The 2019 Inc 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the United States has been released, and it is chock-full of transportation and logistics companies. Applicants must submit four years of profit and loss statements (younger companies are not eligible) and the last three years are what is taken into consideration for the rankings.
All in all, 186 transportation and logistics companies – including software providers – made the list this year.
Scrolling through list broken out for the transportation and logistics industry offers a birds-eye view of up-and-coming freight brokerages. Young companies under $50 million in revenue dominate the list, but mid-sized software companies can also be found.
Taking the number two spot for the entire United States is Nashville’s FreightWise, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup focused on solving visibility, payment, business intelligence and market pricing challenges for shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs). FreightWise reported revenue growth of 30,548 percent over the past three years, with 2018 revenues of $33.6 million.
Chattanooga, Tennessee-based logistics companies were well-represented on the Inc 5000. Freight brokerages LYNC Logistics and Trident Transport made the list. LYNC Logistics was the 366th fastest-growing company in the United States with a three-year growth rate of 1,248 percent, recording $28 million in 2018 revenues. Trident took the 483rd spot with a 911 percent revenue growth rate over the past three years. Trident posted revenues of $31.3 million in 2018.
“It’s truly an honor to be in the Top 500 for back-to-back years,” said Heath Haley, president of Trident Transport. “We’ve seen such an explosion of growth this past year, and we’re not even close to stopping. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings. The energy and passion that I get to see day in and day out from every single person at this company is inspiring. We’ve created a reputation as a top logistics provider in the nation. We’ve created a culture as what a place of work should look like. And we’ve created a family.”
Freight forwarder Steam Logistics came in as the 1,896th fastest-growing company in the United States, growing revenues 212 percent over the past three years and reporting 2018 revenues of $27.8 million. Chattanooga brokerage Max Trans Logistics was number 2,154, growing 187 percent and recording revenues of $27.4 million in 2018.
Coral Springs’ Lean Staffing Solutions, a freight brokerage-focused human resources company that near-shores staff in Colombia, took the 409th spot, growing 1,113 percent in three years to $5.6 million in revenue in 2018.
I spoke to Lean Staffing Solutions chief executive officer Robet Cadena by phone.
“For us, it’s one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to our company,” Cadena said. “Ever since I got to the U.S., I wanted that recognition. It shows the work everyone has put in at our company, from upper management all the way down. Having this honor to show our growth and what we’ve been doing, is a statement to how we’ve been able to create a business where there wasn’t one before, and it demonstrates the level of customer satisfaction we bring.”
Many small brokerages with revenues under $20 million made the list, but some of the larger 3PLs are still growing rapidly even off a large base.
Sacramento, California-based TransAmerica Express Logistics took spot #232 with a three-year growth rate of 1,796 percent and 2018 revenues of $120.5 million. Arrive Logistics, a freight brokerage with offices in Austin, Chicago and Chattanooga, came in at #413 with a 1,107 percent growth rate and $368.6 million in 2018 revenues.
Atlanta’s Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) was one of the largest transportation and logistics companies to make the list: NTG was #1,314 on the list, growing 314 percent and taking in $811.9 million in 2018. Integrity Express Logistics, out of Cincinnati, Ohio, was another large brokerage that is still growing quickly. Integrity, #1,696 on the list, posted 2018 revenues of $411.9 million and grew 241 percent over the past three years.
Edge Logistics (#918), Axle Logistics (#1,117) and Becker Logistics (#1,596), were all mid-sized brokerages that made the list. ReedTMS, based in Tampa, took the 2,936th spot with $205.3 million in revenue and a growth rate of 127 percent; Chicago’s LoadDelivered was #3,501, doubling in size over the past three years and generating $165.6 million of revenue in 2018.
Transportation Insight (#3,596) was the largest brokerage on the list at $2.3 billion in 2018 revenue, but it should be noted that Transportation Insight is a managed transportation solution and the $2.3 billion is likely ‘freight under management’ of which they take a narrow margin.