Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECHO) is a provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. Echo maintains a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of transportation providers to serve its clients’ needs. Offering freight brokerage and Managed Transportation services across all major modes, Echo works to simplify the critical tasks involved in transportation management.
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 achieved growth through its M&A strategy, acquiring 19 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.
The specific transportation management services Echo provides include truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, specialized services, international air and ocean, partial truckload, and small parcel.
Truckload: Truckload shipments require a full trailer to move. Echo maintains a network of over 30,000 truckload contract carriers and private fleets, allowing clients to ship using flatbed, dry-van, and temperature-controlled equipment.
Partial truckload: Partial truckload shipments are high-volume LTL shipments. 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.
The Echo Corporate Citizenship Committee helps employees participate in volunteer opportunities such as blood drives, food drives, tutoring, environmental cleanups, medical research fundraisers, and community service events.
Echo is 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 their clients' carbon footprints.