Worldwide Express, GlobalTranz, and Unishippers Band Together to Establish the WWEX Group
By Jeff Berman
October 2, 2023
A trio of well-known logistics services providers — Dallas-based privately held freight brokerage and authorized UPS reseller Worldwide Express, Phoenix-based GlobalTranz, a full-service 3PL focused on freight brokerage and technology, and Dallas-based Unishippers, the second-largest privately held freight brokerage in the country — announced today they are collaborating on what they called a new "corporate identity," entitled WWEX Group.
This follows a multi-year acquisition strategy and integration effort, which saw GlobalTranz and Worldwide Express join forces in June 2021 and the merger of Worldwide Express and Unishippers in January 2017. WWEX officials said that these companies, under the WWEX umbrella, represent the second-largest U.S.-based privately-held logistics company, with nearly $5 billion in revenue. And they added the three companies will still operate as the "go-to-market brands for the WWEX Group" and be connected through a consolidated infrastructure, which includes the group's proprietary SpeedShip technology platform.
What's more, these companies are collectively comprised of more than 2,800 employees, 200 franchises, and 500 agents throughout the U.S., as well as an office in Monterrey, Mexico. And the WWEX Group's carrier partner network includes more than 75 regional and national LTL (less-than-truckload) and national FTL (full truckload) carriers and managed transportation solutions, moving 36 million combined shipments for 121,000 customers in 2022.
"As you look at what we have been building over the last few years, we have put together what I think are the three of the more impressive brands in this space," WWEX Group CEO Tom Madine told LM in an interview. "Each brand has some characteristics about it that make it fairly unique. Unishippers is obviously a franchise model. GlobalTranz is a big agent model, and Worldwide is obviously a direct model. We all hit different modes and different areas of the market. As you think about what we're really building, we wanted to tie it all together. And we chose to do that with this parent brand, WWEX Group, that really links all three companies together. If you think about what we built, the brands will remain distinct for an array of reasons. Looking at what we built across the three brands, it's one that touches every stratum of customer."
To that end, he explained how Worldwide Express and Unishippers are both heavily into the SMB and middle markets, with GlobalTranz a little heavier into the mid-market in the enterprise space, with the companies, from a legacy standpoint, hitting every area of the market.
And he added that these companies collectively bring what he called a phenomenal offering to bring to market with a tremendous amount of scale.
"We have got an offering now, whether it is an SMB or a Fortune 1000 brand, to bring to market, and we see ourselves playing the biggest role in this space is through our enterprise grade product that we, by choice, spend the bulk of our time with mid-market and SMB customers. The reason we are able to do that is through competency, the product, set the technology, and the carrier relationships. But we are so close to the customer through our distribution pipelines."
That closeness comes through Worldwide Express's roughly 600 national salespeople, Unishippers 200 franchises that employee 300-to-400 salespeople and more than 600 agents, and GlobalTranz' 1,500 employees whom are close to customers and can be very responsive, he said.
"In a business, where over the last few years that human touch has really been deemphasized, I think we have the ability to not only offer people the cutting-edge technology that's become table stakes in the space, but really with a very responsive human touch, where when things go wrong, one of our creeds is that we're going to make it right," he said. "I think that's really resonated with the market, particularly with smaller customers who don't have in-house logistics expertise. Our value prop is really differentiated."
An underlying driver in bringing these companies closer together, according to Madine, is taking each brand's slightly different market competencies integrated together and having the ability to provide those solutions to customers.
"From a customer standpoint, they may be doing business with an agent from GlobalTranz, and they've got the full breadth and scope and scale of the WWEX Group behind it," observed Madine. "And they also have access to all of the carrier capacity, the modes, and the expertise that's provided by this much larger group. "Internally, a lot of that has already gone on, and we've had a tremendous amount of cross-selling, we've had a tremendous amount by bringing, as an example, the world-class truck brokerage capabilities of GlobalTranz. We've already had tremendous success bringing those to our Unishippers and Worldwide Express customers. But this now sort of makes it easier for a customer to sort of recognize that the brands are all connected, and the strength and the power of the overall company is really what they're choosing to do business with. But, again, with that really, in most cases, that local and that very personalized point of contact that's going to be their concierge at the company, that gives them that sort of bespoke level of attention that small- and mid-sized business customers really crave and really need to have success with their logistics strategies.