In 1940, before his 20th birthday, Gerald the entrepreneur started his first business, a bicycle dealership in Norfolk, VA. This venture was short lived as he was called away by the Army to serve in WWII soon after opening. However, upon his return he reopened and added motorcycles to his inventory. In addition to selling and servicing motorcycles, Gerald also provided storage to Navy Sailors while on deployment, a precursor to what would eventually be the largest warehousing company in the region.
Gerald also got into racing motorcycles during this time and developed a winning reputation across the northeast. His wins combined with already running a successful dealership caught the attention of a new motorcycle manufacture entering the country, Honda. Gerald took a risk and became one of the first Honda dealers on the east coast.
Soon after setting up as a Honda dealer, the Japanese manufacturer came to him looking for support storing and transporting motorcycles to other dealers. Relying on his knowledge of storing motorcycles for Sailors and because of his close proximity to the Port of Virginia, Gerald was now in the logistics business.
By the early 1960s the full attention of Givens was on providing logistics services to Honda and a host of other customers. Givens, as a logistics company, has been growing ever since. In 1966 the first Givens property designed specifically for modern warehousing was purchased and now is the cornerstone for the Givens main campus in Chesapeake, VA.
Givens has continued to diversify is customer base since starting with Honda and the dedication to long term customer relationships has been fundamental to the company’s growth. Although the 60+ year history with Honda is unmatched, the longevity of many current customer relationships is measured in decades.
Givens also measures the longevity of many employees in decades, constantly striving to make sure the family atmosphere initially created by Gerald Givens is maintained today. Although Gerald passed away in 1980, the company continues to be family owned and operated. Givens has successfully transitioned the leadership of the company to the third generation and now looks to ensure its continued growth and success in preparation for a fourth generation of family, employees, and customers.
A Timeline of Consistent Growth
The company’s growth is most visible in the building expansion beyond the Gerald’s original Chesapeake warehouse. The new buildings were assigned numbers with the original Military Highway warehouse as G1.
Givens Motorcycle Company – Motorcycle Dealership is founded.
First Logistics Focused Land purchase
Original G1 warehouse is built.
Warehouse G2 is built.
Superior Air Freight is founded.
Warehouse G3 is built.
Warehouse G4 is built.
Warehouse G5 is purchased.
Warehouse G6 container yard is purchased.
Renovations of warehouse G1.
Truck shop is added.
The purchase and renovation of warehouse G7.
Warehouse G8 is built.
Warehouse G9 is under construction.
Givens Logistics and Extended Services.
In addition to warehousing, Givens has continued to grow as both an asset and non-asset transportation provider. Givens Transportation currently operates a fleet of over 80 company and owner operator trucks with a varied customer base. In 1991 Superior Air Freight (Givens Airfreight) was started, specializing in airfreight and international expedited shipments. In 1994 Givens Logistics, a freight brokerage company, was started to assist Givens Transportation with additional capacity. Today Givens Logistics provides services nationally, well beyond just adding capacity to Givens Transportation. In 2020 Givens purchased American Packing and Crating with locations in Chesapeake, Virginia and Savannah, Georgia.