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UPDATE: Demand for distribution services drives firm's growth

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A business model that a top executive at Backhaul Direct LLC describes as “pretty simple” could enable the company to grow nearly fivefold within the next four years.

The Indianapolis logistics firm said Thursday morning that it plans to invest $1.7 million to grow its downtown operation and add 324 jobs by 2015.

“There’s quite a bit of opportunity out there in our sector as companies look to reduce their transportation costs,” Chief Operating Officer Nick Hoagland said. “And one way for a company to do that is to get backhauls on their freight.”

What that means is Backhaul Direct will contract with a supermarket, for instance, that needs a product shipped from St. Louis to Indianapolis. It then will locate a carrier with an empty semitrailer returning from a delivery that can pick up the load, usually at a lower cost than a normal contract.

“They’d rather come home with something rather than nothing, so that’s where the real savings occurs,” Hoagland said.

Backhaul Direct also contracts with carriers in an attempt to provide them more business.

Founded in 2004 by owner Greg Harris, it ranked 13th last year on IBJ’s list of fastest-growing private companies, reporting revenue of more than $18.9 million in 2009. Sales grew to $28 million last year, Hoagland said.

Backhaul Direct now employs about 70 at its 1 Virginia Ave. headquarters, where it intends to lease additional space. The company occupies 13,000 square feet on the fourth floor of the building anchored by first-floor tenant Scotty’s Brewhouse.

It relocated to the building two years ago from the Morrison Opera House Building on South Meridian Street and has an option to lease more space to accommodate the growth.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company as much as $2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans. The city will consider an additional property tax abatement at the request of Develop Indy.

In 2009, the firm launched BD Managed Services, a subsidiary that manages IT and telecommunications services for companies in the logistics industry. It is located on the third floor at 1 Virginia Ave.

Hoagland said it will begin hiring customer service, information technology, sales and management positions immediately.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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