A Promising Start for the Final Mile
In late February 2020, Atlas Logistics® announced their acquisition of TopHAT Logistical Solutions™, a Wisconsin-based company focused on final-mile home delivery. With only a few weeks until the COVID-19 pandemic closed the world and changed the way society did everything from working to shopping, the timing of the deal could not have been more serendipitous.
“At the beginning of the pandemic when everything was shut down, home delivery was essential for almost everything,” says Matt Van der Linde
, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Atlas Logistics. “It grew exponentially, and that growth has only accelerated and isn’t slowing down.”
But even with the boom in e-commerce this time in history has ushered in, the Atlas Logistics team was already setting its sights on expanding their portfolio. They were doing a fair share of final-mile delivery already, but it was more centered on business deliveries and warehousing, less from the residential angle.
“This is one piece of the market that continues to be very strong,” says Phil Wahl
, President and COO of Atlas Logistics. “We’re seeing an exciting amount of growth based on this new normal of shopping through e-commerce, even for things outside of clothing or home supplies. This is something for when customers need a more personalized service for a delivery inside the home that may require installation or assembly. That’s the work we’re doing with TopHAT.”
As successful brands, both Atlas® and TopHAT had options when it came to buying and selling. For Wahl and Van der Linde—who say they receive daily emails from eager outside owners—company culture was key when deciding on whom their final, final-mile choice would be. “Knowing we share a common culture really helps because we know we’re all on the same page and are going in the same direction,” says Van der Linde.
“I 100% agree,” says Steve Trensch
, President, General Manager, and Founder of TopHAT Logistical Solutions. “Our culture goes hand in hand. We had other options that weren’t a good fit for one reason or another, but the decision came down to our shared Midwestern values.”
For Trensch, who has been in the business since 1987 and helped build TopHAT into the successful $150 million company it became at the time of sale, working with Atlas has been nothing short of incredible. “I have gray hair for a reason,” Trensch jokes. “But since being a part of Atlas? I have less gray hair now.”
For all involved, the opportunity for growth both from a client perspective and for the Agent family is a thrilling one.
“Working with the Agents was tough at first,” says Trensch.” Not because of them, but due to the supply-and-demand issues the pandemic caused. Lately, it’s a whole new ball game and we’ve won 10 bids recently because of the relationships I’ve been building with the Atlas Agents.”
Wahl says that TopHAT’s white-glove delivery sector is one where Agents can thrive and hopes that moving forward more throughout the network will see the value of diversifying their portfolios with these services, adding, “We want to show them that this is a long-term opportunity. When TopHAT wins business it’s usually a multiyear contract that can be counted on and planned for. We can know what type of volume and revenue to expect over that contract period. There are fewer peaks and valleys than with the household-goods side of things.”
Costco®. Macy’s®. LG®. These are just a few of the big names TopHAT is currently working with and expanding service for thanks to the Atlas connection, says Trensch. “There are a few other major retailers we’re going after now that I have the Atlas name and Agent network behind me. It’s opened doors I never could have walked through before.”
As for the future, Wahl envisions a limitless one. “I see this as a national footprint moving ahead. Our end goal is to have a national home delivery network so we can sell to these large-cost customers out there. They want to know we have a way to get a shipment, and to get that shipment wherever it needs to go—even if that’s a farmhouse in rural Iowa. With TopHAT and the help of our fantastic Agents, we’re going to make that happen and expand only the way Atlas can.”
To learn more about Atlas Logistics®, visit
To learn more about TopHAT Logistical
Solutions™, visit www.tophatls.com.