FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated Lexington-based Quality Logistics LLC, doing business as Longship, on opening its new office in Fayette County, a $4.3 million investment creating 155 well-paying jobs for Kentucky residents.
“Kentucky’s economy is on fire! This relocation and expansion by Longship in Lexington positions the company for continued growth in Kentucky, and I thank company leaders for their commitment to the workforce in Fayette County and the surrounding region,” Gov. Beshear said. “Longship’s roots are right here in the commonwealth, and it is yet another example of a distribution and logistics business finding success in our state. Congratulations to Longship and the Lexington community on the opening of this new facility.”
Longship’s leaders, including founder Kenny Ray Schomp, cut a ribbon at the company’s new 29,000-plus-square-foot office on Sir Barton Way. Relocated from its former operation on Newtown Pike, the larger office will accommodate additional staff to better serve the company’s growing customer base of transporters.
“I would like to personally thank our dedicated team members who work day in and day out to make Longship an industry leading third-party logistics provider,” Schomp said. “This building is not only an investment back in the community, but it is also an investment in each and every one of our dedicated staff. I could not be more excited about the opportunities this facility will provide.”
Established in Lexington in 2012, Longship is a third-party logistics provider specializing in shipping fresh, frozen and dry products. Its fleet includes refrigerated trucks, flatbeds, dry and vented vans, step deck, Conestoga and removable gooseneck trailers. The company began with a lone double-wide trailer transporting produce throughout the United States and has grown to include operations in Lexington and Nashville with a network of 400,000 trucks equipped with load-tracking GPS services and 24/7 client support.
Longship’s relocation furthers growth of Kentucky’s distribution and logistics industry, which employs nearly 80,000 people at 590 facilities statewide. Due to online ordering throughout the pandemic, warehouses and shippers saw surging demand and expansion opportunities. In the past 12 months, distribution and logistics companies committed to creating nearly 2,000 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs over the coming years with 34 facility expansions and new-location projects statewide. Those projects include nearly $285 million in private-sector investment in the commonwealth.
The new facility also supports Kentucky’s food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities employing over 52,000 people.
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton welcomed Longship’s investment.
“Longship is creating good-paying logistics jobs and investing in our community,” Mayor Gorton said. “We’re glad you’re here!”
Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington, said the project is creating quality jobs in Fayette County.
“With its prime location at the crossroads of two major interstates, Lexington has had a logistics advantage for quite some time,” Quick said. “The opening of Longship’s new expanded facility will not only add great-paying jobs for families across our region, but will also further strengthen Central Kentucky as a leader in logistics innovation. The pandemic showed just how important it was to continue delivering goods across the country, and that need has only increased since last year. Congratulations to Longship on this expansion, and we appreciate its investment in the regional economy.”
Longship’s investment and planned job creation adds to recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
Last month, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
Year-to-date, private sector new-location and expansion announcements include $2.6 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 5,500-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through July, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $23.47 before benefits, a 6.2% increase over the previous year.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May 2020 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.25 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $4.3 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 155 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $28 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Longship can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on Longship, visit Longship.us.
A detailed community profile for Fayette County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.