When Jerry Melton and his wife Penny established Carolina Paper Tubes (CPT) in 1978 they were no strangers to the paper core industry. Before CPT, Mr. Melton worked for a California-based operation which manufactured paper cores distributed throughout the west coast. “In the late 70’s my wife and I began exploring the opportunity to create our own business,” said Melton. Careful not to compete directly with my current employer I scouted business locations throughout the eastern United States. “Penny and I hoped to relocate to an area which not only had a great business climate but would afford our family a quality of life not found in the Los Angeles region.” Western North Carolina was an ideal fit. In addition to being located at the very center of the east coast market, the community offered a number of advantages we couldn’t find anywhere else: a mild, four-season climate, a great school system and excellent access to large metro areas.
The facility in Zirconia is certainly a unique manufacturing destination. Most visitors are surprised by the rural location. Unlike many manufacturing companies, CPT’s most recognizable neighbors include the Green River and the various camps located in southern Henderson County. Despite the somewhat untraditional manufacturing location, Carolina Paper Tubes’ proximity to Interstate 26 and US-25 allow for easy transport of product and supplies. The location allows trucks efficient access to the region’s surrounding metro areas including: Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte and Atlanta.
Since establishing the company in the late 1970’s North Carolina’s economy underwent a number of significant changes; once a premier destination for textiles, Melton recognized early on that many of those operations were pursuing international markets. Remaining viable meant the company would have to make strategic investments to keep ahead of the global marketplace. “Carolina Paper Tubes was proactive. Instead of focusing solely on textile operations the company made critical investments in our workforce and machines which allowed us to capitalize on growing markets. Today Carolina Paper Tubes serves a diverse customer base which is located throughout the United States,” says Melton.
As the company’s customer base has expanded Carolina Paper Tubes has made continuous investments in the operation. What started as a 20,000 square foot facility has more than doubled and now employs thirty workers. “The company has come a long way. Investments in efficient equipment have allowed our employees to produce one of the largest selections of paper cores/tubes on the market today. We manufacture paper tubes which range from 14” to 53’ feet in length. Most products can be customized based on a customers needs. For example, even before recycled material was expected, Carolina Paper Tubes worked with the production team to convert the company’s entire line to 100% recycled paper. Carolina Paper Tubes has also been able to offer our customers the ability to comply with ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing practices. Depending on production volume the company can fulfill nearly any order within 10 business days and because the operation maintains its own delivery fleet, customer orders are processed more efficiently than those operations utilizing overseas shipping lanes and third-party logistics carriers.”
As Carolina Paper Tubes moves forward they continue to identify markets which they feel the company has a competitive advantage. “Henderson County is home to a number of substantial operations which process engineered materials, nonwoven materials and label stock.” According to Melton, “Carolina Paper Tubes proximity to these markets coupled with our superior product make for a compelling partnership.” Over the next few years CPT plans to utilize these strategic advantages to expand their presence within the local marketplace. “We feel we are in an excellent position to offer substantial cost savings. As fuel costs and competition for freight services increase over the next year, Carolina Paper Tubes is in an excellent position to partner with local manufacturing firms to supply their paper core needs.”
For more information about Carolina Paper Tubes or to request a product sample please contact Jerry Melton at 828-692-9686.