Automotive

Nov 01, 2021

Greater Chattanooga is the ‘Silicon Valley of Freight’

Among the multitude of advantages Greater Chattanooga offers as a center of commerce, its location and collection of transportation assets rank near the top.

The region has built an impressive logistics and distribution sector that leverages a pool of skilled talent and access to major interstate corridors, Class I freight rail service, river barge shipping and commercial air service that has earned the region the nickname The Silicon Valley of Freight.

A truckload of major logistics companies call the region home, among them Covenant Transport, U.S. Xpress and Kenco Group, the nation’s largest woman-owned third-party logistics company. A newer entrant, Arrive Logistics, invested $3.6 million to expand its freight brokerage operations into the region. Officials with the Austin, Texas-based company say they chose to establish a branch office in Chattanooga because of the region’s strong logistics presence in the Southeast, where it is within a day’s drive of one-third of the U.S. population. Arrive Logistics plans to create about 500 new jobs in Chattanooga over the next few years.

Thriving Inland Port

The 16-county region offers a ready supply of industrial parks and shovel-ready sites, several of which have been certified through state programs such as Tennessee Certified Sites, Alabama’s Advantage Site and Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development. Recent industrial park additions to the region include Spring Branch Industrial Park in Bradley County, Tennessee. Murray County, Georgia, has purchased a 382-acre parcel in Chatsworth to develop a regional business and industrial center.

Murray County is home to the Appalachian Regional Port, an intermodal facility that opened in 2018. The port allows large containers to be hauled by truck for loading onto CSX freight trains, which then transport them 335 miles to the deepwater Port of Savannah. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga assembly plant is one of the largest Appalachian Regional Port customers.

GE Appliances selected Murray County in 2019 for a $32 million logistics operation. The new facility, which opened in 2020 about a mile from the port, coordinates parts shipments to nine GE factories and warehouses in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Successful Young Companies

The critical mass of companies makes the region fertile ground for innovative logistics-related startups. Inc. magazine recently named 13 companies in the Greater Chattanooga region among the nation’s fastest-growing firms, and eight of those companies are involved with logistics.

“Chattanooga has a rich history in logistics and trucking, so we wanted to start and grow our company here,” says Barry Large, general partner with Dynamo Management Co., a Chattanooga venture capital firm founded in 2017.

Dynamo invests in innovative supply chain and mobility startups that utilize technology and better practices to move the industry forward. Large says Dynamo’s portfolio includes about 30 companies, 10 of which are international startups. Dynamo is an investor in Chattanooga-based WorkHound, which produces workforce software so truck drivers can provide real-time anonymous employee feedback to their companies. Dynamo hopes to add another 75 to 100 companies to its portfolio over the next 10 years, Large says.

“We are enjoying a nice rate of growth here in Chattanooga,” he says.

Another triumphant example of logistics success is FreightWaves, a Chattanooga startup that uses a data analytics software platform called SONAR to understand how things like weather, economic activity, technology and regulations change the freight markets. FreightWaves, which won the Chattanooga Chamber’s 2019 Spirit of Innovation Award, has raised more than $75 million in venture funding, including $37 million in two rounds of funding in early 2020.

By Kevin Litwin

Read Full Article

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Oct 26, 2021

Steam Logistics to Expand Operations in Chattanooga

Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe Announce Steam Logistics to Expand Operations in Chattanooga

  • Third-party logistics company to invest nearly $7 million
  • The expansion will create more than 400 new jobs in Hamilton County

Chatanooga, Tenn. (Oct. 2021) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and Steam Logistics officials announced today that the company will expand its existing operations in downtown Chattanooga, creating more than 400 new jobs.

Founded in 2012, the Chattanooga-based logistics business will invest $6.8 million to expand its operations into the historic John Ross building, which will adjoin Steam Logistics’ existing offices at the corner of Broad and Fourth Streets.

As one of the fastest-growing third-party logistics companies in the U.S., Steam provides integrated logistics solutions across international, drayage, and domestic transportation modes to more than 2,000 customers globally.

Over the last five years, TNECD has supported more than 40 economic development projects in Hamilton County, resulting in approximately 6,000 job commitments and $1.8 billion in capital investment.

