“We have significantly diversified the company,” said Roadrunner CEO Mark DiBlasi. “Our customer base needs a carrier that provides multiple services.”
Cudahy-based Roadrunner made a whopping nine acquisitions in 2012 and its offer now includes expedited less-than-truckload, truckload and logistics, transportation management solutions, intermodal solutions, and domestic and international air transport. These acquisitions, coupled with previous year’s success, have helped drive Roadrunner’s annual revenue to more than $1 billion.
Six years ago, after a merger with Dawes Transport Inc., Roadrunner provided only less-than-truckload service, in which carriers collect and consolidate freight from various shippers. When the company went public in May 2010, Roadrunner attained the financial wherewithal to be more aggressive in pursuing deals, said DiBlasi, who came to Roadrunner in 2006.
“We have a very aggressive growth strategy,” he explained. “We have been the fastest growing company in our industry for the past three years.”
Roadrunner’s annual revenue stood at about $300 million at that time. Roadrunner could reach $1.4 billion in 2013.
Roadrunner’s growth has almost tripled the size of its companywide work force. Just three years ago, Roadrunner employed 1,110 employees and 1,200 drivers. Today, that figure has grown to 2,400 employees and 3,200 independent contractors who drive exclusively for the company.
In that time, Roadrunner has added at least 250 employees in Wisconsin, DiBlasi said. Nearly 50 new positions have been added at the corporate headquarters, bringing the headcount at the Cudahy home base to about 200 employees.
Although Roadrunner’s services extend throughout the country and other parts of the world, its less-than-truckload terminal in Brown Deer is the third-largest in its system.
“Wisconsin has served us very well,” DiBlasi said.
Roadrunner isn’t alone among Wisconsin-based transportation and logistics companies that have grown into major players. Green Bay’s Schneider National Inc., an industry stalwart, is a provider of truckload, logistics and intermodal services.
Founded in 1935, Schneider, which is well known for its orange tractors and trailers, has annual sales of about $3.4 billion and provides services throughout North America and China. It has nearly 17,500 employees worldwide, 11,500 company drivers, 1,900 owner-operator truck drivers and operates more than 170 facilities.
Its drivers log nearly 8.7 million miles per day, hauling more than 10,675 loads.
Schneider Logistics, a subsidiary of Schneider National, manages $1.8 billion in transportation, operates more than 10 million square feet of warehouse space and has contract relationships with more than 12,000 transportation providers.
According to company president and CEO Chris Lofgren, having its base in northeast Wisconsin has allowed Schneider National to tap into a productive and dedicated work force in the region.
“This company was built the old-fashioned way: through hard work,” Lofgren said. “Our associates aren’t afraid of hard work. In fact, they take pride in it. We’ve earned our place as the nation’s premier truckload, intermodal and logistics provider.”
Lofgren credited the efforts of state government in allowing companies such as Schneider National to grow and maintain its headquarters here.
“We have an immense appreciation for Wisconsin’s state government, which is genuinely and sincerely interested in what it can do to help us employ more people,” he said. “It is committed to working with private industry to create the infrastructure, environment and education required to be a place where people want to do business