CEO: Douglas R. Waggoner
Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECHO) is a provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. It connects businesses that need to ship their products with carriers who transport goods, doing so using a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of transportation providers.
Echo was established as a logistics division for InnerWorkings, a web-based printing company in Chicago, Illinois. In 2005 InnerWorkings founder Eric Lefkofsky and business partner Brad Keywell expanded the logistics division into a Delaware Limited Liability Company (LLC).
In 2006 Douglas R. Waggoner became CEO of Echo, bringing with him extensive experience in the transportation industry. Waggoner had previously founded freight management software provider SelecTrans LLC, which he sold to Echo in 2006. As CEO of Echo, Waggoner has led the development of proprietary technology and algorithms to create multimodal transportation management solutions.
When Echo completed its initial public offering on October 2, 2009, its common stock became listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol “ECHO.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Echo has over 30 locations across the US. The company organically expanded by opening sales offices in Troy, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Echo has also acquired 20 companies for their mode expertise, geographical presence, technology solutions, and cultural fit. The company’s first acquisitions of Transportation Management Group (TMG) and BestWay in 2007 in particular established a West Coast and Pacific Northwest presence for Echo.
2010 brought five acquisitions. Freight Lanes International (FLI), DNA Freight, Lubenow Logistics, Resource Group Associates (RGA), and Distribution Specialists provided Echo with an expanded presence across the US and augmented its truckload, expedited, and LTL capabilities.
Since 2010 Echo has acquired Nationwide Traffic Services, Trailer Transport Systems (TTS), Advantage Transport, Sharp Freight Systems, Purple Plum Logistics, OpenMile, One Stop Logistics, Comcar Logistics, and Xpress Solutions. Strengthening the nationwide presence of Echo, these acquisitions have also improved its technology solutions and mode capabilities, especially its skill in intermodal and temperature-controlled offerings.
Echo’s largest acquisition came in 2015 when it acquired Command Transportation for $420 million. The company acquired Command for its large full-truckload network, geographic footprint, and technology assets. In 2016, Echo moved 500 Skokie, Illinois-based Command employees to its newly expanded Chicago headquarters.
The specific transportation management services Echo provides include truckload, partial truckload, less than truckload, intermodal, specialized services, international air and ocean, and small parcel.
Truckload: Truckload shipments require a full trailer to move. Echo maintains a network of over 40,000 truckload contract carriers and private fleets to allow customers to ship using flatbed, dry-van, and temperature-controlled equipment.
Partial truckload: Partial truckload shipments are high-volume LTL shipments that are too small for a full truckload but too large for LTL. Echo works with thousands of partial-truckload consolidators.
Less than truckload (LTL): Less-than-truckload shipments consist of six pallets or fewer, weigh less than 7,500 pounds, and take up 12 feet or less of trailer space. Echo has pre-negotiated partnerships with national and regional LTL carriers.
Intermodal: Echo has relationships with intermodal rail providers (including Union Pacific, CSX, Canadian National Railway, and BNSF Railway) that have a capacity of over 100,000 dry-van and temperature-controlled containers.
Specialized services: More specialized transportation management services include expedited shipments, volume shipments that are more than five pallets or over 6,000 pounds, white glove/final mile deliveries, and residential deliveries.
International air and ocean: Echo has access to a prequalified network of freight forwarders as well as tariff and customs information.
Small parcel: Small parcel shipments are individual packages. Echo manages small parcel reporting, carrier selection and negotiation, freight bill pay and audit, and filing Guaranteed Service Recovery (GSR) claims.
Echo also offers a Managed Transportation service that is specific to each client. Each solution includes a complete audit of the client’s transportation spend and process, a full savings analysis, and an account team that can manage one mode to a full transportation network.
Other logistics services Echo offers include rate negotiation, routing compliance, shipment execution and tracking, freight bill audit, and payment and performance management. The company also employs a carrier qualification process based on established vetting procedures and a set of safety criteria that carriers must meet. Echo monitors its carrier database with integrated technology, which tracks changes in a carrier’s insurance, operating authority, or safety rating. It utilizes third-party resources standard in the logistics industry to complement carrier vetting procedures.
Echo uses proprietary technology to provide transparency into a customer’s logistics network and spend.
The Echo Corporate Citizenship Committee is an employee-led organization that helps employees participate in volunteer opportunities. Annual events include the Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon, where employees work to enhance a public school in the Chicago area; National Rebuilding Day, where employees make repairs to the home of an elderly person or disadvantaged family; an annual food drive; the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 5K run; and the Giving Tree, where employees donate gifts to families in need during the holidays. Echo also partners with Griffith Tutoring in the fall and spring; employees welcome Chicago Public School students into the Echo office and tutor them in six hands-on sessions for the ACT.
Echo is also a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership. The Partnership stipulates that Echo provide alternative equipment and service options for over-the-road shipping that help reduce its customers’ carbon footprints.