Logistics company’s tech-driven transformation powers growth in Kenton County 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced third-party logistics firm Lighthouse Transportation Services LLC plans to create 64 well-paying jobs for Kentuckians across the coming years thanks to the company’s strong growth in Covington. 

Having outgrown its current office space in Kenton County, Lighthouse leaders will relocate to a larger facility, at 722 E. Scott St. The move comes amid an overhaul to center Lighthouse’s services on technology, a change prompting increases in both efficiency and customer demand. 

“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,” said Gov. Beshear. “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. 

“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 thriving 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,” Mayor 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. 

“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 Judge/Executive Knochelmann. “Congratulations to the Lighthouse team on their new corporate headquarters and the 64 new full-time jobs they are creating in Kenton County.” 

BE NKY 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.” 

Lighthouse’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic. 

In July, 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 more than $2.8 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 6,600-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 investment and job growth in the community, 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. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments. 

In addition, Lighthouse 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 Lighthouse Transportation Services, visit golighthouse.ai. 

A detailed community profile for Kenton 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.