In 1955 John (Jack) Lanigan established Mi-Jack in south Chicago as a distributor of self-propelled rubber tire gantry (RTG) cranes to railroads and ports. Mi-Jack flourished and the RTG concept took off in other industries.
In the early 1980s, Mi-Jack bought the manufacturing rights to the RTGs that it had been selling and opened up new markets. International sales have grown annually leading to a network of 27 dealers in 53 countries. It has also developed an operations business, including joint ventures such as Terminales Intermodales Mexicanas, the leading privatized intermodal operator in Mexico, and the Panama Canal Railway Company, the rail link between the Atlantic and Pacifi coceans. It also developed a thriving business distributing lifting equipment to the construction industry across the Midwest before selling this division to United Rentals in 1999.
In 2002 Mi-Jack formed Fantuzzi Noell North America in joint venture with Fantuzzi USA to distribute Fantuzzi's side loader forklifts in North America.
Today Mi-Jack is a multi-national corporation providing machinery and solutions for the transportation and material handling industries worldwide. The group has approximately 2,000 employees and its revenues in 2004 topped $ 300 million.
The company is wholly owned by the four sons – Mike (president), Jack Jr (CEO), Bill and Dan – of the founder. It is also an enthusiastic sponsor of an Indy car racing team.
Jack Lanigan, Sr, now 78, is no longer directly involved with the business but instead devotes his energies to inventing things, son Mike says, such as “power generation stuff and insulated material for transporting temperature sensitive material”.