CORRECTION: Updated at 12:03 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, to correct the year Conversant Group was started to 2009. A previous version erroneously stated 2011.
Chattanooga keeps trucking ahead with a majority of its fastest growing businesses in the logistics industry, according to an annual list of America's fastest growing companies.
Thirteen local companies were among the country's fastest growing firms on the new Inc. 5000 list of the most rapidly growing firms. Eight of those firms were in logistics, including five freight brokerage firms which collectively have realized more than $100 million of additional revenues over the past three years and another three firms that are supporting the freight industry.
Chattanooga, which is within a day's drive of over half the U.S. population, is already home to two of the nation's biggest long-haul trucking companies — U.S. Xpress Enterprises and Covenant Transport — and the country's biggest privately owned warehousing company — Kenco Logistics. But much of the recent growth in the industry has come from spinoffs of the former Access America Transport, which began in Chattanooga in 2002 and was later acquired by Coyote Logistics and then UPS.
"The founding of Access America changed the freight industry and they brought a lot of people to Chattanooga who, after the company was sold, went on to start other businesses and that has done a lot of propel this industry here," said Cindy Lee, president of LYNC Logistics, a freight brokerage firm that ranked No. 366 on the Inc. 5000 list after growing to more than $28 million in sales in its first five years. "You can find quality employees here that help you grow and that's always key to a businesses success."
Lee, who previously ran a trucking company, said LYNC continues to grow this year, although the slowdown in the freight industry this year has slowed the pace of that growth some from previous years.
"We've got a great staff and, of course, our "chief happiness officer,' " Lee quipped, referring to the company's mascot dog named Lebron.
Across town, Trident Transport ranked No. 483 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, with a three-year revenue growth of 911%.
"We're exploding with growth in every aspect of our company," said Heath Haley, the president of the 6-year-old company which has grown to include three offices. "You can feel the energy exuding from our team as soon as you walk through our doors whether you're in Chattanooga, Tampa, or Minneapolis."
"We set out to be one of the leading logistics providers and one of the best places to work in nation, and we've done just that," said Mark Harrell, chief operating officer at Trident.
The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent among those on the list, and a median rate of 157 percent.
"The companies on this year's Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success," says Inc.editor in chief James Ledbetter. "There's no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities."
The 13 Chattanooga companies on the Inc. list is four more than last year and eight more than the five on the list in 2017.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 757-6340.
Chattanooga’s fastest growing firms
Among the 13 fastest growing businesses in Chattanooga on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, eight are in the logistics industry. The fastest growing local companies and their relative rank on the Inc. 5000 list for 2019 are:
209 - EnergyEarth advertising and marketing firm with 42 employees started in 2011, $22.3 million in revenue and 3-year growth of 1,953%
366 - LYNC Logistics with 36 employees started in 2014, $28 million in revenue and 3-year growth of 1,248%
483 - Trident Transport with 51 employees started in 2013, $31.3 million in revenue and 3-year growth of 911%
965 - Skuid software with 142 employees started in 2013 with 51 employees started in 2013, $20.9 million in revenue and 3-year growth of 440%
1021 - Reliance Partners insurance broker with 118 employees started in 2009, $10.1 million in revenue and 3-year growth of 413%
1302 - LMS (Logistics Made Simple) with 75 employees started in 2008, $45.6 million in revenue of three-year growth of 316%
1339 - Taimen Transport with 38 employees started in 2012, $35.6 million in revenue and three-year growth of 308%
1896 - Steam Logistics international freight broker with 38 employees started in 2012, $27.8 million in revenue and three-year growth of 212%
2154 - Max Trans Logistics with 28 employees started in 2014, $27.4 million in revenue and three year growth of 187%
2469 - Conversant Group IT management with 30 employees started in 2009, revenues of $12.3 million and three-year growth of 161%
3478 - Very business products builder of digital platforms with 32 employees stated in 2011 , $6 million in revenue and three-year growth of 101%
3845 - Flywheel Brands advertising in Hixson with 20 employees started in 1981, $6 million in revenues and three-year growth of 87%
4169 - AHS Consulting, a logistics consultant in 2014 with 11 employees, $2.3 million in revenue and three-year growth of 75%
Source: Inc. 5000 for 2019
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