SMITHFIELD, Va. – Officials with Smithfield Foods Inc., confirmed the company plans to open a new 420,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in a business park located in North East, Maryland.

The company plans to utilize the Cecil County-based facility to distribute products produced at its East Coast processing plants. Once open, the operation is expected to create approximately 240 jobs, including positions in material handling and inventory control as well as supervisors and shipping clerks.

Kenneth Sullivan, Smithfield’s president and CEO, said the new center’s location will give the company a logistical advantage in the future.

“This new distribution center is an essential part of our efforts to streamline our national logistics network to optimize our operations, while advancing our ambitious sustainability goals,” he said. “We are proud to become part of the business community in Maryland, a location that provides strategic advantages for our business and improves our ability to provide high-quality product to our customers and consumers.”

“A growing demand for Smithfield’s products is driving their new facility in Maryland, and we are proud to support this global company’s expansion,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. “With access to one-third of the US population within an overnight drive, Maryland provides a competitive advantage for a food company like Smithfield to reach a significant customer base.”