Little John relocates NWA office to Springdale, expects revenue rise

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 686 views 

Russellville-based brokerage Little John Transportation Services recently combined two Fayetteville offices into a 9,809-square-foot building at 5106 S. Thompson St. in Springdale. On Aug. 18, Dale Brothers of Northwest Arkansas #One LLC purchased the building, formerly Simmons First Bank of Northwest Arkansas, from Arkansas Federal Credit Union for $1.5 million. Little John Transportation moved in Dec. 15.

The non-asset brokerage company specializes in flatbed, van, heavy haul and hazardous materials services. As an agent of broker Landstar System, Little John Transportation moves truckload freight across North America, sourcing Landstar’s 9,500 trucks. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Little John Transportation’s revenue rose 23%, and for the year, revenue increased to $145 million, said Chris Dale, president and CEO of Little John Transportation. In 2018, he projected revenue to rise 17% to $170 million.

Nearly 90% of revenue can be attributed to the spot market, he said. In December, dry-van spot rates rose 22%, from the same month in 2016, according to DAT Solutions. But for Little John Transportation, rates have risen 33% in the past year. Dale expects business to be good for the next three to five years as tax reform goes into effect.

The company’s average load is about $2,600 and hauled about 1,200 to 1,500 miles. It books about 280 loads daily, and on Jan. 5, it had 1,850 loads assigned. The majority of assigned freight is for shipments needed that day or the next day.

The company has 140 employees and offices in Houston, Russellville and Springdale. The Springdale office has more than 35 employees, and Dale plans to add 15 full-time positions there this year.

In 1988, Dale established Little John Transportation as a trucking company in Clarksville — a year before graduating with a marketing/transportation logistics degree from the University of Arkansas. The company established a Northwest Arkansas office in 2008.

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