UPS launches logistics services at Russell center for entrepreneurs

The center now has a mini-warehouse and shipping services.

UPS has opened a mini-logistics hub inside the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs in Atlanta’s westside, selling its services to growing businesses.

Sandy Springs-based UPS now has a mini-UPS store, a mini-warehouse set up by its subsidiary Ware2Go and a training room at the UPS Logistics Launchpad facility at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) campus.

H.J. Russell & Co., one of the city’s biggest Black-owned construction firms, launched RICE in 2019 to help Black entrepreneurs and now has 200 entrepreneurs in its program.

Those that are part of the RICE program can store their merchandise at the facility and when online orders come in, staff at RICE pack and send the products to customers with two-day shipping. It’s part of a two-year-old UPS partnership with RICE and a broader $1.25 million investment by UPS and the UPS Foundation.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

L’Angela Lee had been storing all of her Honeysuckle Moon products in her home, including body butters, scrubs, and organic facial washes — and she needed more space.

Her custom products can take seven to 10 days to make and ship. But at the Launchpad, she now stores product bundles that sell for $100 and can get to customers in two days.

“I really needed that,” Lee said.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Another entrepreneur at RICE, Eva Jane Bunkley, is storing about a dozen different makeup tools and products at the Launchpad, including Eva Jane makeup bullets, eye gels and masks.

People can “go from ideation to fabrication and building a prototype, to producing a widget, packaging it, storing it, shipping it out to their customers, all at one location, ” said RICE president Jay Bailey, speaking at a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday with UPS CEO Carol Tomé and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

Helping entrepreneurs to grow and find more customers also helps UPS in the long run, by cultivating more companies that will need to ship their goods to customers.

UPS chief marketing officer Kevin Warren said USP wants to not just sell to small- and medium-sized businesses, “but to invest in them.”