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August 16, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Inc. 5000 rankings document Chattanooga’s emergence as transportation and logistics hub

Eleven of the 19 companies from the city that made the list are in that sector. The Knoxville region added another 11 to the compilation including 15-year veteran of the list, KaTom Restaurant Supply.

If there was ever any question that Chattanooga has become a rapidly emerging logistics and transportation hub, that argument was put to rest with the latest rankings from the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

The Scenic City placed 11 companies that were categorized as in that sector on the just-released rankings. That’s 10 percent of the 111 companies that made the list and call Tennessee home. In addition, Chattanooga had another eight businesses that made the 2023 rankings, bringing the city’s total to an impressive 19 companies.

By comparison, the Knoxville region placed 11 companies on the list this year, including perennially ranked KaTom Restaurant Supply which has been listed for 15 consecutive years, and StoragePug, the Knoxville regional leader for the second consecutive year at #782 with a three-year growth rate of 753 percent. For 2023, Kodak-based KaTom was ranked #4,091 with a growth rate of 111 percent.

The only non-Knoxville or non-Chattanooga area company to make the rankings from East Tennessee was Crown Laboratories in Johnson City at #3,492 with a 142 percent growth rate.

Of note was the fact that Nashville-based CareBridge, a healthcare services provider, topped the national list of 5,000 companies, recording a staggering 157,144 percent average revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. It was one of 57 companies located in Nashville or a neighboring Middle Tennessee county to make the 2023 rankings.

Looking at the list of the top 1000, it included five East Tennessee companies. Three call Chattanooga home, while two are located in Knoxville.

  • #260 – Steam Logistics (Chattanooga) with a 2,151 percent three-year growth rate;
  • #766 – Moca Logistics (Chattanooga) with a 768 percent three-year growth rate;
  • #782 – Storage Pug (Knoxville) with a 753 percent three-year growth rate;
  • #847 – Axle Logistics (Knoxville) with a 698 percent three-year growth rate; and
  • #999 – KCH Transportation (Chattanooga) with a 593 percent three-year growth rate.

The rankings are produced annually by Inc. Magazine based on each company’s percentage of revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2019. They also must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent – not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies – as of December 31, 2022. Since then, some on the list may have gone public or been acquired. The minimum revenue required for 2019 is $100,000; the minimum for 2022 is $2 million. Growth rates used to determine rankings were calculated to four decimal places.

The other East Tennessee companies on the list in rank order with their location and growth rates are:

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