Brad Kemp says he became interested in the shipping business when, as a youth, he'd watch freight containers being carried from place to place.
Now, as a 30-year veteran, he's helping start a new international shipping venture for Chattanooga-based Tranco Logistics.
Kemp, 56, who studied economics at the College of William and Mary, believes Tranco Global has a lot of promise and can generate annual sales of $3 million to $5 million in just a few years.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to join the team," he says. "The Tranco organization has been able to make some real impact in the Southeast. The addition of Tranco Global provides an opportunity to expand both nationally and globally."
Kemp says he entered the freight forwarding business right out of college, starting in what he calls "the private entrepreneurial side."
He later gained experience with some of the world's biggest operators such as FedEx and UPS.
In 2013, he came to Chattanooga when the entrepreneurs behind third-party logistics firm Access America Transport — Ted Alling, Barry Large and Allan Davis — launched Steam Logistics to pursue international opportunities. Kemp was wooed to the city to lead Steam as its chief operating officer.
Late last year, Tranco Logistics co-founder Bruce Trantham then recruited Kemp to join his team in the start-up of Tranco Global.
"Bruce's business is growing like a weed," Kemp says. "This gives them another service to go after new customers."
Trantham says that Kemp has helped Tranco negotiate the complicated licensing process required for market entry in the international shipping sector.
"The international business is sophisticated," he says. "I'm super-excited about the business."