Jim Brosious, chairman of one of the fastest-growing freight service and logistics firms in the region, kicked off 2013 in a serious anti-recession kind of mood. To wit: Brosious' business, Freight-Center Inc., is in the early stages of a company-transforming move, both in geography and in mission. On location, the 120-employee firm will move from a 9,000-square-foot office in Trinity, Pasco County, to a 16,000-square-foot facility in northern Pinellas County, in Palm Harbor. The move could be complete by March.
The move, though, merely precedes the company's bigger shift: To add a sales department — with at least 70 people — which will aggressively target new clients. FreightCenter, says Brosious, only previously generated sales from marketing and outside Internet searches. That model worked, to the point where the firm had $32 million in sales last year, up 190% from $11 million in 2008. But Brosious and his son, FreightCenter CEO Matthew Brosious, always knew the soft sales approach had a ceiling. “As good as our core model has been,” Jim Brosious tells Coffee Talk, “we thought we were at the top of the mountain.” The next climb will be difficult, Brosious says, and costly. The company will spend at least $500,000 on the move and investment in new employees, from phones to software. Brosious, for that
reason, confidently projects 2013 won't be FreightCenter's most profitable year.
“We will set sales records,” he says, “but it will be a year of big investment in the company." FreightCenter, founded by the father son Brosious team in 1998, is like an Expedia for the shipping and logistics industry. The company, using proprietary Web tools and software, provides shipping rates and services for companies and individuals. Users and clients include FedEx and UPS. Past the pure cost of expansion, Brosious predicts 2013 will be marked by one other big challenge: The merger of sales methods. Says Brosious: “We are going to figure out how much we can integrate the two groups.