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Lighthouse Transportation Expanding, Relocating in Covington

A Covington-based third-party logistics firm is expanding and changing locations in Covington.

Lighthouse Transportation Services is moving from its home on Sixth Street, an historic former Covington firehouse now home to an axe-throwing business on the first floor and Lighthouse on the second, to 722 Scott Blvd., a building currently undergoing a renovation.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $350,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $400,000 and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 64 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $27 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. 

Governor Andy Beshear celebrated the company's news.

“While this expansion serves as yet another shining example of Kentucky’s national leadership in logistics, it also showcases our state’s strides in supporting tech-driven businesses like Lighthouse Transportation Services,” Beshear said in an announcement. “With its emphasis on innovation and commitment to providing Kentuckians with quality opportunities, Lighthouse is an excellent representative of Kentucky’s business community and offers further evidence of the commonwealth’s strong economic momentum. Congratulations to all involved in making this expansion happen.”

The $400,000 investment to lease and upgrade the new facility positions Lighthouse for future growth and will allow the company to gradually expand its workforce across the next decade, the company said in the announcement.

“We are excited to continue our tremendous growth in the city of Covington and we appreciate how amazing they have been in this process,” said Lighthouse CEO Nick Lanham. “Our collective investment will allow us to scale and continue investing in people and technology.”

This year, Lighthouse leaders revamped their strategy with an eye toward digitally transforming the business. Toward that end, the company hired Silicon Valley tech founder and executive Jeff Dangelo to reimagine the supply chain experience through technology and transparency.

Lighthouse also invested in Turvo, a supply chain network software designed to help shippers, logistics providers and carriers collaborate and operate more efficiently. The technology automates more than 75% of the company’s manual tasks and gives its customers a world-class experience. The impact has been tremendous, helping Lighthouse more than double revenues from last year and land several full-outsource shipper customers already this year.

Complementing the company’s new strategies, Lighthouse in June announced its acquisition of Florence-based freight transportation company NTL Trucking, bolstering Lighthouse’s growth and allowing it to increase its service offerings.

Founded in 1987, Lighthouse provides logistics services to Fortune 500 companies as well as fully outsourced supply chain technology and managed services to small and mid-sized shippers.

Lighthouse adds to Kentucky’s logistics and distribution industry, which employs nearly 80,000 people at 590 facilities statewide.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer noted that Lighthouse joins a growing cluster of corporate headquarters in the city.

“This was a case where Covington’s recent push to develop Class A office space paid off in just a matter of days,” Meyer said. “Lighthouse had looked for months for the right space to relocate because of its growth. Just when they were ready to make a decision on a location, we were able to connect them with a building owner who had just announced plans to renovate what turned out to be the perfect building for them.”

Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann celebrated Lighthouse’s growth and expansion, too.

“Lighthouse is truly a Northern Kentucky entrepreneurship success story. The founders have achieved steady growth, adding to their team and incorporating technology to fuel their success,” said Knochelmann. “Congratulations to the Lighthouse team on their new corporate headquarters and the 64 new full-time jobs they are creating in Kenton County.”

Northern Kentucky Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume said Lighthouse is a key contributor to innovation in the supply chain.

“Lighthouse is a shining example of an innovative company that is leveraging technology to grow their business and add employees in the Cincinnati region,” Crume said. “With our base of manufacturers and two global cargo hubs at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), logistics and transportation companies play a critical role in growing our region’s tech economy.”

-Staff report