From humble beginnings to becoming the country's most trusted source of innovative pallet services.
At Kamps, we believe that trust is earned over time, and throughout our history have proven that to be our number one mission.
From the moment 17 year-old Bernie Kamps had the vision to sell used pallets found in landfills back to customers to becoming a national pallet services provider - Kamps has always placed our customers first.
This is the story of one small midwestern company becoming the national Platform for Customer Service.
This is our story.
Kamps is founded in Grand Rapids, MI as 17 year-old Bernie Kamps begins selling wood shavings and hauling refuse. Eventually, Bernie notices the large volume of valuable wooden pallets being discarded alongside the refuse in landfills. Shortly after, he begins repairing these pallets directly at the landfill.
The First Sign of Growth
Shortly after repairing pallets at the landfill, Bernie moves his pallet operation from the landfill to his garage and purchases the first Kamps branded truck in 1976.
The First Sign of Innovation
Bernie moves out of his garage into a rented building and showcases the Kamps innovative spirit early on by investing in one of the first automated machines on the market.
Bernie quickly outgrows Kamps’ rental space and purchases an upgraded facility in Jenison, MI.
The larger facility allows Bernie to better service customers and becomes a watershed moment in
First Large Scale Pallet Contract
Kamps is awarded a pallet program contract from a global automotive manufacturer in Lansing, MI. This is one of the company’s first major contracts and jump starts our expansion across the state.
To accommodate the continued growth Kamps is experiencing, Bernie moves operations from Jenison to a much larger site in Grand Rapids, MI. This move allows Bernie to continue servicing large scale pallet programs with the Kamps heightened level of customer service.
First Corporate Headquarters
In need of administrative support, and additional resources to support the growing business, Kamps builds first corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI.
First Board of Advisors
Kamps establishes its first Board of Advisors.
First Expansion Facility
With the success of the pallet programs in Lansing, Kamps opens its first expansion facility in Potterville, MI. This new facility allows Kamps to provide improved local service and support to our growing Lansing-based customers.
Kamps Launches First On-Site
Kamps launches its first On-Site operation in Holland, MI.
Kamps launches its Mulch division, further diversifying its product catalog and leading the way for sustainable end-of-life solutions for used pallets.
Kamps further propels the mulch industry by becoming the first operation in the state to create and sell colored mulch.
Kamps Acquires Waterland Enterprises in Kalamazoo, MI.
Kamps opens a new facility in Lansing, MI
Kamps Enters the Detroit Market
Kamps enters the Detroit market for the first time by delivering on-site solutions for customers in the Detroit market.
Proprietary Green Pallet Pool.
Kamps launches its proprietary green pallet pool. This pallet pool would prove to be successful for national food service distributors and others for over 20 years.
Kamps Opens Facility in Taylor, MI
To better serve the growing Detroit market, Kamps opens a new facility in Taylor, MI. This facility
enables Kamps to deliver products and service outside of the existing scope of on-sites.
Kamps Expands Regionally
Kamps completes acquisitions in Niles, MI and Versailles, OH. At the same time, Kamps pushes further south with a new facility in Louisville, KY.
Kamps Expands Into Indianapolis Market
Kamps acquires “Skidz Recycling” out of Indianapolis, IN.
Detroit, MI Acquisition
Building on the success of the On-Sites and Taylor location, Kamps acquires “Pyramid Pallet” out of Detroit, MI - adding a second facility in the Detroit market.
National Sales Division
Kamps launches the National Sales division, expanding our reach nationwide via a network of like-minded pallet companies.
Ohio Expansion & Executive Team Formation
Kamps expands its Central region capabilities by opening a new facility just outside of Cincinnati, OH.
In the same year, Bernie establishes Kamps’ first Executive Team to oversee Kamps’ strategic growth,
Kamps Launches Business Reviews
Kamps introduces Business Reviews.
During an Annual Business Reviews, Kamps sales team members sit down with our customers and go through an in-depth review Kamps’ annual performance. Annual business reviews will become a staple in our customer relations strategy.
Acquisition in Charlotte, NC
Kamps acquires “Custom Pallet” in Charlotte, NC., extending our footprint further into the Southeast region.
New Facility in Columbus, OH
Kamps opens new facility in Columbus, OH.
Mitchell Kamps is Named President
After 20 years at Kamps, and holding titles such as Plant Manager and Executive Vice President of Sales, Mitchell Kamps is named President.
Freeman Spogli & Co. Partnership
Kamps partners with private equity firm, Freeman Spogli & Co., to help drive the next stage of growth at Kamps.
Atlanta, GA Acquisition
Kamps acquires “Green Trip Recycling” out of Atlanta, GA.
Accelerated National Growth
Kamps accelerates its strategic national growth by acquiring six highly capable and like-minded organizations in key markets; resulting in 27 new locations added.
Continued National Growth
Kamps continues its national growth via strategic acquisitions of 6 companies while opening a new location in Bloomfield, CT.
Kamps Acquires John Rock, Inc. & Opens New Facility in San Antonio, TX
Kamps executes an industry altering move by acquiring John Rock, Inc., the nation’s leader in new pallet manufacturing and innovation. Shortly after, Kamps opens a new location in San Antonio, TX.
Kamps Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary
Kamps celebrates 50 years of exceptional customer service, innovation, and environmental stewardship.
As we look towards the future, we will continue to draw from our past experiences to guide us in our decision making.
We will continue to innovative and place our customers first, no matter what.
Thank you to our customers, employees, and all stakeholders for being part of our journey thus far.