Coyote cuts Chattanooga brokerage floor, Chicago IT staff

On Friday, Coyote Logistics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS) laid off all the carrier representatives in its Chattanooga office, leaving a small group of salespeople and administrative workers. Coyote had let the office shrink by attrition over the past year, not hiring replacements for brokers who left, but yesterday about 25 people in Chattanooga lost their jobs. Thirty IT workers were also cut from Coyote’s Chicago headquarters.

In one sense it’s the end of an era for freight brokerage in Chattanooga. 

Coyote’s office in the city was based on its 2014 acquisition of Chattanooga’s Access America for approximately $260 million in stock and cash (the deal size was never officially disclosed). Access America was a fast-growing freight brokerage founded in Chattanooga in 2002 that eventually opened offices in Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and other locations.

The layoffs at Coyote come at a time of widespread reductions in headcount across the transportation and logistics industry. The former Coyote brokers in Chattanooga will find jobs.

Other brokerages with offices in Chattanooga have reached out to FreightWaves to say they’re hiring, including Covenant Transport Solutions, the GuideOn Group, Trident Transport, and Arrive Logistics. 

Over the years, many freight brokers and future entrepreneurs passed through Access and Coyote’s doors on Warehouse Row in Chattanooga, and a number of transportation and logistics companies in the city have roots in the company. 

Ted Alling, Access America’s co-founder and former CEO, is a partner at the Lamp Post Group and Dynamo Ventures. Chad Eichelberger, who was the president of Access America when it sold, is now the president of Reliance Partners, a commercial vehicle insurance agency; his partner Ronald Ramsey, Reliance’s chief commercial officer, was executive vice president at Access and Coyote. Steve Cox, who was executive vice president at Access, is now the president and COO of Steam Logistics, a Chattanooga-based freight forwarder. Carter Garrett, who was a regional vice president at Access and then Coyote, is now the vice president of Trident Transport. Asa Shirley and Ryan Doherty, both sales managers at Access America and Coyote, are now senior vice presidents of sales at Arrive’s Chattanooga location. Keith Gray, vice president of operations at LYNC Logistics, was a national account manager at Access and then Coyote. The list goes on.

Even FreightWaves has benefited from the logistics culture established by Access America: our own ocean market expert, Henry Byers, honed his craft in truckload and less-than-truckload brokerage at Access and Coyote before getting into freight forwarding at Steam Logistics.

Access America and Coyote Logistics formed some important secondary building blocks of Chattanooga’s freight culture—family-owned businesses like U.S. Xpress (NYSE: USX), Covenant Transportation (NASDAQ: CVTI) and Kenco were the foundation. 

In 2015, UPS acquired Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion, about one times revenue. Since then, Coyote has doubled in size, with an estimated 2019 revenue of $4 billion.

In the past two years, UPS corporate management has made a series of changes to the brokerage, including reducing  incentive-based compensation, removing carrier reps’ visibility into their margins per load, and aggressively enforcing non-compete clauses—even against non-revenue generating employees like carrier reps—in an attempt to reduce churn and control costs.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes UPS (No. 2), U.S. Xpress (No. 13) and GuideOn Group (No. 104).


  1. Oh but, “we don’t have enough trucks”. “OMG we’re facing a major driver shortage!!” Well? I think I see the answer. Drive these bottom-feeding broker vampires back to hell where they belong. We don’t need them, and we’re better off without them. Let’s get back to the days when authorities/drivers negotiated with the customers directly. We got lazy, and we got stupid. Those big $billion monopolies took over. Have we learned our lesson yet?

  2. Ran one load with them in 2016, they refused to pay detention and to relocate the deliver since receiver refuse a pallet.
    Got escalated they paid me and I delivered pallet to a ESTES, after which they blocked me from running; states I hold freight hostage.
    Location of freight was know for them to retrieve but they didn’t want to pay..
    This is a Bate and Switch company…. That’s enough said for me..

  3. I hauled for coyote since 2015.
    Made a good money hauling their ups power only loads.
    Then made good money in 2016
    2017 was also so good.
    2018 still made money but it was a fight at every load.
    they started lying and cheating at every turn. No matter who you dealt with. It was a bunch of kids. Interns from what I heard. Lying about appointment times.
    2019 i barley did anything with them.
    2020. Not one load done with those idiots this year.
    I’m not surprised that office is gone.
    It was a bunch of clowns. I dealt with many of the guys and girls there. They were A bunch of low class liars. Then never paid detention per the contract or truck ordered it used. and in the end never were honest about the loads weight, pick up and delivery times and locations. They would send you to places that had no truck docks and freight was dragged off with chains and fork lifts. What a show that way.
    They got what they deserved.
    Enjoy the unemployment line losers. You deserve it.
    Guys like me are still trucking and making a profit and an honest living. Something you can’t understand.

    Best experiences I had with coyote was with Minnesota office. Great people. Honest and hard working. TN was trash.

      1. I agree, also they would say the detention would be paid, but you had to fight with them for several days before you could get an updated rates con and they were always late pays and refused to pay late fees. No longer work with them.

John Paul Hampstead

John Paul conducts research on multimodal freight markets and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. Prior to building a research team at FreightWaves, JP spent two years on the editorial side covering trucking markets, freight brokerage, and M&A.