JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Mar. 05, 2019) – A century ago, Jacksonville was home to 91,000 people and covered just over 15 square miles. The original Acosta Bridge across the St. Johns River was still two years from opening. With a small port located downtown and a growing destination for films and movie stars that earned it the nickname “Hollywood of the East,” Carl Suddath saw an opportunity. In a Washington Street warehouse in that not-yet-booming metropolis, the enterprising young man reopened a failing moving business in 1919 to haul the goods of the visiting rich and famous. He had a couple of small trucks, two mules, and a cart.
Over the next 100 years, the Jacksonville community flourished into a hub of domestic and international commerce while Suddath established itself as a global leader in the moving, relocation and logistics industries at more than 30 locations worldwide. That lone 7,000-square-foot facility in 1919 grew to nearly 3 million square feet of warehouse space throughout the U.S. and Europe.
The Suddath Companies is a global success story, but its history and achievements have always been rooted in Jacksonville, where 750 of its 2,200 employees are based. The $600-million company has driven innovation in its industry and has grown its breadth of services and reach, moving more than 70,000 households annually, including managing nearly 30,000 moves for U.S. service men and women. It now provides mobility, relocation and logistics services in more than 150 countries across the globe. Suddath has also grown to be North America’s largest commercial mover, providing ongoing services for some of the most recognized companies in the world.
“My grandfather’s drive and determination gave rise to a company that is now connecting people and businesses across the world through the use of superior technology and innovative processes, yet I am most proud of our employee-friendly environment and our caring culture,” said Steve Suddath, Chairman of the Suddath Board of Directors.
Over the course of the last 100 years, Jacksonville has enjoyed impressive growth, and so has Suddath. The company has acquired two other Jacksonville-based entities, Penser Logistics and, most recently, Perdue Office Interiors – another 100-year-old company. Suddath has also expanded its global footprint, acquiring Sterling Mobility in 2017, and recently combining it with its own mobility company to form the newly branded Sterling Lexicon mobility business.
“The growth of our community is astounding, and we are proud to have our headquarters in a city that so enthusiastically supports innovation and business expansion,” added Mike Brannigan, President and CEO for The Suddath Companies. “Suddath is always innovating to drive positive change and deliver a better experience for our customers, from acquiring successful smaller operations around the world to developing award-winning technologies that improve everything from warehouse and inventory management to corporate office moves and personal relocations.”
In the last year alone, Suddath’s commitment to innovation has earned it two prestigious industry awards. The CIO 100 Award honored Suddath’s “Tracker” program, which it developed in-house to keep precise track of even the smallest items, allowing clients to know exactly where their inventory is and alerting them when it’s been delivered and set up. The company also received a Digital Edge 50 International Technology Award for another of its innovations, the patented “Estimator” platform, which significantly improves the customer experience while simultaneously reducing the company’s administrative costs by over 20 percent.
Suddath kicks off 100th-year celebrations this month, as Steve Suddath and Brannigan travel to each of the company’s offices around the world to visit with its thousands of employees. A global headquarters celebration will take place on March 30 in Jacksonville, with about 2,000 local employees and their families expected to participate.