NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
When Mike Crawford took over the freight brokerage service line of ITS Logistics in January 2013, he and a small team of people huddled around a Costco conference table in a closet-like office at the company’s headquarters in Sparks. That first year, freight brokerage brought in about $1 million in revenue.
The situation has changed a bit since.
Today, ITS Logistics freight brokerage occupies a 9,000-square foot space on the fourth floor of 50 W. Liberty St and is on its way to generating more than $120 million in revenue in 2018. With more than 80 team members, the office is quickly filling to capacity. To take a break from helping companies worldwide manage their freight brokerage needs, the team often gathers on their outdoor-deck, the only space of its kind in the building.
But, one aspect hasn’t changed — that Costco table is still in the conference room, reminding everybody of their roots.
Freight brokerage is when a third-party company, such as ITS Logistics, helps another business figure out how to move supplies, inventory or product from point A to point B when the main logistics company doesn’t have assets at point A or point B. For example, if Starbucks (an ITS customer) has 40 tons of product and in Pensacola, Florida and needs it in a west-coast location by Tuesday, ITS Logistics freight brokerage would help Starbucks handle the shipping.
For Starbucks, it’s one call to ITS Logistics freight brokerage, which would then manage the logistics and working with other companies on Starbucks’ behalf. Historically, these kinds of brokerage services have brought to mind call centers of people with little knowledge of the shipping industry. But, when ITS Logistics and Crawford expanded into the freight brokerage, they also brought more than a decade of experience in transportation, distribution, drayage, and warehousing. This unique knowledge and experience set allows the ITS team to deliver flexible logistics solutions for any shipping need. As a result, freight brokerage is the fastest-growing division of ITS Logistics, driven by an ever-expanding group of dedicated employees.
Crawford, a former NFL and XFL linebacker and a Nevada Wolf Pack football team captain and MVP of the Las Vegas Bowl, infuses the operation with a competitive, in-it-to-win-it, team mentality. When an individual applies for a job at freight brokerage, Crawford and his leadership team look for someone who has an underdog mentality and is competitive but knows how to work on a team.
As a result of these parameters, of the more than 80 employees in freight brokerage, more than 20 are Division 1 student-athletes. So, it’s no surprise that the TV screens in the office continuously play sports. This athletic mentality even infuses the organizations’ training and onboarding procedures.
Locally-founded in 1999 by Jeff Lynch, Darryl Bader, and Dan Allen, ITS Logistics stays strongly connected to the Reno community and also actively recruits University of Nevada, Reno graduates. At freight brokerage, 25 to 30 percent of their workforce are alumni of the College of Business. So, even though ITS Logistics works with global companies, they still keep it local.
See the hub of ITS Logistics’ fast-growing freight brokerage division during NCET’s Tech Wednesday event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. For more information and to RSVP, visit NCETwed.org.
Dave Archer is president/CEO of NCET, a member-supported organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.