Alabama Motor Express (AMX), a transportation and logistics company based in Ashford, Alabama offering full truckload, expedited and brokerage services, has opened a new sales office in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta office adds to AMX’s growing presence in the South and its locations in Dothan, Alabama, and Savannah, Georgia.
AMX chose Atlanta for its new office to move its salesforce closer to large customers, many of whom have corporate and/or logistics facilities in the city, one of North America’s largest freight markets. The sales office will be something of a hybrid, focused on procuring freight for both the asset-heavy and asset-light sides of the business. Currently, logistics and brokerage services account for about 45 percent of AMX’s revenue and trucking represents the other 55 percent.
FreightWaves spoke to Collins White, President of Logistics at Alabama Motor Express, by phone.
“The goal of opening up the Atlanta office is to be closer to our customers,” White said. “We see the Atlanta freight market blowing up, and a lot of our customers have a warehouse or a corporate location there, so we thought it would be a good strategic move to have some salespeople in the area.”
Jake Heater, a young manager at AMX, is being promoted internally to Branch Manager of the Atlanta office. Ed Berry, Vice President of Business Development, will assist Heater during the transition, White said.
White said that Alabama Motor Express gives all of its salespeople experience in operations before they are sent out to bid on freight, to make sure that they know which lanes in AMX’s network need density.
“All of our salespeople are operations people for a good while after we hire them, so they have that experience and get a feel for what makes a truck profitable before they go out and just try to get all the freight,” White explained.
AMX likes to include operations people in all of its locations, White said. The vision for the Atlanta office is a fairly small customer-facing outpost that may grow to 10 people in a few years’ time.
Business at Alabama Motor Express is going well, White said. While volumes are “trickling down a bit” and shippers have more options to shop around for lower rates, the brokerage had its best month ever in February, and March is trending even higher.
White said that AMX has been able to improve driver retention with a combination of higher pay, changing how the company gets drivers home, enhanced screening of applicants and improved communication with technology like WorkHound.