continues to raise money for this great cause. ODW Logistics is a proud partner of Pelotonia. Over 8,000 riders participate in this 3-day cycling event and raise money for cancer research at the Ohio State University. ODW Logistics drivers volunteer and support Pelotonia by safely transporting bicycles with our 53’ trailers. Toys for Tots helps spread the joy of Christmas by providing new toys to less fortunate children during the holidays. Every year, ODW Logistics employees donate thousands of toys and which are delivered to families across the community. ODW Logistics is proud to call Columbus our home for 50 years. We look forward to continuing our growth and supporting our community for decades to come.