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ITS Logistics spins off transportation brokerage

Rob Sabo
rsabo@nnbw.biz

ITS Logistics has split off its transportation brokerage division into a separate business unit that last week moved into office space in downtown Reno.

ITS National leased second-floor space in the four-story tower in the Bank of America building at 50 W. Liberty St. ITS National General Manager Mike Crawford runs a department of about 20 and continues to build his team of transportation brokers.

Many logistics firms in the region offer transportation brokerage services, but that section of the industry was growing so rapidly for ITS Logistics that it created the spinoff firm as an individual business unit that shares HR and other administrative services with the parent company.



Transportation brokerage involves pairing a customer or shipper’s needs with a transportation solution that could involve rail, truck, air or combined modes of transportation. Much of the business coming to the newly created ITS National is from existing customers who have an overflow or sudden need to move an extra load from one destination to another. ITS National acts as a third-party broker to find a solution to move the freight at a cost and timeframe that meets the client’s needs.

“ITS has been extremely successful on the fleet side, and we’ve really put a focus on (brokerage) with this team and investment in technology in the last year-and-a-half,” Crawford says.



The ITS fleet is always a first option for the brokerage unit, but ITS National can’t always use those trucks to move brokered freight because the ITS fleet typically is contracted or tied up with existing business.

“When you have an asset like a truck on the road and a driver, both of those are real commodities and you don’t have them unscheduled,” Crawford says. “It is a very coordinated, very scheduled operation and details are clear on where they are going and what times.”

When it can’t use its own trucks, ITS National seeks to move freight with transportation companies with which it has forged close ties and developed familiarity with their equipment and quality of service, Crawford adds. Trucks are the main method it uses for transportation brokerage.

The company has enjoyed strong growth because of its history of success in brokering third-party freight deals.

“There’s a lot of room for error,” Crawford says. “You are putting together two different parties, and we are sort of in between directing traffic. If you perform better than average there’s a lot of opportunity.”

Sales Manager Adam Engle says the team of young professionals at ITS National also has played a big role in its success. Much of the team is recent graduates from the University of Nevada, Reno.

ITS National moved its offices from outdated industrial space off Purina Way in Sparks to a central location downtown to nurture the culture of young professionals on staff, says Crawford, a UNR grad who played middle linebacker for the Wolf Pack in the 1990s. The new location also makes recruiting talent from the university much easier, he adds.