BlueGrace Logistics, Riverview, Fla., increased its revenue 7,368 percent over three years to $63.6 million in 2011, making the Florida-based firm the fastest-growing logistics and transportation company in the U.S., according to Inc. magazine.
The company ranked 20th on Inc.’s 2012 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies of all types, led by Miami-based Unified Payments, which grew an incredible 23,646 percent from 2008 through 2011, reaching $59.5 million in sales last year.
BlueGrace President and CEO Bobby Harris founded the company as a technology firm in 2007 but shifted into the logistics market, serving primarily small to medium-sized businesses that couldn't afford proprietary technology and information systems. The company had about $850,000 in revenue in 2008.
Harris previously was a franchisee with United Shipping Solutions and worked in sales and operations at less-than-truckload carriers Southeastern Freight Lines and Yellow Transportation.
Earlier this year, Harris told the Tampa Bay Times he expects BlueGrace to grow about 70 percent in 2012. "Every day someone gets hired here," he said.
The Inc. 500/5000 list, published in the September issue of Inc. and available online, includes businesses across 25 industries, from advertising and marketing to travel, including logistics and freight and passenger transportation.
The fastest-growing U.S. businesses included 151 logistics and transportation companies, with eight companies increasing revenue more than 1,000 percent over a three-year period that included the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The list of logistics companies includes well-known businesses such as Coyote Logistics, ranked No. 19 among the 151 logistics and transport operators and 1,000 on the Inc. 5000 list, and Saddle Creek, which ranked at 105 and 3,809.
Estes Forwarding Worldwide, a subsidiary of LTL carrier Estes Express Lines, and England Logistics, the logistics arm of truckload carrier C.R. England, ranked 25th and 98th among the 151 logistics and transportation operators. The 151 also included two billion-dollar companies, GENCO ATC and Total Quality Logistics, ranked 60th and 72nd.
Several less well-known companies also made the list as their revenue rose. A total of 59 logistics operators had less than $10 million in revenue in 2011, including $7 million Cargo Barn, which ranked second on the logistics list after BlueGrace.
Cargo Barn, a transportation broker in Fresno, Calif., increased revenue 3,894 percent over the three-year period to rank 65 on the overall list. Founded in 2007, the company had approximately $175,000 in sales in 2008, according to Inc.
“I’m not sure there has ever been a more difficult time to try and grow a business,” CEO Cameron Baird said in a statement. “I can’t help to think that there was a little bit of luck on our side. We just tried to hire good people and offer an excellent service.”