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Robert Trigaux

Transportation logisitics firm Blue Grace gears up for expansion with 50 hires



BobbyHarrisCEOBlueGraceLogisticsBrandon You read it here first on Jan. 15 when we learned up-and-comer Blue Grace Logistics is expanding from 2,000 to 12,000 square feet in Riverview and planning to hire 50 people. Now the company's formally announcing its growth and hiring plans here in this news release.

I admit I was not familiar with Blue Grace until last week. So CEO Bobby Harris (in photo) and I got acquainted by telephone and talked about his company and where it's going. It's a classic entrepreneurial story, but let's get the obvious question out of the way first. Where did the Blue Grace name come from? Blue and Grace are the middle names of his two daughters.

The company's expertise, transportation logistics, means it helps businesses of all sizes most efficiently handle their shipping needs. It's a surprisingly complex industry with plenty of competition, which does not bother Harris whatsoever. Blue Grace's strength, he says, lies in its information technology and software systems that allow the business to cater to very big and very modest sized companies.

The company was started in 2007 and gained momentum in 2008 after global shipping giant DHL opted to leave the U.S. market. Blue Grace has 38 employees in three locations, though there are "Blue Grace" franchises around the country which makes the business seem larger than it is. Harris, 35, says the company relocated from Apollo Beach ("where the labor market was tough") to Riverview -- actually on the border of Brandon -- to find bigger and better space to accommodate new employees. He's  building a call center of people whose mission is to sell logistics services to businesses and manage existing clients. Harris says the pay range for the 50 jobs ranges from $30,000 to $80,000 though the high end jobs (like a company controller) are few.

Want to know more about these job openings? Go to the Blue Grace Web site and click on "Careers" or call 1-800-MY-SHIPPING (800-697-4477). Good luck.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:27am]


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