Hub Group helps its clients by handling the hubbub of freight movement throughout North America. An intermodal marketing company, Hub Group specializes in arranging the transportation of freight by a combination of rail and truck. A customer's freight is loaded into a container or trailer and transported by rail from one Hub Group distribution center to another, then taken to its destination by a local trucking company, which in some cases is a Hub Group unit. The company also provides truck brokerage and logistics services. It operates from about 20 main offices, each located near one or more railheads. The family of the company's late founder, Phillip Yeager, owns a controlling stake in Hub Group.
As part of its intermodal business, the company provides drayage (local trucking) services in key markets through subsidiary Comtrak Logistics, which primarily contracts with local trucking companies, but also owns its own fleet of nearly 300 tractors and 500 trailers. In mid-2011, Comtrak Logistics expanded its drayage operation in the Seattle market by purchasing Domestic Transport. The deal marks Comtrak's 25th terminal and boosts its network of container deliveries throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Hub Group's truck brokerage business, Hub Highway Services, matches shippers' loads with carriers' capacity. The unit manages the transportation of refrigerated and other specialty cargo, as well as standard dry freight. As part of its brokerage service, Hub negotiates rates, tracks shipments, and handles freight loss and damage claims for customers. In spring 2011 Hub purchased Exel Transportation Services for $83 million. Renamed Mode Transportation, the business operates through a third-party agent network, encompassing 300 independent business owners that provide a slate of complementary offerings, including temperature protected transportation.
Keeping pace with the competition, Hub Group has invested in technology and an enhanced online presence for its logistics unit, Unyson. Unyson arranges the transportation of cargo not handled by other Hub Group units, such as parcels, freight requiring expedited delivery, and less-than-truckload freight.
Hub's businesses benefit most significantly from its flexible access to dedicated containers and trailers owned by railroads and leasing companies. The company taps a rail fleet of more than 11,000 containers and dedicated arrangements for about 9,600 rail-owned containers with the Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines. Its position enables the Hub Group to cater to customers in a range of industries, including consumer products, durable goods, and retail. – less