A truckload of jobs coming to Brooklyn Park

Steve Cox stands in front of Access America’s new office in Brooklyn Park. (Sun Post staff photo by Jonathan Young)
Steve Cox stands in front of Access America’s new office in Brooklyn Park. (Sun Post staff photo by Jonathan Young)

Access America, a trucking brokerage that recently moved to Brooklyn Park expects to add 500 jobs in the next five years.

The company currently employs about 150 workers in Minnesota, but expects exponential growth thanks to a business model Executive Vice President Steve Cox says creates a culture of growth.

A trucking brokerage connects companies or individuals who have loads to ship with truckers who can do the job. The customer calls the broker, who then seeks a quote and gets commission off the sale.

Cox said using Access America’s brokers makes the shipping process easier and safer, because the company has a list of pre-qualified truckers it trusts.

“You want to make sure you’re putting a reliable carrier on a customer’s load,” he said.

In December, Tennessee-based Access America moved its Minnesota office to Brooklyn Park after outgrowing its space Ramsey, Minn.

Cox cited Brooklyn Park’s central location and the specific building available as major factors in the decision to move to the city.

Access America now occupies about half a floor – approximately 30,000 square feet – of the Northland Corporate Center at 7225 Northland Drive. Other tenants include the Minnesota Workforce Center and RJF Agencies.

The move not only marks a milestone for Access America, but also for the 200,000 square-foot corporate center, which sat vacant for years until Swervo Development of Minneapolis purchased the property in 2009, gutted it and reopened it in 2010. Until Access America moved in, an entire floor of the building had been unoccupied.

“The building is almost full,” said Nancy Aleksuk with Swervo.

She said about 10,000 square feet are available on the first floor, and Swervo has the right of first refusal for the rest of the space on its floor.

Cox expects his company to need it before the five-year lease expires.

But can his Access America live up to its projections?

Cox says yes, pointing out the company isn’t getting any financial benefits by projecting a high number.

“It’s a realistic goal for the company,” he said.

The company’s history suggests he could be right.

Access America’s Minnesota division began with only two people in 2006. The Minnesota division added 30 employees in 2011; last year, it added 70.

The company’s business model lends itself to exponential growth because of its structure, Cox said.

Every broker hired can start his or her own “pod” by hiring other brokers. The pod leader gets a commission off his own sales, plus each sale his employees make, as well as sales of anyone his employees hire. At some point, employees are far enough removed that there’s no commission from sales down the chain – there’s only so much commission to go around.

Cox says the model means everyone is growth-oriented and has a vested interest in the success of others.

“Everyone’s really interested in seeing everyone else grow as a broker,” he said.

The structure also allows brokers who stick with the job to make good money – the median salary for an Access America broker after two years is $71,000.

Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]