QUOTES

“I appreciate Steam Logistics’ continued investment in Tennessee. The company’s commitment to creating more than 400 new jobs will have a positive impact on the residents of Hamilton County for years to come.”– Gov. Bill Lee

“Since 2016, companies in the transportation, distribution, and logistics sector have invested $4.5 billion in Tennessee. Steam Logistics’ $7 million investment in Chattanooga will add to that growing number while strengthening Tennessee’s position as a leader in this industry.” – TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe

“We are proud to be a Tennessee business and to call Chattanooga our home. We have seen the dramatic growth of our industry in this city, and we look forward to continuing to do our part to drive it forward and to create excellent employment opportunities for the people of this region. The investments we are making are a testament to the supportive business environment in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and Tennessee, and we are excited about the contributions we are making here.” – Jason Provonsha, CEO, Steam Logistics

“As Hamilton County’s logistics industry continues to thrive, we applaud Steam Logistics’ decision to be a part of the economic growth in our region. We are delighted with this expansion, which will create 400 new positions along with the promise of additional hires in the near future.” – Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger

“With the convergence of the critical infrastructure needed to move goods in and through our region –road, rail, air, and barge– combined with Chattanooga’s scenic beauty and overall quality-of-life, it’s no wonder the logistics industry continues to thrive here. Freight Alley welcomes Steam Logistics. We’re excited about the increase in employment and shared prosperity this expansion will bring to our community.” – City of Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly

“TVA and EPB congratulate Steam Logistics on its decision to expand operations and create hundreds of new job opportunities in Chattanooga. It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s commitment to continued growth in the Valley. We are proud to partner with Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to support companies, like Steam Logistics and look forward to their continued business success.” – John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development\

­“The expansion of Steam Logistics to create more than 400 new jobs is huge for Hamilton County and is a testament to our strong local economy. As one of the fastest-growing third-party logistics companies, I am glad Steam Logistics has been so successful in Chattanooga, and I look forward to their continued success.” – Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga)

“Congratulations to the men and women of Steam Logistics for their success and great news of expansion. I join Governor Bill Lee and the Department of Economic and Community Development in applauding the 400 new good-paying jobs and investment for our community and region.” –  Rep. Robin Smith (R-Hixson)

“This project represents the staggering impact our entrepreneurs can have on Chattanooga as they attract and grow world-class talent and invest in our community.” – Charles Wood, VP of Economic Development, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

Since 2015, the Chattanooga Chamber has assisted with new business locations and expansions totaling over $2.5 billion in investments and over 8,300 jobs.

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Oct 26, 2021

Lodge Manufacturing Company to Expand to Marion County Operations


This project represents an investment of $56 million and the creation of more than 200 jobs

Lodge, America’s oldest manufacturer of cast iron cookware, has operated in South Pittsburg since 1896

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and Lodge Manufacturing Company officials today announced the company will invest $56 million to expand its South Pittsburg facility, where it has operated for 125 years.

In order to meet increased demand, Lodge will expand and reconfigure its existing facility and add additional manufacturing equipment to enhance production capabilities. Lodge will create 239 new jobs as a result of the expansion.

Founded in 1896, Lodge is a fifth-generation, family-owned company that manufactures the largest selection of American-made cast iron cookware. Lodge operates two foundries in South Pittsburg, the second of which opened in 2017 and increased the company’s manufacturing capacity by 75%.

Lodge offers a variety of products ranging from its signature seasoned cast iron to enameled cast iron and carbon steel cookware. Customers can also shop a wide range of items specifically made for grilling or baking.

For more information about Lodge Manufacturing Company, visit lodgecastiron.com. To view open positions, visit lodgecastiron.com/careers.

QUOTES
“For 125 years, Lodge has called South Pittsburg home and relied on skilled Tennesseans to make products that last for generations. I’m proud that this respected brand continues to thrive in our state, and we thank the company for its additional investment in Southeast Tennessee.” – Gov. Bill Lee

“Lodge is a storied American brand whose products can be found in homes and eateries around the world. We are proud to be home to this 125-year-old family-owned company and appreciate Lodge for its continued investment and the addition of over 200 new, family-wage jobs in Marion County.” – TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe

“The Lodge business has thrived because of its commitment to quality, innovation, people, and community. These four pillars make Lodge a special place to work, and we are proud to call South Pittsburg, Tennessee home. Consumers in the U.S. and around the world are spending more time cooking and cooking in cast iron makes everything taste better. We are blessed with strong demand for our brand and are excited to continue to invest in our future.” – Mike Otterman, president/CEO, Lodge Manufacturing

“For the last 125 years, by providing a superior product to literally the world, Lodge Cast Iron has been a cornerstone for South Pittsburg’s economy. This expansion will continue that growth for generations to come. With the addition of the Cast Iron Museum and the new Lodge restaurant, thousands more cast iron lovers will come to see ‘what’s cookin’’ in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.” – South Pittsburg Mayor Samantha Rector

“This is the third expansion in the last ten years, which means Lodge makes a great product. We are very excited for Lodge and its employees; the growth of Lodge is due to the hard work of all of the employees. This expansion will provide for more good-paying jobs for our community. We look forward to the continued growth of Lodge in the years to come.” – Marion County Mayor David Jackson

“TVA and Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative congratulate Lodge Manufacturing on its decision to expand operations in Marion County. It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate one of our region’s most long-standing companies and its continued commitment to growth in the Valley. We are proud to partner with Marion County Government, City of South Pittsburg Government, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help support companies, like Lodge Manufacturing’s business success.” – John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development

“This major expansion of Lodge Manufacturing is a testament to the unique assets of Marion County and South Pittsburg. This includes our low taxes, top-notch workforce, and high quality of life. Congratulations to Lodge and to all our state and local officials who worked to secure these jobs. We look forward to seeing much success from this jobs investment as we build a more prosperous future for our communities.” – Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma)

“I am very excited to see the positive impact the Lodge Manufacturing expansion will have on our community. This is a huge win that will create more than 200 jobs for Tennesseans.” – Rep. Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill)

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

TNECD Media Contact
Jennifer McEachern
Director of Communications and Marketing
(615) 336-2689
jennifer.mceachern@tn.gov

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Oct 21, 2021

Greater Chattanooga Freight Hub Database Planned

In a multi-state collaboration, Cleveland State Community College will support Thrive Regional Partnership and Georgia Tech in the development of the Greater Chattanooga Freight Hub database.

The hub is an open source database to understand freight capacity and explore multimodal freight transportation in the tri-state region.

“This collaboration truly reflects the value of approaching a challenge across boundaries,” said Bridgett Massengill, CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership in Chattanooga.

The collaboration is concurrent with the development of a logistics and supply chain management degree program at Cleveland State. It’s designed to connect students of the region to career opportunities in the transportation industry. Under the project leadership of Thrive and Georgia Tech, a student data technician from Cleveland State Community College will support the creation and maintenance of the hub, officials said.

Cleveland State President William Seymour said the effort will benefit local industry through the creation of the hub while providing a much-needed logistics and supply chain management program.

Story by Chattanooga Times Free Press 

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Oct 01, 2021

Why Greater Chattanooga is the Perfect Place to Be

Greater Chattanooga’s lifestyle appeals to young professionals.

A lower cost of living, abundant career opportunities, ease of getting around, a lively and diverse arts tradition and abundant recreation opportunities create an inviting atmosphere to draw talent.

This doesn’t surprise Susan Gregg Gilmore, a real estate agent, Southern fiction novelist and proud resident of Chattanooga’s revitalized Southside neighborhood.

“Chattanooga draws you in like a moth to a flame,” she says. “The mountains, river, community, energy and affordability – all make it the perfect place to live, whether you are a young professional or raising a family.”

 

Checking All the Boxes

The 16-county region that encompasses southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama checks all the top quality-of-life boxes. Outdoor opportunities are abundant and accessible. The Tennessee River meanders through the heart of the region, and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains offer opportunities to fish, paddle, hike, climb or hang glide.

Readers of Outdoor Magazine twice voted Chattanooga “Best Town Ever.”

Chattanooga is a bike-friendly place with numerous designated bike paths. If you don’t have your own two wheels, the Chattanooga Bike Transit system for riders 16 and older provides public access to 300 bicycles and 33 docking stations.

 

Infused With Art

Travel publisher Frommer’s tagged the Chattanooga Market as one of the best public markets in the U.S., where you can find everything from sculptures made from recycled materials to organic vegetables. The Hunter Museum of American Art anchors the Bluff View Art District of charming galleries and coffee shops. The free, 33-acre, open-air Sculpture Fields at Montague Park is home to 40 colossal pieces called impressive public art by The New York Times.

.

Livability.com named Chattanooga one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2019, in part because of its affordability, especially in housing costs. The median home value is $200,000 – and its overall living costs are 8% below the national average.

The region’s energy and promise has caught the eye of developers like John “Thunder” Thornton of Thunder Enterprises, the force behind Jasper Highlands, a premier residential gated mountain community in Marion County, Tennessee. The development features a community village with numerous parks and recreation areas, workout facilities and a new restaurant and brewery.

Thornton recently turned his attention to Riverton, a planned mixed-use community on 200 acres of a former mill site in Lupton City, a neighborhood in Chattanooga near the Tennessee River. Thornton envisions 400 homes around a village of neighborhood restaurants, stores and medical offices, a project that could generate $300 million in investment over a five-year period.

Another mixed-use property slated for 112 acres on the Tennessee River will transform the former Alstom manufacturing site. Bought by Urban Story Ventures, the West End location will be built in phases during the next 20 to 25 years, bringing a projected $2 billion to $3 billion in investments to the site and more than 5,000 jobs.

