Why Atlanta is the Hottest Market for Logistics
It’s nearing a year since Alabama Motor Express (AMX) opened a new location in the heart of Atlanta to expand its footprint in Freight Alley. Atlanta Branch Manager, Jake Heater, shares his thoughts on what makes the region unique, and more importantly, what it means for shippers, carriers and other industry professionals.
What are the biggest issues for shippers in the Atlanta market?
There are many large companies with headquarters in or near Atlanta — Home Depot, UPS, Coca Cola, Family Dollar and more. We’re seeing new offices, corporate campuses and warehouses being built daily. The Port of Savannah is the fastest growing port in the U.S., with volume up around 15% over the past three years. Its availability is incredibly tight. From there, freight can reach about 80% of the country’s population within two days.
Obviously, these companies have a lot of trucking and logistics companies to choose from. It’s simply a matter of finding the right ones to move their freight for a fair price, without compromising reliability and consistency.
What are the most significant carrier issues in the region from a 3PL perspective?
There’s more competition than ever before. And, it’s an entirely new type of competition. Amazon and Uber are courting customers with a full-court press, promising huge cost savings. Cost is important. For some shippers, it’s the only thing. But we know there’s more to moving freight than simply cost. Eventually, every shipper realizes it, too. Promises are good — but only if they can be delivered.
Beyond that, there will always be challenges with capacity and pricing during the produce season. We see it every year with our partner carriers and the largest brokers. Their rates can fluctuate wildly. We know it’s coming. We’ve seen it before, many times. Fortunately, we also realize through experience that when the going gets tough, a lot of shippers will seek out reputable, reliable and consistent mid-sized brokers instead of simply who offers the cheapest rates.
What is AMX doing differently in the Atlanta market to help customers?
Every carrier or 3PL thinks that they’re different than everybody else. We all say the same types of things when trying to secure loads. What separates one company from another is how well they follow through on what they claim.
We believe AMX is unwavering in its commitment to customers. But we know we have to prove it to every customer, every day. Automated processes have merit. But there are some things that can’t be eliminated from more traditional freight delivery models. It’s why we do the little things, like trying to meet face-to-face with customers more often, or simply remembering their names.
This personalized service model only works if we can support it on the road. With more than 250 of our own trucks, hundreds of logistics pros in multiple locations, and advanced technologies to make the entire operation run more smoothly, we have the foundation to meet almost any capacity and cost demand.
What’s the Atlanta supply chain talent market look like and why would someone choose to work at AMX in Atlanta?
There are many reasons why Atlanta has the 4th-fastest growing population in the U.S. It’s a hub for many well-recognized corporations across several industries.There are numerous universities in the area that help funnel talent into the city, including those with supply chain degrees. It’s a vibrant city that can attract young, smart professionals interested in great weather, sports teams, entertainment and more. Simply, it’s a great place to live.
But people still spend a huge chunk of their day at work. So we’re working hard to build the Atlanta office in a similar way we did with our first office in Dothan, AL. We believe in growth through autonomy. We want our employees to take ownership of their jobs and their opportunities. But we’re never going to lose the “small-town” vibe, where we believe in pitching in to help each other.
Our customers have taken notice. They note that there isn’t a corporate ladder just to reach the right internal contact. With AMX, customers know who to contact. More importantly, they know they’ll reach a person who knows them, too.
Need Jake and his team to help you move freight, get a quote.