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8 Companies to Watch

Relationship First, Then Reliability

When a company or an individual needs a product shipped, Trident Transport relies on clear, consistent communication to make it happen. Matching freight with a carrier in their network, the company is founded first on honesty. CEO Heath Haley and COO Mark Harrell insist success is not about promising the lowest price – it’s about offering the best service. “Telling your customers the truth and following through with what you say you’re going to do – that’s how you land business,” Harrell says.

Why It’s A Company To Watch:
Named two years in a row in the Top 500 fastest growing companies in the nation by Inc., Trident Transport launched with four employees in 2013, offering only truckload services. Today, the company has 150 employees – 100 located in Chattanooga – and is a full-service logistics provider. That means they can offer truckload, air, ocean, intermodal (two or more different types of transportation), domestic, international services, and more. Haley says what makes their brokerage stand out is being innovative with employees. Employees who feel well-trained, engaged, happy, and valued will in turn be motivated and reliable for customers. Keen on recruiting young talent and keeping the office enjoyable, Trident Transport prides itself on its putting greens, basketball goals, and arcade games, as well as competitive pay, uncapped commission, and unlimited vacation policy (new in 2019). In addition, each year the team dresses up for Halloween and delivers candy to inpatients at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

2019 In Review:
Trident Transport has doubled its revenue every year for five straight years. In 2019, the company also doubled its workforce. Expanding beyond the Scenic City, Trident Transport opened a branch in Tampa, Florida, in February and a branch in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July. Last year, the company was also a Top Three Finalist for the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award, presented by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

Outlook For 2020:
Harrell and Haley will add an interactive way to share metrics within the office this year. “We have developed a proprietary gaming platform for our employees to show the metrics that we measure every day,” Harrell says, “to motivate them and help motivate each other – and ultimately, to make the job more fun for employees.”