From the Daily Journal 8-14-17
Hoekstra Transportation is growing. After 25 years at its current location on the northwest corner of the intersection of Illinois Route 1 and 17 in St. Anne, Hoekstra Transportation is moving to Kankakee in the Eastgate Industrial Park.
“We’re going from 15,000 square feet to about 32,000 square feet,” said Steve Hoekstra, president of the company.
The move, which is set for Thursday, will allow the company to better serve its employees and its customers. Hoekstra operates a regional fleet of Peterbilt and International tractors and has built its trailer pool to about 700, according to the company’s website.
The company is growing and it has increased its number of drivers, including women, and the new facility will help accommodate their needs.
“We don’t need that much space in the building, but that’s something that we can definitely use in the future,” Hoekstra said.
Hoekstra has 120 full-time employees. The new location is at 613 Eastgate Industrial Parkway, and it was most recently Rush Enterprises, a trucking company. It’s right next to the FedEx Freight facility.
Hoekstra said the company has been preparing for the one-day move.
“We don’t have a choice,” Hoekstra said. “We cut off communications on Thursday and plan to be at the new facility on Friday morning. … We’re prepared to go home Thursday from this location, and Friday morning get up and go the Eastgate facility.”
Eastgate Industrial Park is about a half mile from exit 312 interchange on Interstate 57, and it’s just 33 minutes to I-80, 30 minutes to I-55 and an hour from Chicago. Hoekstra said the proximity to I-57 played a part in the decision to move along with changing demographics.
“That’s part of it,” he said. “Now, if we want to go to lunch, you have to drive seven or eight miles. Next Friday, you can get [lunch] delivered or just go out a few blocks and get something.”
The new location also will help increase its constant need for more truck drivers.
According to a recent analysis from the American Trucking Association, the OTR Truckload industry is one area where employers are expected to face a huge national labor shortage of as much as 175,000 by 2024. It’s estimated there’s a shortage of just less than 100,000 in 2017.
“We’re positioning ourselves to be the best trucking company in the industry,” Hoekstra said.
The current St. Anne location will be available for lease or can be purchased, Hoekstra said. Hoekstra Transportation will be holding an open house at its new location on Sept. 10.