BlueGrace adding 80 jobs in Chicago – Manufacturing News

on May16

14 May 2018 | 4:00 pm

A Tampa logistics company is opening an office in downtown Chicago, with plans to add 80 jobs over the next year.

BlueGrace Logistics is leasing about 8,900 square feet at the Chicago Board of Trade Building at Jackson Boulevard and LaSalle Street. The new office opens July 9 and will be managed by Chief Operating Officer Mark Ford.

The jobs will mostly be in sales, but the company also is hiring managers and supply chain and IT professionals, said CEO Bobby Harris. The company, which employs 60 and counting in Itasca, wanted to expand in the region to tap the logistics talent market.

“If you’re an actor, you go to Hollywood,” Harris said. “If you’re in logistics, you go to Chicago.”

BlueGrace reported $231 million in revenue in 2017, a 23 percent jump from the year before. (Harris is projecting $400 million in revenue for 2018.) It has more than 500 employees and 10,000 customers, and operates 11 locations across the country. New York private-equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested $255 million in the company.

Chicago is a crowded market for third-party logistics providers, so-called “3PLs,” which offer customers supply chain management and distribution services. Coyote Logistics is based here; it, too, was a Warburg Pincus holding before the firm sold it to UPS in 2015. Echo Global Logistics, with $12.6 million in profit last year, is headquartered on the Near North Side.

Harris, who cited a deep talent pool here, said Chicago’s public transit system attracted the company downtown. He expects about half the staff to use trains or buses to commute.

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