VOL. 127 | NO. 240 | Monday, December 10, 2012
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Brought to you by
Blu Logistics Rebrands, Grows Memphis Presence
By MICHAEL WADDELL
Blu Logistics has made its move into Memphis and hopes to fill a niche in the local logistics market.
The company opened a Downtown office in early September and adopted a new brand image in mid-November.
“We are looking to increase our Memphis presence, and we will remain Downtown because we believe in a Downtown philosophy,” said Paul Selvage, Blu Logistics vice president of sales and one of the company’s four U.S. shareholders/partners. “Downtown Memphis is the center of the business community and it needs to be revitalized, and we hope to be a part of that.”
Blu Logistics, which was formerly known as Blue Cargo Group USA, is a freight forwarder, customs broker, NVOCC, and freight broker and is also involved with supply chain management and purchase order management. The company’s confidential client list includes companies that manufacture automotive products, furniture, lighting, plastics and apparel.
“The reason I wanted to come into the Memphis market is that I believe there is a service area that is not being met,” Selvage said. “Memphis has every large multi-national integrator in the world, but there are not many mid-sized freight forwarders that offer the type of customizable service like us.”
The company, which is based in Bogata, Columbia, operates U.S. offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, and is currently expanding into several new mid-sized cities through the central U.S.
In addition to opening an office here, Blu Logistics opened a St. Louis office last month and plans to open an office in Indianapolis by early next year.
“With these mid-sized cities, we believe there will be far more growth with industry returning for both exports and imports,” Selvage said.
Business is growing 20 to 30 percent annually for the company.
“Memphis is America’s distribution center, so it was a logical choice for expansion,” said Russell Grant, Blu Logistics business development manager and head of the new Memphis office.
Grant said he believes his company’s platform offers clients greater visibility and real-time tracking.
“We offer a platform where the information is pushed to our clients and they do not have to go out seeking it,” he said. “We have push-through, customizable technology in which our customers receive data at very specific times during the supply chain inbound process.”
The company has invested millions of dollars in the technology and developed it over the past several years to provide complete supply chain management, from purchase order issuing to end delivery of goods.
“To stay current in today’s marketplace, unless you are doing supply chain and offering your customers total visibility, you are going to fall by the wayside and you are not going to be in the game,” Grant said.
Blu Logistics recently added to its Memphis staff, hiring a licensed customs broker, and Grant thinks the Memphis office could grow from four people to 10 or more by this time next year. Overall, Blu Logistics employs nearly 800 full-time employees in Columbia as well as 64 in the U.S.
“We are dedicated to Downtown Memphis. I’ve always believed that Memphis’ growth is contingent on Downtown,” said Grant, who has lived here for 18 years. “We chose very specifically to open our office Downtown because we wanted to be different since all of our competitors are located by the airport.”
Selvage and Grant already expect that the company could outgrow its current office on South Main Street and move to another Downtown location as soon as next year.
Future company plans heading into 2014 and beyond will likely involve Blu Logistics leasing warehouse space in the city.