On Tuesday afternoon, Arrive Logistics popped champagne as the freight brokerage officially opened its downtown Chattanooga office on Market Street. Arrive launched this office, its third in four years, with twelve brokers. CEO Matt Pyatt said that Chattanooga’s location in the heart of Freight Alley—between Atlanta, Charlotte, and Memphis—made it especially desirable, and the city has a huge pool of talent to draw from. Pyatt briefly addressed the Chattanooga team before taking questions from the brokers.
“The people who have been involved with this office have been through a lot—you deserve a round of applause,” Pyatt began. “We started Arrive in July of 2014 with ten people in downtown Austin. Since then we’ve grown to 600, 650 employees. We have big plans for Chattanooga; this market has unbelievable talent.”
Pyatt laid out Arrive’s aggressive growth plan: he said that he expects Arrive to bring in $370M in revenue this year, and almost double each year for the next two years, to reach $1B revenue by the end of 2020. He emphasized that Arrive wanted to give the new branch the resources it needed to succeed.
“We’re going to continue to give you the resources you need. We know it’s hard being a satellite office. If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to let us know. We don’t want you to feel like you’re on an island,” Pyatt said.
One new employee asked Pyatt about his favorite thing about the freight and logistics industry.
“If you look at the industry, the number one thing is that it’s a massive market and it’s changing very rapidly,” Pyatt responded. “There’s new technology, new ways to use data, and new ways to do things better. What we like about the industry is that we have a great team and we’re using technology and data to get ahead of the curve. That’s worked for us so far: growth has been unbelievable. There will be multiple winners in the space, but the winners five years from now will be very big players. In five years it’s going to be very hard to compete with us from automation and pricing perspective.”
We spoke with Asa Shirley, SVP of Sales, who was tapped to run the Chattanooga office. Shirley began his brokerage career in 2010 at Access America and stayed at Coyote through the acquisition, growing his pod of flatbed reps to ten brokers. Shirley reflected on his tenure as a broker and his goals for the new shop.
“A lot of people thought the Access [cradle-to-grave] way was how everyone did things, but when Coyote came in, we found out that wasn’t the case,” said Shirley. “We learned how to be more strategic in what we do and how we do it—Coyote taught us how to take a step back and put a strategy around an account.”
Shirley said that he thought he had what Arrive needed to get a new office off the ground.
“I’m a people manager, which means coaching reps on the floor, not managing by email,” Shirley said. “We want to get to know every single one of these reps, find out what motivates them and what they’re working for, and help them reach their goals and get what they want out of life. People want to buy homes and cars, get married and start families. If I don’t give those people a good leader, that’s on me.”
After champagne, congratulations, and posing for photos, the Arrive team headed down to Big River Grille & Brewing Works to celebrate. We caught up with Arrive co-founder and President Eric Dunigan at the bar.
“Our company is largely built on people and culture,” Dunigan said. “Asa’s a good example of that. If we didn’t have that in Chattanooga we wouldn’t have launched—you have to be able to inspire people who don’t necessarily know anything about logistics. With this team, we can do it, and there’s enough talent down here to build a big office.”
When asked to be specific about what makes Arrive’s culture different from other young, growthy brokerages, Dunigan replied “investing in the people and believing that our program works and is scalable. You inspire a work ethic, and tell people ‘we’ll meet you halfway to make you successful’.”
“We’re looking for work ethic—people willing to get their hands dirty and work harder. A common thread for success in logistics is people who are determined, hyper-focused, and will run through walls to get it done,” Dunigan concluded.