Chattanooga market data firm FreightWaves adding 100 jobs as companies deal with supply chain issues

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jan. 21—FreightWaves, the Chattanooga-based freight market data and analytics company, expects to add 100 jobs this year as it gains customers who need help grappling with supply chain issues.

"We're providing real-time analytics on what's happening," said Craig Fuller, FreightWaves' founder and chief executive, in a telephone interview on Thursday. "We see the global economy eight to 10 weeks before everyone else does."

The new hires will put the company at about 300 employees, he said. While only about 10% of employees have to be in the office and FreightWaves hires from all over, a lot of the workforce is in Chattanooga and the company prefers to hire local, Fuller said.

Much of FreightWaves' growth is coming from its proprietary market analytics platform called SONAR, he said.

Fuller said the company added 319 enterprises in 2021.

"Our customers tend to be very large companies trying to get a handle on supply chains," he said.

FreightWaves has grown significantly since it began commercial operations in 2017. In 2020, it secured another $37 million in investment for its growth initiatives.

In 2018, FreightWaves won $100,000 in new investment in a Rise of the Rest pitch competition of Chattanooga startups involving AOL founder Steve Case.

The privately held company's fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, saw GAAP revenues of $7.9 million, up from $3.9 million in the same period in 2020. SONAR revenues grew 94% in the period, the company reported.

FreightWaves media business, meanwhile, posted a gain of 109% versus the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the company.

For the year, FreightWaves' total revenues surged 64%, Fuller said. He said SONAR grew 71% while the media segment rose 65%.

Fuller said there's a lot of demand for information and intelligence due to the world's supply chain challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's driving a lot of demand," he said. But Fuller said he thinks supply chain issues likely will persist.

"It's still going to be difficult this year," he said. "There's a level of uncertainty out there. Nobody knows whether or not I'm going to get product. That puts a lot of stress on the market."

Fuller said he doesn't see real relief coming until 2023.

The company reported almost all of its 2021 revenue growth came from "organic go-to-market efforts" with acquisitions being an insignificant contributor.

Also, FreightWaves achieved new profit milestones with a near-EBITDA positive result for the entire fourth quarter while accelerating into triple-digit growth, according to the company.

In November, the company introduced a product called TRAC, which provides real-time trucking rates, Fuller said.

"It was incredibly well-received," he said.

Fuller noted that Chattanooga has become an epicenter for logistics with the city dubbed Freight Alley. He said there's a variety of growing companies in the city in the sector.

"We're benefiting and contributing as well," Fuller said.

For example, Chattanooga-based Steam Logistics announced late last year that it will create 400 jobs in a nearly $7 million expansion as its moves into the historic John Ross Building downtown.

"We're growing at a fast clip," said Steam Chief Executive Jason Provonsha in an interview at the time, adding that Steam had seen revenues climb by about 1,000% since 2019.

In addition, another logistics company revealed plans last November to open a corporate headquarters building in downtown in the vicinity of the growing East M.L. King Boulevard corridor.

The company plans a renovation of the former TVA motor pool building at 412 E. 10th St., where the business is slated to put 60 people, Lee Helena, who's representing the site's landlord, said in a telephone interview. He declined to name the company.

Interested job-seekers at FreightWaves can go to careers.freightwaves.com.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-67318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting