XPO Logistics CEO: Charlotte operation to grow

XPO Logistics, a shipping brokerage firm with a Ballantyne office, is laying plans for a rapid expansion, and CEO Brad Jacobs said the Charlotte office could see further growth.

On Thursday, XPO announced that several groups have agreed to invest $700 million in XPO to fund future acquisitions.

“It’s a strategic investment in us that’s a clear vote of confidence,” CEO Brad Jacobs told the Observer.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based company said last year that it was adding almost 290 jobs to its Charlotte office, which houses a national operations center, sales and human resources workers. The company is eligible for $3.6 million worth of state incentives, in addition to $3.2 million awarded in 2012 when it also expanded its Charlotte operations.

Jacobs said the company employs more than 360 workers in Charlotte and has met its hiring targets thus far to earn the incentives. N.C. Commerce Department spokesman Graham Wilson said the report for the company’s first reporting year to verify its incentives wasn’t complete. “I remember when we had 10 employees there,” Jacobs said of Charlotte. “Our main problem in Charlotte is we’re always running out of space.”

XPO has grown rapidly through acquisitions in the past year, buying up smaller competitors in the fragmented shipping industry. XPO’s revenue jumped 152 percent last year, to $702 million. The company isn’t profitable yet, however. XPO lost $51.5 million last year, and almost $14 million in its most recent quarter.

Jacobs said the company is absorbing the cost of building its business out. “I was happy to absorb those costs,” he said.

Earlier this month, XPO completed its $615 million acquisition of High Point-based shipping business New Breed Logistics.

As XPO grows, Jacobs said the Charlotte office will add jobs. “We’re growing in Charlotte,” Jacobs said. “We’re going to keep growing there.”