Shawnee Trucking Co. expands hub in Clifton with $13.5M in loans from EDA, ConnectOne

By driving a truck himself, Valdivia was able to identify some delays in the delivery ecosystem that he believed could be remedied with streamlined processes.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and ConnectOne Bank announced on Friday they have provided nearly $13.5 million in loans to support Shawnee Trucking Co. expand on its logistics and trucking hub in Clifton.

“The transportation and logistics sector is a major contributor to our economy, accounting for close to 200,000 private sector jobs and $23 billion into the economy,” Paul Ceppi, managing director of business development for the NJEDA, said. “Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s leadership, we’re working with our partners in the industry to establish New Jersey as the nation’s pre-eminent transport technology hub. Small businesses up and down the supply chain play a pivotal role in making that happen.”

Shawnee Trucking operates as a transportation and logistics company, providing trucking and delivery services between Virginia and Main.

At year-end 2019, Shawnee Trucking used funding from the NJEDA’s Premier Lending Program to buy a 6-acre property in Clifton to serve as its national headquarters. The property has a 121,000-square-foot warehouse, 4,000 square feet of office space and a 2-acre parking lot. Financing included a $11.52 million ConnectOne Bank loan and a $2 million NJEDA participation.

“We chose to base our operations in the Garden State because of its strategic location at the center of the Northeast Corridor, its proximity and easy access to ports throughout the region, its first-rate infrastructure and its dynamic workforce within the state,” Shawnee Trucking Founder Balram “Chris” Lall said. “We’re grateful that NJEDA and ConnectOne Bank support has enabled us to grow our business and expand our customer base.”

Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi echoed Lall’s sentiments.

“Clifton sits at the crossroads of the Garden State Parkway and Rt. 3, just a short drive from the Lincoln Tunnel and the Port of Newark,” Anzaldi said. “Our centralized spot makes us ideal for transportation and logistics companies such as Shawnee Trucking and we encourage other businesses in this vital sector to come see all that we have to offer.”

Lall founded Shawnee Trucking in 1992 and today it employs more than 125 with plans to hire more in the next two years. The minority-owned business currently has 180 trucks and trailers for its more than 450 customers. In addition to its New Jersey facility, it has a location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Lall said the company is always seeking to hire qualified military veterans.

“Since becoming an NJEDA Premier Lender nearly two years ago, we’ve had the opportunity to further our people-first mission by partnering with small businesses in our local communities,” Robert Murphy, managing director, ConnectOne Bank, said. “We are excited to have supported Shawnee Trucking’s growth and look forward to working with Chris and his team as they continue to expand.”