Quick Loadz Container System (QuickLoadz), a rapidly growing manufacturer of patented truck beds and trailers that automatically load and unload shipping containers, announced today its expansion into the Bill Theisen Industrial Park in Athens County.
The announcement was made in London as QuickLoadz celebrated its graduation from the London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE Program, a program in partnership with JobsOhio. Designed to provide high-growth potential companies with intensive education, business support, and direct contact with the international financial and advisory community, QuickLoadz was one of ten companies from southeastern Ohio to complete the program.
“The ELITE program is helping us support important growth opportunities in Ohio, and the expansion of QuickLoadz today is the perfect example of how this partnership can help propel new job creation across the state,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “I’m confident that JobsOhio’s strategic investment in these Southeast Ohio companies will continue to support new growth in the region.”
QuickLoadz plans to add 40 new jobs and grow to 52 employees over the next three years as it expands its production capacity and grows sales of their unique shipping system.
“QuickLoadz is a great example of how innovative companies can establish a business in southeast Ohio and continue to thrive and grow,” said Dana Saucier, JobsOhio Vice President and Head of Economic Development. “This investment demonstrates the confidence QuickLoadz has in Athens County’s talent, and brings new opportunity to a vacant facility there.”
Company owner Sean Jones founded the business in 2013, after inventing a microcomputer-controlled system that allows operators to complete the container moving process from a smart phone.
“QuickLoadz products are unique, patented and in high demand. The increased production capacity will allow the company to grow quickly, creating high-wage, high-skilled jobs in southeastern Ohio,” said Jones.
The QuickLoadz system allows drivers to back their truck up to a container using a rearview camera viewed on their phone, then push a button on the phone that lowers the trailer to ground level. A lift goes under the container to pick it up, and the trailer uses built-in hooks, chains and rollers to grab the container and move it smoothly onto the truck bed. The result is a transfer that is quicker and safer.
Jones was originally in the mobile storage business and daily experienced the need for a more efficient way to move shipping containers. He applied his engineering, business and storage backgrounds to the problem and QuickLoadz was born.
It was not long before the demand for the product exceeded the company’s ability to keep up with orders. Major customers, including moving and shipping companies and government agencies, wanted more units than QuickLoadz could provide.
The move from a small building in Nelsonville to the 47,000 square foot building in the industrial park will enable QuickLoadz to take more orders, reduce delivery times, and increase sales. That, in turn, will result in new jobs for skilled, well-paid workers to fabricate and assemble the trailers and truck beds and manage the growing company.
QuickLoadz is renovating and moving into a building that has been vacant since 2014 and had fallen into disrepair. The property has housed several different businesses over the years and was originally the location of Columbus & Southern Power’s Poston Power Plant.
“QuickLoadz has been a familiar face in the thriving Athens entrepreneurial scene,” commented Sara Marrs-Maxfield, Executive Director of Athens County EDC. “We are very excited that the company will stay in the county as they mature and continue to be successful. This is a great example of growing your own, and we are thankful that JobsOhio and APEG recognize the value of supporting emerging companies that already exist in the region.”
The company will invest approximately $1.2 million to renovate the building and to get it ready for increased production. JobsOhio and the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) assisted the company in obtaining a $300,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant to renovate the property. The program is designed to encourage redevelopment of underutilized properties and support companies that are creating new jobs and investing capital in fixed assets.
“We are very pleased we could support a smaller growing company that is doing world class business from right here in southeastern Ohio,” commented APEG President Mike Jacoby. “QuickLoadz is a leading example of a local company combining innovation with manufacturing expertise to grow, create jobs and positively impact our economy.”
Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC), a new federally designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), provided financial advisory and analysis services to QuickLoadz during their planning phase. AGC also linked the company to secondary lenders, one of which ultimately provided financing for the expansion project.
“QuickLoadz is creating jobs and making excellent products, and we are pleased to be able to support their growth,” said AGC Executive Vice President Brad Blair.