Top 3PLs In To Watch
HQ: Louisville, Kentucky
ardoingitright.com | North America
Since purchasing A&R in 2012, Mark R. Holden and Richard Mitchell have been focused on investment and growth, the former fueling the latter. They almost immediately invested $25 million to repair and upgrade the company’s fleet while purchasing 150 new tractors. In just two years, A&R had posted record revenues of $220 million. Which is good, but CEO Holden and President Mitchell are shooting for great. The dry bulk specialists, who handle 40 percent of the total plastics volume transported on highway (accounting for about 80 percent of their cargo), is aiming to grow, Mitchell says, by being “focused on the entire bulk transport market and looking to expand our liquid chemical business.”
CRANE WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS
HQ: Houston, Texas
craneww.com | Global
Founded in 2008, Crane hasn’t been shy about its intentions, proclaiming on its website that it is “dedicated to becoming the industry’s premier global provider of customized transportation and logistics services.” It ain’t brash if you can back it up, and in just seven years Crane had grown to $680 million in revenue with 113 locations in 25 countries. This year, the company announced Crane Worldwide Doorbell, which allows retailers to deliver faster and provide greater shopping convenience to customers, all with the added visibility of delivery tracking through a mobile platform. “We believe this solution out-performs current large e-tailers’ platforms,” says David Widdifield, global director of Retail Solutions at Crane.
HQ: Kempten, Germany
dachser.com | Global
With around 26,500 employees at 428 locations worldwide, Dachser is not an up-and-comer. But it has made a point of improving and expanding its operations in the United States, under the name Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics. The name might not exactly roll off the tongue but revenue in the States grew 20 percent last year—just the beginning as far as company officials are concerned. “We have been expanding our U.S. footprint for over a decade” says Frank Guenzerodt, president and CEO of Dachser USA. “The number one trading partner for most countries is the USA, hence we need a substantial network to support our customers’ needs and the overall growth of Dachser.”
ESTES FORWARDING WORLDWIDE
HQ: Richmond, Virginia
efwnow.com | Global
In little more than a dozen years, Estes has managed to not only grow but to do so in all the right places and ways. After being in business just five years, the company opened an international office in Charleston and added licensed customs house brokerage to its service menu. Gateway operations have been added in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas, in addition to a network of global partners. And last year, Walmart named Estes the 2015 E-Commerce Home Delivery Carrier of the Year, something President and CEO Scott Fisher said was “a testament to our distinctive control-tower model that provides exceptional customer service.”
HQ: Wauconda, Illinois
fidelitone.com | North America
Founded the year of the great stock market crash as a manufacturer and distributor of phonograph needles—remember those?—the company has since grown and expanded services through mergers. In 2008, it acquired Dedicated Logistics and Winwell Industries, which provided pooled distribution services from regional locations across the country and expanded Fidelitone’s service offerings to include last mile delivery. Mergers with AADF (Albuquerque Assembly Distribution & Freeport) Warehouse in 2010, Purnell Furniture Services in 2012 (a Virginia-based company specializing in residential last mile delivery), and TechniPak (a Tennessee-based company specializing in direct-to-consumer order fulfillment) further expanded Fidelitone’s service area and expertise in key industries such as furniture and health and fitness.
HQ: Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
knichellogistics.com | North America
Looking to expand its LTL presence, Knichel created a new company, BlueGrace Pittsburgh North, by purchasing a franchise from BlueGrace Logistics. The franchise will expand Knichel’s capabilities, especially when it comes to what it can offer in LTL services. “We are always looking for new ways and partnerships to increase the service offerings and value that we can offer our customers,” says Kristy Knichel, president and CEO. “Operating as a BlueGrace LTL franchise will allow us to do exactly that.” LTL shipments account for less than 2 percent of company revenue. Knichel says she would like to see that revenue stream grow to between $2 million and $5 million.
HQ: Memphis, Tennessee
mallorygroup.com | Global
Though the company has been operating in China for some time, the granting of a Class A business license by that country’s national government for company operations centered in Shanghai means Mallory will be able to expand its service offerings to both Chinese and global customers. It also allows the company to directly provide Asia Pacific logistics services including consolidating ocean and air shipments, booking ocean cargo and providing China customs clearance services. “We are thrilled to be working with the country of China,” says Mallory COO Tinamarie Newman. “We are expanding staff and adding office locations. That will help us continue to grow in the market.”
HQ: Columbus, Ohio
odwlogistics.com | Domestic
At the beginning of this year, ODW announced its intention to more than double its size to $300 million by 2020. The “Deliver the Difference Mission” may sound ambitious but understand that ODW President and CEO John Ness already turned the trick once before, doubling revenue in 2011 to $100 million. The company, which recently moved into a new headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, has more than 1,000 associates nationwide. Ness says it’s these employees—the company looks for the five ‘E’s’ when hiring: experience, energy, enthusiasm, effort and edge—that will ultimately do that doubling, with “their ability to navigate a difficult day or a new challenge.”
PILOT FREIGHT SERVICES
HQ: Media, Pennsylvania
pilotdelivers.com | Global
The company in May expanded its operations to Mexico, where it is now doing business as Pilot de Mexico. Pilot’s first station, located in Mexico City, is a full-service operation serving customers’ transportation and logistics needs within the city as well as the interior states of Mexico. The station offers operational and administrative support, warehousing and logistics services and access to northbound, southbound and intra-Mexico ground and air transportation. “For Pilot, Mexico is a market with tremendous growth and potential, so it was a natural step in our continued growth,” says Richard Phillips, CEO of Pilot Freight Services. “The country has been one of the United States’ best trading partners for years, and to have a Pilot presence will only make our relationships with Pilot customers in Mexico stronger.”
PORT LOGSTICS GROUP
HQ: City of Industry, California
portlogisticsgroup.com | Domestic
Founded in 2008 through the coming together of three regional 3PLs in New Jersey and Los Angeles, Port Logistics has some 14 facilities in L.A., New York/New Jersey, Seattle-Tacoma and Savannah, Georgia, with 5.5 million square feet of dedicated and multi-client warehouse space in and around all major U.S. gateways. The company has become one of the fastest growing 3PLs and a leading provider of full-service logistics and distribution solutions at the point of entry into the domestic supply chain. How fast? After leasing 100,000 square feet of warehouse space when it initially entered Savannah, the company almost immediately ran out of space and soon moved into a 315,000-square-foot cross-dock facility.
SADDLE CREEK LOGISTICS
Celebrating its 50th year in business, Saddle Creek specializes in omnichannel fulfillment and transporting fast-moving retail products for such high profile customers as Home Depot, Quaker and Coca-Cola. Having grown from a small regional public warehouse to a large 3PL, the company that was once limited to servicing the South and Southeast has continued with its plans to become a national brand, the latest move toward that goal being a new distribution center in Chicago. “This new distribution center will accommodate organic growth with our current customers and also allow us to serve new customers in Chicagoland,” says Rob Pericht, senior vice president of Warehouse Operations at Saddle Creek.
senator-international.com | Global
In little more than 30 years, Senator has gone from 10 employees focused solely on airfreight to more than 1,000 working on six continents, offering comprehensive shipping and logistics services. Known for its flexibility and ability to solve matters on the fly, it’s a popular saying among employees that they “perform little miracles on a daily basis.” Perhaps the biggest miracle is that every member of the Senator team, including upper management, speaks to customers on a daily basis. “I’m not only the administrator and owner of this company, but I’m also here for customers,” says founder and chairman, Uwe Kirschbaum. “This is very important for us in principle and practice; the key to our continued success in meeting customers’ expectations.”
HQ: Atlanta, Georgia
veritivcorp.com | Global
In less than two years, Veritiv has found its way into the Fortune 500 with nearly $9 billion in revenue. Of course, the company had a pretty good head start, having been formed in July of 2014 following the merger of International Paper’s xpedx distribution and Unisource Worldwide. So the company was born big and hangs around a big neighborhood: About half of its customers are on the Fortune 500. Thing of it is, Veritiv only figures to get BIGGER. CEO Mary Laschinger, one of only 21 female CEOs on the 500 list, says that the company is actually only halfway through its integration and still has significant work to do in the fields of systems and technology.
YUSEN LOGISTICS (AMERICAS) INC.
HQ: Seacaucus, New Jersey
yusen-logistics.com | Global
It’s not just that a company of Yusen Logistics’ scope—475 offices in 40 countries with more than 20,000 employees—signaled something potentially big when it announced it would build a major logistics center near Celaya, Mexico, but how much bigger it could eventually be. The 54,000-square-foot facility, called “an important milestone” by Jordan Dewart, president of Yusen Logistics Mexico, has room to double its warehouse and office space. That’s a distinct possibility since, as Yusen’s chief regional officer, Kunihiko Miyoshi, pointed out: “A number of major auto manufacturers invested in large assembly plants in the area.”
HQ: Columbus, Ohio
ziplinelogistics.com | North America
Zipline is the kind of company you can root for as it was started less than 10 years ago by three friends—Andrew Lynch, J.J. Rodeheffer and Edward Williams—who drew up a business plan on a bar napkin one evening and began work on the second floor of a Chinese restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. In its first year, Zipline—which bills itself as North America’s first multimodal transportation provider to specialize exclusively in serving the retail and consumer products sectors—brokered 1,000 shipments and revenue reached $1.7 million. Since then, the company has tripled office space, expanded staff and posted double-digit growth each year.
Shippers and airlines—an evolving relationship