The Early Years (2008-2012)
Our story begins with the strategic acquisition of a company in 2008, that was involved in the production, sale and distribution of frozen beef patties. The company was based in Waycross, Georgia, with a history tracing back to 1958.
A new entity was formed on June 1, 2008, to take over the distribution operation and “Hickory Transportation Services, LLC (HTS)” was born. During the period 2008 to 2012, HTS operated a small fleet of trucks and trailers, and continued to serve primarily as an in-house carrier for a larger group of related companies, including the acquired company, and revenue grew from $1 million in 2008, to $3.5 million in 2012.
Positioning for Growth (2013-2015)
In early 2013, management made the decision to expand and grow the truck operation beyond just servicing the in-house operations, and moved the office to Jacksonville, Florida. The company began the process of assembling a management team that was up to the task, and began acquiring the assets and technology necessary to scale the business.
The assembled management team consists of a mix of seasoned veterans from the transportation industry, with cumulative experience of over 100 years, with specific experience in asset-based trucking, freight brokerage, and marine transportation, including private and public company experience, building start-ups from scratch, to over $100 million in annual revenue.
During this time, the company grew the truck and trailer fleet to 25 units. In August of 2013, management decided to leverage their freight brokerage experience, and formed another entity, HTS Logistics, LLC (HLOG) to start and grow a brokerage operation. In form, HTS and HLOG are separate legal entities. In substance however, we operate two separate companies as one cohesive transportation unit, operating from the same location, with the same management team.
Towards the end of 2014, management decided to deploy the McLeod Loadmaster and Powerbroker TMS to streamline the overall technology for both companies, and position the company for growth.
During this period, consolidated revenue grew by 72%, to $25 million, with the team size growing from zero at the beginning of 2013, to 30 members at the end of 2015.
Solid Foundation Established and getting traction (2016 and beyond)
Since 2015, the company has experienced explosive growth. Revenue has grown by another 60%, to $62 million, our agency segment has grown to five agents, our McLeod TMS system was upgraded to the latest version, and we now have over 50 team members.
In January of 2018, in order to help fuel our existing growth, we secured a $5 million revolving line of credit with BB&T. We expect to expand it to $10 million in early 2020, to accommodate our expectations for the intermediate future, and help support our efforts to reach our first major milestone of realizing $100 million in annual revenue.