ITS Logistics and Amerijet form air cargo deal
A new partnership between ITS Logistics and Amerijet of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., could prove to be a huge piece of business for the Sparks-based logistics and transportation firm.
ITS Logistics will offload and distribute air cargo brought into Reno-Tahoe International Airport by Amerijet to airports and other destinations throughout the West, says Jeff Lynch, president of ITS Logistics. It also will bring cargo from regioinal cities into a 10,000-square-foot consolidation center in Reno leased by Amerijet. From there cargo will head to Amerijet’s Columbus, Ohio, hub and then on to other parts of the eastern U.S.
Lynch says his firm was chosen from a pool of qualified transportation companies in a competitive bid process because it was based in Reno and because logistics is its core business.
“We focus on time-definite line-haul services or injection services into hubs and consolidation points,” Lynch says. “The marriage was perfect for what we do with freight.
“Being based in Reno also was very appealing to them,” he adds, “and we pretty much have the largest transportation network in Nevada for the Western states.”
ITS Logistics also is mulling plans to handle East Coast distribution for Amerijet, which could significantly increase the volume of business it does with the company.
“We see this as a great addition for the community outside of ITS,” Lynch says. “It is the business we are after, and it has the ability to explode in growth. Hopefully we will be able to expand into other markets with them.”
The investment to service the Amerijet contract easily will reach several millions of dollars in new equipment and staff, Lynch notes. ITS expects to add between 13 to 15 employees, mostly drivers and account managers, but it also will need dispatch and customer service help and drivers for after-hours coverage.
Dave Bassett, founder and chief executive officer of Amerijet, says he chose Reno for a western expansion for three reasons — with weather being the primary factor.
“Look at what we have here: absolutely gorgeous skies and beautiful weather,” Bassett said during a recent press conference announcing his company’s entry into northern Nevada. “I’m a pilot by nature, and I always worry about getting in and getting out, and there is no problem coming in and out of Reno.
“No. 2, Reno is centrally located,” Bassett added. “It is centrally located right smack in the middle of the north and south end of the lower 48. That is really important because we plan to a combination of airplanes and trucks and timing for our customers. It is really important for us to be centrally located, and we need to have a good road system.
Lastly, Bassett said, northern Nevada is a friendly and welcoming place for new business and business expansion. Amerijet, he says, fills a niche where pure ground trucking is not quite fast enough for delivery and shipping with FedEx or a similar carrier is too expensive.
The contract with Amerijet is helping propel ITS Logistics to an unprecedented upswing in growth. The company founded in 2000 saw 50-percent rise in year-over-year revenue in 2012, Lynch says, and it grew an additional 65 percent in 2013. Lynch says ITS Logistics budgeted and planned for an additional 50-percent growth in 2014, and it’s already surpassed that number in just the second quarter of the year.
“We will grow another 60 to 65 percent this year, and we’ll start opening additional markets throughout the East Coast,” he says. “We have great things happening on the warehouse side of the business. We have been very blessed.”
A great deal of the company’s growth has come from simply expanding with existing ITS Logistics customers, Lynch says.
“We do a great job, and our customers ask us to do more,” he says.
“There is a lot of economic uncertainty still, so priority No. 1 for every single small business owner should be survival … And this second round of PPP is basically the lifeline to survive.”