Blue Giant Equipment celebrates 50 years
The loading dock and material handling industry has evolved substantially during the last fifty years. So has Blue Giant Equipment Corporation, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in May 2013. By effectively identifying market trends and recognizing product development opportunities, Blue Giant has made strategic decisions that keep the company at the forefront of innovation. Today, Blue Giant is the premier solutions provider of safe, effective and technologically innovative loading dock and material handling equipment. The world-renowned product line includes dock levelers (including the industry’s first air cylinder dock leveler), ground-level lifts, vehicle restraints, intelligent dock controls, seals and shelters, and a diverse offering of material handling products.
Over the years Blue Giant has reached major milestones which outline the company’s ability to identify industry trends and needs, and successfully accommodate them. Blue Giant was founded on May 30, 1963, and quickly became a leading manufacturer of dock levelers and hand pallet trucks. In the 1970s, Blue Giant’s customer base expanded so rapidly that new product offerings (electric pallet trucks and stackers, dock lifts, and scissor lifts) were introduced to supply the growing demand. Licensee partnerships in Australia and South Africa resulted in Blue Giant dominating the market in both countries.
Moving into the 1980s, Blue Giant’s primary manufacturing location in Brampton, Ontario, was expanded from 35,000 to 100,000 square feet to handle the large influx of orders. In 1985, the company signaled its future focus on product innovation by introducing the TL85, the first non-impact vehicle restraint, to the North American market.
By the 1990s, Blue Giant’s global presence had expanded with licensee partnerships in Mexico and Southeast Asia. Demand for Blue Giant product resulted in high-volume sales, such as the order placed by the Singapore Port Authority for 309 mechanical dock levelers. On the material handling front, the company redesigned its industrial truck line to include ergonomic handles and a sleeker, more maneuverable body. The new trucks were easier to use and more compatible with tight spaces, making them a standard feature in busy warehouses and logistics centers.
The new millennium witnessed tremendous growth in new product development for Blue Giant. In 2001 Blue Giant introduced the XDS Extra Dock Safety Series, the only 2-in-1 interlocked dock system that lowered the risk of forklift run-off and overhead door damage. More innovations rapidly followed: the StrongArm(tm) SVR303 vehicle restraint, whose patented technology and trusted performance made it a winner in Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year competition in 2009; the U-Series dock leveler platform, which reduces deck fatigue by enabling a better distributed load, and the Air Cylinder dock leveler, an industry first that uses the power of air to deliver the same optimum performance that makes Blue Giant dock levelers an industry standard. Blue Giant continued to expand its product line and global presence in 2011/2012. Stocking locations were opened all over North America, providing customers with quick and cost-effective access to parts and equipment. In 2011, the company entered into a strategic partnership with Big Lift LLC to exclusively distribute the Big Joe brand of AC-powered industrial trucks in Canada. In 2012, Blue Giant launched the StrongArm(tm) HVR303 electric vehicle restraint and the Air Cylinder Series, the industry’s first air cylinder dock equipment system. Both products are environmentally sustainable, indicating the company’s ongoing support for green building practices and initiatives.
Blue Giant launched its U.S. operation, Blue Giant LLC, and opened a new manufacturing facility in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2013. This new location focuses on the manufacturing and distribution of the company’s growing line of innovative dock seals and shelters, which includes fixed and inflatable seals, stationary and retractable truck shelters, full access seals and rain shrouds.
“Blue Giant’s fifty-year track record as the premier dock equipment solutions provider has earned us a worldwide customer base and a solid place at the forefront of the industry,” says Jeff Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “By ensuring that our dock equipment technology continues to evolve, we as a company will always be able to offer loading dock solutions that match all applications and site requirements.”