GARY - An Illinois-based shipping and logistics company has announced plans to relocate to Gary. HMD Trucking Inc. says it will invest nearly $6 million into a new headquarters, with plans to bring up to 500 jobs to Lake County by 2021. Founder Henry Malukas calls Gary a "perfect match" and cites several reasons for the move, including affordability to grow. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the company is one of more than 50 Illinois-based businesses that have relocated some or all of their operations to Indiana over the last decade, creating approximately 5,800 Hoosier jobs.

He says the city's central location "makes it easy for us serve our entire marketplace with more direct routes, avoiding congestion and time delays." Malukas adds "we look forward to a long and valued relationship with the city and the state of Indiana."

Plans for the facility call for 26,000 square-feet dedicated to trucking operations, warehousing and maintenance and 9,000 square-feet to serve corporate responsibilities.

The company, which currently employs 400 in Illinois, plans to maintain a distribution center in the state, but will relocate the bulk of its operations to northwest Indiana next year.

HMD Trucking has been offered around $3 million in conditional tax and training incentives through the IEDC. It plans to start hiring drivers by the end of the year and additional warehouse, office, mechanic and management positions next year.