Jack Cooper Transport Co. to open a hub near General Motors plant

February 13th, 2014

News Coverage:

Transport company to open a hub near General Motors plant

Jack Cooper to invest $1.5 million in vacant facility, create 12 jobs

By Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 8:51 am

When the Jack Cooper Transport Co. resolved a serious problem for the local General Motors plant by opening a distribution facility in a former sunroom plant on Bluffton Road three years ago, company officials made it clear the location was temporary. They wanted to be closer to GM.

Now they will be.

According to documents filed with Allen County Department of Planning Services, the Kansas City, Mo.-based company plans to invest about $1.55 million in a vacant trucking terminal at 12505 Fogwell Parkway, creating 12 jobs paying between $49,000 and $70,000. The 33,440-square-foot facility is adjacent to the GM plant, which produces full-size pick-ups to be shipped by Cooper. Construction could be complete by July.

The company currently has about 290 employees in Fort Wayne, according to the application for a “phase in” which, if approved by Allen County Council, would reduce its taxes on the proposed improvements by nearly $190,000 over 10 years.

When a contract dispute between GM and Allied Systems Holdings left GM plants here and elsewhere unable to ship their vehicles, trucks from the local plant were lined up along Interstate 69 and other vacant areas near the plant.

With the help of local businessman Jerry Henry, Cooper stepped in by investing $1 million and hiring 200 employees on Bluffton Road, Director of Acquisitions Doug White told The News-Sentinel at that time that he expected the company’s relationship with GM to be a long-term deal that could require a larger Fort Wayne hub.

At the time, Allied was the nation’s largest transport carrier, and Cooper was No. 2 Allied was sued by GM and Chrysler in 2011 for allegedly “holding hostage” more than 2,400 new car and trucks worth more than $46 million.

Cooper, founded in 1928, has experienced dramatic increases in revenue since then, with annual sales of $516 million nearly double that of just three years ago. GM is its largest customer.