Scottsdale, Arizona-based Emerge celebrated the opening of its Atlanta office this week while commemorating five years in business and looking ahead with a clear focus on providing shippers and carriers a modernized procurement process.
Emerge plans to leverage the Atlanta office to expand its customer base along Freight Alley, a market that holds about 17% of national outbound freight volume and employs over 12% of the national truck driving population.
According to Jack Holmes, Emerge’s co-founder and executive chairman, the Atlanta office puts the company in the right location for growth, providing a competitive advantage on the East Coast and a fresh hiring market for 160 planned sales, customer service, carrier enablement and operational roles.
“UPS moved there in the early ’90s and I don’t think anyone looked at it then as a transportation hub,” said Holmes, the former president and CEO of UPS who retired from the company in 2016. “Although, if you think about how many logistics professionals are there now, including Georgia Tech’s ability to pump out engineers, 10 to 20 years from now Atlanta is going to have a much bigger impact on global logistics.”
According to Holmes, there is no better time to support the 45,000 network carriers with a marketplace that is providing procurement services for more than 1,000 shippers with over $8 billion in freight.
“Many new carriers suddenly entered the market over the course of the last couple of years and now are leaving the industry almost as quickly as they arrived,” he said. “They have a great opportunity to turn that spot rate into contract rates with us. Those that don’t utilize a platform like Emerge are just going to continue pricing themselves out of business trying to win some freight. … On the contract side it guarantees them consistent freight and secures their future.”
Prior to opening its Atlanta location, Emerge went through a restructuring process of its business operations because of recent market conditions and refocused on its core competency: procuring truckload freight.
“We decided to take a pause and be more cautious than we have been with our growth by slowing our burn down,” Holmes said. “We want to focus more on the domestic truckload business. … There were people on the [product] development side and marketing that were working on initiatives that had very little to do with the domestic market.”
Throughout June, the company eliminated over 30 positions of excess while planning its charge into Atlanta, the largest truckload market in the U.S. and home base for Cameron Ramsdell, Emerge’s chief operating officer.
“Opening an Atlanta-area office is an exciting next step in Emerge’s rapid expansion and growth. We will bring the Scottsdale Emerge culture and focus on shipper and carrier experience to this new office, located in the heart of the intersection of freight and technology,” said Ramsdell. “This expansion positions our company well for continued growth and demonstrates our commitment to enhancing the shipper and carrier experience within the Emerge marketplace as we expand our 24/7 support offering.”
With over $170 million from investors, executive leadership from legacy companies like GlobalTranz, Coyote Logistics, UPS Freight, J.B. Hunt and Transplace and the restructured plan for long-term growth, Emerge’s leadership is looking forward to continuing its core mission of modernizing procurement processes.
For the restructured teams across the company’s now three offices, Holmes looks to drive a supportive, yet competitive culture he once built at UPS.
“I told our teams this new office is like getting a new sibling,” he said. “You are going to challenge each other. You are going to make each other better, you are going to support each other. At the end of the day, the family is now stronger with two siblings.”