Given what its parent company does, John Lower expects Velocity Transport to have a strong presence in food service and grocery distribution. But the goal for the Plano-based freight brokerage startup is to serve a number of industries. “Matter of fact,” Lower said in a phone interview, “I’ve got contracts on my desk right now for a couple (of) food service companies, as well as a couple (of) retail.”
Velocity Transport launched earlier this month and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McLane Company, Inc. Based two hours south of Dallas in Temple, Texas, McLane recorded $48 billion in 2016 revenue and is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A). It accounted for more than a fifth of the conglomerate’s revenue in 2016.
Lower, vice president of operations for Velocity Transport, projects his company to hit seven figures in revenue within 12 to 18 months. The company is also a little over halfway to its goal of hiring 30 people in its first year of operation.
In addition to retail and food service, Lower thinks the company will venture into the automotive, industrial manufacturing and building products spaces.
“Our intent is to be a full service, one-stop shop for a shipper who might need to ship freight on various modes,” Lower said.
To discuss his business more, Lower spoke with the Dallas Business Journal.
How did this company start?
I think McLane recognized probably over two years ago that there was an opportunity here to get into freight brokerage. I think that there are some freight management entities within the McLane enterprise now that are doing similar work. But there wasn’t a unique skillset for a very fast-paced, high-energy, transactional freight brokerage. I think the executives at McLane recognized that and began to develop some initial vision as far back as two years ago.
From McLane’s perspective, why make a separate company instead of creating a new division or segment?
I think McLane really just recognizes where it makes sense to own a business and to share the name, and where it makes sense to strategically invest. And I think this opportunity was different enough in terms of our core service offering. We’re a non-asset based business. We have a very unique skill set that we are seeking to hire that isn’t common necessarily within the McLane infrastructure. So, it just made sense.
Why are you based in Plano?
Plano’s just a great place to be. From our perspective, when we thought about where we wanted to be, Chicago is the traditional center of gravity for brokerage businesses. And the market saturation there was just too high. There were just so many positive things about being in North Texas. For me, the access to talent is probably No. 1. We’ve got favorable geography, or it’s within a reasonable commute for many of the target demographic folks that we were seeking to hire. We’ve already heard from many of our employees that they love this location.
By Evan Hoopfer
This article was originally published in the Dallas Business Journal. Read the original piece here.