Access America Transport, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based freight transportation and logistics provider, entered the Twin Cities market in 2006 when Steve Cox opened a two-person office.
Roughly seven years later, the local office has grown to 145 employees—with plans to add an additional 500 Twin Cities jobs over the course of five years, according to Cox, who leads the company’s Minnesota operations as executive vice president.
Access America Transport recently moved its local operations into a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Brooklyn Park, and it plans to add about 75 to 100 local jobs in 2013, and it will “grow exponentially from there,” Cox said.
All new workers start out as “freight consultants,” an entry-level position that exposes them to all aspects of the business. Employees can then work their way up the ladder, hiring their own teams of salespeople, or what Cox calls “pods.” After two years with the company, employees make an average of $71,000 in salaries and commission, he said.
Access America Transport has gained national attention for its fast-paced growth. The company’s revenue totaled $90 million in 2010, $190 million in 2011, and roughly $360 million last year, according to Cox. Today, it employs about 450 across nine offices, and Inc. magazine recently named it among the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country.
The company’s local office did about $145 million in sales last year, according to Cox. “Not a lot of businesses get to that point in only six years,” he added.
Access America Transport works with at least 75 Fortune 500 companies, and its local office counts among its clients Anheuser-Busch and Caterpillar, Cox said. The company is experiencing a similar pace of growth in other markets, and Cox said he believes its high-caliber customer service differentiates it from competitors.
The company’s local office has a unique bond with St. Cloud State University. Cox, a St. Cloud State alum, said roughly half of the company’s Twin Cities employees attended the school. Cox said that, to further bolster the relationship, Access America Transport and the university plan to apply for a grant under the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership program, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The program helps fund training for workers and is aimed at keeping jobs in the state.