Economic Development, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

Trucking company rolls into market

March 24, 2016
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Knight Transportation truck
Knight Transportation, founded in 1990, operates a national trucking network. Photo via

A trucking company with a national network is planning to enter the West Michigan market and create 87 jobs.

Phoenix-based Knight Transportation will invest $574,000 to establish its first logistics branch in Michigan in Grand Rapids, at 555 4th St. NW, The Right Place announced yesterday.

Knight Transportation plans for the branch to be a home for its transportation management and brokerage division.

It will house customer service and account management staff and focus on developing efficient transportation solutions for customers.

The jobs will be created over three years.

Mike McClelland, SVP at Knight Transportation, said when selecting a site for the new office, the company felt it was important to locate in a city with a vibrant and growing economy that provides access to a highly skilled workforce.

“The Grand Rapids community and surrounding area gives access to some of the most distinguished colleges and universities and also gives our employees a great place to live,” McClelland said.

Local support

Local, regional and state partners such as The Right Place, city of Grand Rapids, Michigan Economic Development Corp., or MEDC, and West Michigan Works! supported Knight’s entry into the market.

The Right Place in Grand Rapids worked with Indianapolis-based Ginovus, a third-party site selection and corporate relocation firm, to help bring Knight Transportation to West Michigan.

Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place, said the region’s unique geographic location requires special attention to freight movement in and out of the market.

“Strengthening the logistics and supply chain network in West Michigan creates a more competitive environment for the region’s manufacturing companies,” Klohs said. “The addition of Knight Transportation will further enhance West Michigan’s freight network.”

The city of Grand Rapids is considering the approval of a property tax abatement for the company.

MEDC approved a $300,000 Michigan Strategic Fund grant for the branch.

West Michigan Works! has offered $140,000 in workforce development funding and assistance for hiring and on-the-job training.

“We are committed to ensuring that they have the qualified workforce for success and growth in West Michigan,” said Jacob Maas, CEO, West Michigan Works!

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