Kamps acquires one of the largest single site pallet operations in the nation
January 10, 2023 | 11:56 am CST

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Kamps Inc., one of the nation’s leading pallet organizations, has acquired the business of John Rock Inc., a multi-entity organization based in Coatesville, Pa., that is considered to be one of the one of the largest single-site pallet manufacturers in the country.

Specializing in the complete value chain management of the pallet manufacturing process, the "Rock" possesses industry-leading capabilities in lumber milling, logistics, and new and recycled pallet manufacturing. The transaction marks Kamps’ 15th strategic acquisition since 2019 when Freeman Spogli & Co. acquired majority ownership of the Company. 

The Rock was established in 1973 in Honey Brook, Pa., by founder John Rock. In 1997, the organization was acquired by current president, Bill MacCauley. According to a company statement, under MacCauley’s leadership, the organization has become a world-class new pallet manufacturer and an industry leader in operations and automation.

The organization’s new pallet manufacturing operations are housed in a state-of-the-art 300,000-square-foot facility and it manufactures more than half a million new pallets per month. The Rock’s vertically integrated supply chain and lumber mill capabilities provide a unique support system to the organization, allowing for a consistent supply of high-quality timber and raw materials. The Rock has over 65 tractors and over 200 trailers in its expansive fleet, enabling the organization to service customers in nine states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern seaboard. All of the Rock’s 300 employees, across five facilities, are planned to remain with Kamps. This includes the organization’s senior leadership team, led by president Bill MacCauley. 

“I am very pleased to have Bill MacCauley and his company join our Kamps team,” said Kamps CEO, Bernie Kamps. “I have known and respected Bill for 25 years. During this time, he has built the best new pallet manufacturing site in the country. The Rock’s world-class operation and team will enable Kamps to continue to service our valuable nationwide customer base and enhance our reputation as the premier pallet company in North America.”

“Bill MacCauley has built an all-star team and a premier new pallet manufacturing company,” said Kamps President, Mitchell Kamps. “The depth and breadth of our comprehensive product and service line has been significantly elevated to new heights with the addition of the Rock. The Rock’s ability to source new lumber is second to none, and will aid in supporting our existing facilities. Lastly, our new pallet sales team will bring new growth opportunities to the table for Bill and his team.”

“We are pleased to join the Kamps organization and expand our operations in the pallet, sawmill, and logistics business,” said the Rock President, Bill MacCauley. “The Kamps organization offers significant opportunities for our customers, suppliers, and employees. I have known the Kamps family for over 25 years, and consider it an honor to add the Rock team to the nation’s most forward-thinking pallet organization.”

“This is a transformative opportunity for both organizations, and creates a true leader in the industry offering a differentiated and comprehensive suite of pallet solutions to their combined customer base,” said Jon Ralph, president and COO of Freeman Spogli.

Kamps’ acquisition of the business of the Rock is expected to yield benefits to the customers and vendors of both organizations. The Rock’s comprehensive value-chain capabilities will provide vital support at all stages to Kamps’ existing operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and across its broader geographic footprint. The combination of the Rock’s world-class new pallet manufacturing operations with Kamps’ pallet recycling capabilities creates a one-of-a-kind, streamlined full-service pallet solution. Kamps’ strong nationwide pallet network will in turn provide additional support to the Rock’s existing customer base on a national level. The addition of the Rock grows Kamps’ national presence to 60 company-owned locations, supported by over 8,000 trailers and over 4,000 employees.
 

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).