SMITHFIELD, VA. – Smithfield Foods Inc. has unveiled plans to open a new 420,000-square-foot distribution center in Principio Business Park located in North East, Maryland.

The Cecil County-based facility will be used to distribute Smithfield products produced at the company's East Coast processing plants. Once in operation, the distribution center is expected to create approximately 240 jobs, including positions in material handling and inventory control as well as supervisors and shipping clerks.

“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,” said Kenneth Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield. “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.”

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz added, “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. 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.”