What it’s actually like to work at a fast-growing logistics company.
By Cemile Kavountzis, for Axle Logistics
At Axle Logistics, their slogan Build Your Empire feels especially relevant with the unveiling of their sleek, new headquarters on North Central Street. Like everything this rapidly growing, third-party logistics company has done to date, fitting out the space was an ambitious, $13 million project, which also extended Knoxville’s downtown northward and brought fresh energy to the area.
Working with Design Innovation Architects, they transformed a 1920s building, which was last used as a warehouse into a stylish space inside and out, earning a 2021 East Tennessee Preservation Award from Knox Heritage — and a nod from the city’s mayor.
Going into the project, their vision was a dynamic one — and a simple one as well. They wanted to build a space their people would enjoy working in.
A new work home
The building is now home to their team of 175-plus employees and growing, and offers the space they need to continue expanding. Looking forward, they’re excited to bring more jobs to downtown Knoxville and their branch office located in Chattanooga, less than two hours away.
This year alone, they’ve already hired 75 full-time employees and 13 interns, and they’re planning to continue bringing on new talent at that pace.
“Our ongoing commitment is to provide a great place to work and our objective is to do what it takes to keep our people and our customers happy! We strongly believe a great work place is the foundation for success and exceptional customer service starts at home with our employees. Earning recognition as a Knoxville Top Workplace allows us to continue to attract great talent, keep our turnover low and allows us to provide a great work environment that will allow us to continue to deliver results. It’s a big deal for us and our team,” said Shawn McLeod, Vice President of Logistics.
A spirit of entrepreneurship and teamwork
Since 2012, they have gone from a startup co-founded by University of Tennessee graduates Jon Clay and Drew Johnson to an established third-party logistics company working with clients across the U.S., as well as Canada and Mexico. They specialize in safe, reliable and advanced logistics services, including truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL), intermodal and warehousing.
In Knoxville, they’re a local, entrepreneurial success story — and for the third year in a row they’ve earned distinction as a Top Workplace. Axle is projected to finish the year out close to a half a billion dollars in revenue for 2021 $500,000,000.00.
In an industry largely focused on moving freights from point A to point B, one way they have innovated is offering a single point of contact for their clients. Having this go-to contact streamlines the process making them a one-stop solution with competitive pricing. Within the fast-paced world of transportation, their highly knowledgeable logistic consultants can handle the complexities which arise on a regular basis.
They have also spearheaded technology to improve efficiency, such as smart, online tracking tools. Likewise, real-time GPS shipment and load tracking info offer transparency and security, and customers have unlimited access to an online portal. The company also aggregates data analytics, market trends and software applications to optimize the management of shipments.
“We’re honored to receive this recognition. We truly believe the work culture that we’ve built rivals any other organization, not only within our industry, but all other industries as well. This is a great place to work where your opportunities for career growth and financial gain are endless,” said Jon Clay, Co-Founder.
An upbeat corporate culture
This cutting-edge approach has put them a step ahead of some of the larger companies because they can handle the same capacities, while providing more personalized service. In an industry where global supply chains can change quickly — often unexpectedly — their team is able to react nimbly and get the job done.
However, along with all their high-tech advances for progress and efficiency, they’ve held fast to some old-school values, such as integrity, respectfulness and optimism. These pillars translate to exciting jobs for employees, and overall, higher quality standards for customers.
For a team that works hard, they also play hard, whether it’s kicking off summer with a roving treat truck serving syrupy shaved ice or a networking night with some crisp beers at a nearby brewing company. And, there are other incentive for milestone hitters as well, such as actual customized baseball bats, and the occasional office concert ticket giveaway.
“At Axle, we believe there is a direct correlation between effort and reward. Rewarding our team for their hard work allows us to show our appreciation in fun and creative ways in addition to Axle’s lucrative pay structure. These types of innovated incentives are just one of the many reasons Axle is able to recruit and retain the industries top talent and continue to be named a Knoxville Top Workplace,” said Ali Fraley, Director of Strategic Development.
With great resources, Axle Logistics offers an exciting workplace for those who enjoy the challenge of doing logistics differently — and the occasional table tennis showdown.
To explore opportunities to Build Your Empire at Axle Logistics, go to https://axlelogistics.com/.