Chattanooga Times Free Press

Freight brokerage firm TQL expands into downtown Chattanooga office

Dave Flessner

Chattanooga's Freight Alley is getting a new brokerage player downtown.

TQL, the second-largest freight brokerage in North America and one of the largest global third-party logistics firms, is expanding its national presence with a new office in Chattanooga.

TQL Chattanooga has leased a 14th floor office in the Truist Building at 736 Market St. and is hiring sales representatives for the logistics firm as part of the company's plans to build a local workforce in Chattanooga of 80 to 100 workers, according to company spokesperson Molly Koweek.

TQL, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, where the company was started in 1997, opened its Nashville office in 2014 and employs more than 100 people at the location. The company added offices in Memphis and Knoxville in 2015, and those two locations have grown to more than 250 employees between the two sites.

"We're proud to grow our team and deepen our commitment to Tennessee in the incredible Chattanooga community," TQL President Kerry Byrne said in an announcement of the new Chattanooga office. "We chose Chattanooga for its reach as a transportation hub and its great pool of talent. We're excited to be part of such a vibrant city and build on our 10-year presence in the state."

TQL joins a growing and competitive market of logistics companies serving the trucking and shipping industry around the globe.

In its annual ranking of the nation's top growing companies, Inc. magazine said 14 of Chattanooga's 20 fastest growing companies are in the logistics industry.

"I think logistics are driving our entrepreneurial and startup economy here in Chattanooga, which is why we have called this Freight Alley," FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller said in an interview last year. "We have a high concentration of talent here in a business that encourages growth and innovation, so I think we'll continue to see a lot of growth in many of these startup businesses in logistics."

(READ MORE: Hometown heavyweights in Chattanooga's logistics industry)

Fuller, whose family has been involved in building such trucking giants as Southwest Motor Freight, U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Covenant Logistics and Transcard in Chattanooga, monitors and reports on the logistics industry for the software and media company FreightWaves, which was among the companies included on the Inc. 5000 list in recent years.

Fuller said Chattanooga now rivals Chicago as a hub for the logistics industry. Fuller estimates the Chattanooga area already has more than 7,000 white-collar professionals involved in freight logistics, and that doesn't count such jobs as drivers or warehouse workers.

(READ MORE: Co.Lab promotes sustainable mobility)

Even before opening its downtown Chattanooga office, TQL already has more than 9,000 employees at over 60 offices across the United States.

"As the (Chattanooga) office grows, we look forward to eventually announcing our leadership team," Koweek said in an emailed statement. "For now, we are focused on hiring talented Chattanoogans who can bring their community insight to TQL and become big contributors to the global supply chain."

TQL seeks to connect shippers and carriers with available capacity and service offerings. The company now works with more than 140,000 carriers to help achieve greater supply efficiencies for its customers and offer a comprehensive portfolio of logistics services.

In last year's Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America last year, TQL ranked 3,194 after growing revenues by 161% during the past three years. TQL also has been named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work three times in the past five years.

"We are proud of this achievement," TQL President Kerry Byrne said. "Maintaining growth speaks volumes to the company we have become. This honor is a tribute to our employees, our carriers and the customers who place their trust in us."

In its hometown of Cincinnati, the company sponsors the Major League Soccer team FC Cincinnati, which plays in the TQL Stadium downtown.

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.