Chattanooga's FreightWaves grows reach with acquisition of global shipping publication

Staff file photo by Tim Barber Freightwaves CEO Craig Fuller, standing at a bank of computer terminals, talks about the data and content for the freight markets that the Chattanooga-based company sells to clients.

Freight and global transportation is massive. We think that market has been underserved.

In its second acquisition in as many months, FreightWaves has bought a longtime publication focusing on global shipping as the Chattanooga company continues to extend its reach.

The data and content provider for the freight markets purchased American Shipper this week, said Craig Fuller, chief executive of FreightWaves.

"They're one of the largest global maritime publications," said Fuller about American Shipper, which was first published in 1976. "It's a different market for us."

He didn't reveal the purchase price, but said FreightWaves is investing "a couple of million dollars" to expand in that market. Plans are to make improvements to the publication, including its website, Fuller said.

"They haven't kept up in terms of digital media, social media," he said. "We plan to make significant upgrades."

Fuller said American Shipper also will benefit from the digital assets offered by FreightWaves, which late last year rolled out a $3.9 million expansion, shifting operations to Market Street downtown and unveiling plans to create 260 new jobs.

American Shipper has about five journalists stationed in other parts of the country. There are no plans to consolidate them in Chattanooga, he said.

"Freight and global transportation is massive," Fuller said, making up about 12 percent of the global gross domestic product. " We think that market has been underserved."

American Shipper, founded by David A. Howard, is designed to serve the information needs of shippers, carriers and third parties involved in international transportation and for executives managing international logistics and supply chains, according to FreightWaves.

The content featured on American Shipper will include supply chain, forwarding, cross-border and international trade, global container shipping, supply chain technology and legislative and regulatory issues that impact the industry.

Last month, FreightWaves acquired StakUp Inc. as part of a multi-faceted partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association that will build on a previously announced data and marketing agreement established in November 2018.

StakUp is the developer of the 'inGauge' online benchmarking platform, used to compare and contrast financial and operational performance.

TCA Chairman Josh Kaburick, CEO of Trekker Group of Companies, said FreightWaves has "carved out a unique position in the North American transportation industry as the data and content provider of choice."

Fuller said FreightWaves, which has about 110 employees, is actively looking for more acquisitions.

Last summer, FreightWaves announced it had raised another $13 million in new capital, having then raised about $18.4 million over its first two years and placing it among Chattanooga's top startups.

FreightWaves also was the winner of venture capital firm Revolution's Rise of the Rest pitch competition held in Chattanooga in 2018. The competition spearheaded by AOL founder Steve Case gave FreightWaves a $100,000 investment.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.