Mohawk Global Logistics Opens Albany Office

May 5, 2006
By Michelle Kelley

Source: Kevin Tampone, Writer for The Central New York Business Journal

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NORTH SYRACUSE — A local shipping-logistics firm has opened a new location in the Albany area and has plans for additional expansion.

Mohawk Global Logistics, formerly known as Mohawk Customs & Shipping, opened its new office May 1. Mohawk’s name change took effect the same day, part of a branding effort meant to communicate the company’s services more clearly, says Gar Grannell, president of Mohawk and one of the firm’s six owners.

Grannell says the Albany market had been an expansion target for two years. The company’s first satellite location was in Rochester, which opened in 2000.

“[The Albany market] fit our strategy…,” Grannell says. “It’s located in an inland port. It has its own local customs office with its own customs inspectors, but it’s not a major gateway city like Boston or New York City.”

The 2,000-square-foot office, at 12 Avis Drive in Latham, employs five.

Mohawk has about 300 regular customers in industries like electronics, pharmaceuticals, furniture, health care, and heavy machinery. They are typically businesses — both small and large — that have high volumes of shipping, often overseas. Mohawk handles the planning, paperwork, customs work, and coordination for the shipping needs of those companies.

The firm works with subcontractors who actually transport the goods.

The shipments include items that could be sent via FedEx or UPS as well as much larger items, Grannell says.

The Albany office will provide all of the same services Mohawk’s other locations do, he adds.

And while the company’s clients are generally based in upstate New York, many of their shipments originate from and arrive at locations on the other side of the world. Firms come to Mohawk for a variety of reasons, Grannell says.

“Small companies come to us because they don’t have the resources, so they outsource,” he says. “Big companies are involved in so many other things they often would rather have someone else deal with the shipping.”

Grannell declined to comment on additional expansion targets, but says further growth is on the horizon in cities similar to the company’s current locations. Markets like Syracuse, Rochester, and Albany suit Mohawk because of the lack of competition.

“There are probably, literally thousands of companies like us in a city like New York,” says Grannell, who has been with Mohawk since 1993. “In Syracuse or Albany there are maybe a handful. In Rochester there are maybe two [handfuls].”

Mohawk was founded in 1970. Its original focus was on handling customs work for its customers. Over the years that focus broadened to export and import shipping logistics and for the past year has also included work in domestic shipping, Grannell says.

In addition to Upstate New York, the company has clients in Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Canada.

Grannell declined to comment on his company’s revenue. He attributes Mohawk’s expansion to his customers’ business practices.

“Companies continue to concentrate on their core competencies,” he says. “They’re looking for local service providers like our firm to manage their supply chains.”

The company’s 9,500-square-foot North Syracuse headquarters office employs 45 and has 7,500 square feet of warehouse space. The firm employs 15 at its 7,500-square-foot office in Rochester, where it has 5,000 square feet of warehouse space.

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