Our Kenco Family Story
Kenco’s history is over 60 years old and was started under the name Cherokee Warehouses Inc.
On August 1st 1950, founders Jim Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Smartt, Sr. started what would become one of the leading 3rd party logistics companies with just a single warehouse in Chattanooga, TN.
In the beginning public warehousing was the sole focus, but as business grew there was a demand for material handling services. Selling lift trucks was the next logical step so Cherokee Material Handling was created and became the first division of Cherokee Warehouses.
Years later, co-founder Jim Kennedy, Jr. realized the future of warehousing was in providing contracted services and after creating what would be the industry’s first "contract warehousing agreement" in 1967, Kenco Inc. was founded.
After the first contract Cherokee Warehouses Inc., and Kenco Inc. continued on successfully; and in 1999 almost 50 years after its conception, Cherokee Warehouses Inc. and Kenco Inc. merged to become Kenco Group, LLC. Kenco is an integrated logistics solutions provider, whose companies include Kenco Logistics Service, Kenco Transportation, Kenco Toyota-Lift, JDK Real Estate and Kenco Management Services. These companies are designed to provide fully comprehensive warehouse distribution and fulfillment services, transportation management, material handling solutions, real estate management and information technology systems.
Passed down through the generations, Jane Kennedy Greene, daughter of co-founder, Jim Kennedy, Jr. is the present CEO and Chairman.
In 2012, Kenco became a woman-owned business and was certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). This certification makes Kenco the largest woman owned 3rd party logistics company in the U.S with over 3400 employees at sites across U.S. and Canada serving over 200 clients and managing over 90 distribution facilities with more than 30 million square feet of space.
Celebrating 65 years in the business, Kenco attributes our continued success to the originating co-founders, Jim Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Smartt, Sr. who believed in hard work, integrity, customer dedication, and above all else, common sense solutions that provide uncommon value.
Visit the Kenco Group website for more information.