In Cleveland, TN, a long-term Downtown Redevelopment Master Plan has been rolled out to transform the industrial city center into a vibrant district. Proposed green spaces, hotels, restaurants, and event, music and sports venues, plus affordable housing, are all amenities attractive to young adults.

 

So Many Choices

Young buyers have a range of options in Greater Chattanooga, from urban settings to suburban communities, rural settings and small towns. And, depending on you ZIP code, commute times average 25 minutes.

Amber Robertson, who, along with her husband, Chris, owns Chattanooga Dental Studio, wanted a home in a rural setting.

“We choose to live in the Ooltewah area because we still have access to all the excellent schools in Chattanooga, and we have a touch of the country life,” Robertson says. “We didn’t want our two daughters to grow up thinking a horse or a cow was an exotic animal. Plus, we are only a short drive from downtown.”

 

By Patsy B. Weiler, Livability.com
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Sep 20, 2021

VW Chattanooga on Track to Hire 1,000 More Workers

Volkswagen Chattanooga is on pace to hire 1,000 more workers in the next year to build the ID.4 electric SUV in the third quarter of 2022 and add a third shift, an official said Tuesday.

While hiring will ramp up at the plant and put it at more than 4,500 employees, the factory is in pre-production of the ID.4, the battery-powered vehicle that is spearheading the automaker’s electric future in America, according to the company.

“Chattanooga is our heart,” Johan de Nysschen, chief operating officer said to the group of journalists in the city to test drive Volkswagen’s ID.4 electric SUV and tour the plant’s expanded body shop and new battery assembly facility.

Next year, the 3.4-millionsquare-foot factory will start production of the ID.4, a vehicle that VW officials have said is the opening salvo in an SUV EV offensive in America. While now produced in Germany, ID.4 assembly in Chattanooga is expected to lead to another hiring surge at the factory that employs about 4,000 workers now.

VW is spending $800 million to expand the Chattanooga plant, which now builds the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs and Passat sedan. But VW officials have said that Volkswagen Chattanooga will cease assembly of the Passat sedan this winter as it readies for EV production in 2022.

Story by Mike Pare, Chattanooga Times Free Press 

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Sep 14, 2021

Tech Company Devnet Announces Chattanooga Expansion

Automated property tax tech company DEVNET will open new operations in Chattanooga. This government software solutions company will be using automated tax property solutions to allow for modern and scalable support to municipalities, counties and government entities.

“We welcome DEVNET as the latest tech company to locate in Hamilton County,” says Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “This project will help attract additional tech companies and talent in our region.”

DEVNET’s Edge™ product line offers Integrated Land Records Management solutions for Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA), Assessment Administration, Billing, Collection, Permitting, Records Management, wEdge e-government and Mapping GIS Capabilities.

“The continued growth of Chattanooga’s technology industry is critical for Chattanooga’s long term economic success,” said Charles Wood, Vice President Economic Development, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have been proud to support DEVNET with their location and growth in downtown Chattanooga.”

DEVNET will bring more than 20 new tech jobs as well as a suite of solutions that include Tax Claims, Permitting and Zoning, Tax Calculation and more.

“We are excited to have DEVNET join our growing tech community,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “Attracting companies like this to Chattanooga will continue to help build a great technology talent pool and create high paying jobs for Chattanoogans.”

Since 2015, the Chattanooga Chamber has assisted with new business locations and expansions totaling over $2.5 billion in investments and over 8,300 jobs.

About Devnet Inc. Services

DEVNET Inc. is a privately held company that was founded in 1997 on the principles of providing integrated software and hardware solutions to local government by providing them:

  • Fully Integrated Property Tax System
  • All-Inclusive Pricing
  • Iterative Version – the DEVNET Inc. commitment that your solution will remain modern
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable Support
  • Relationship Focused Company

DEVNET Inc. products, services, and customer experiences have proven positive as DEVNET Inc. currently serves a total of over 120 jurisdictions spanning across Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Sep 13, 2021

Meet a Spotify Project Manager that Works Remotely from Chattanooga!

Sukriti Chadha, who works remotely as a mobile and accessibility project manager at Spotify, highlights several advantages of living in the Scenic City. Those assets include the area’s lower cost of living, tight-knit community, hobbyist scene, and art scene, to name a few.

A native of India who moved to the U.S. to study at Princeton University, Chadha offers unique perspectives on Chattanooga to Business Insider’s broad audience. Her perspectives showcase the area’s diversity, business and lifestyle opportunities, and the community’s reputation for welcoming newcomers with open arms.

Click here to read the Business Insider article

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