Moving a staff of 50 from a small building on Greentree Road to a 9,000-square-foot facility Downtown would be challenging for many businesses. But Elite Transit handles logistics for even more complicated moves every day. That expertise — and their embrace of technology in order to excel at it — is responsible for their fast growth and need for expanded working space.

Elite provides third-party logistics services (aka 3PL) for clients who move inventory by truck throughout the country. Concentrating on the food industry, which has more stringent requirements, Elite uses technology in ways that the company says has not been done in 3PL before. That technology is particularly helpful in today’s more complicated transportation environments.

One example?

“Grocers, retailers and food manufacturers will call us and say, ‘We have 50 loads of our product that need to go from here to there by tomorrow,’” explains Mark Hutton, Elite’s business development manager.

Founded in 2013 in Miami by CEO Michael Johnson, the company has doubled their Pittsburgh staff in the past year to 50 people, each requiring enough desk space for the large monitors needed to perform their client services. The new Downtown space offers that, plus room for future expansion.

Johnson’s initial move of the company to Pittsburgh from Miami was designed to put him in the midst of a strong labor force with supply chain expertise and a strong university feeder mechanism. Hutton says 90 percent of the new hires come from local universities including Duquesne, Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, WVU and Robert Morris. That ratio will probably continue as the company looks to hire an additional 50 employees during the remainder of 2018.

Technology and opportunity

A new federal law called the Electronic Logging Device Mandate is among the reasons Elite expects to again double their staff size and then some in the next few years.

The mandate is meant to create a safer work environment for drivers and provide more accurate recording of hours of service starting April 1. This will increase the administrative burden for transporters which will likely ramp up the need for more 3PL services.

Elite is poised to take advantage of the law with technology they acquired and are now integrating into their services. Their approach to using their own technology is a departure from many organizations who use off-the-shelf software from large companies, such as Oracle and SAP, which Hutton suggests gives Elite an advantage in the market. Elite has a team of four technologists on staff currently with more growth expected in 2018.