(Aug. 8) Total Quality Logistics is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in September, and after a decade of operating, the firm has every reason to celebrate.

Cincinnati-based TQL has swelled from two employees in 1997 to more than 780, and the company is expected to be worth more than $400 million in 2007, said Ken Oaks, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of the third-party logistics provider.

The company netted about $300 million in 2006, Oaks said.

Throughout the years, it has accumulated 4,000 clients and 30,000 companies — with 30% of its business dedicated to the produce industry — and TQL doesn’t foresee its growth slowing down anytime soon, Oaks said.

“It’s (the freight brokerage business) a $60 billion industry, so there’s a lot of market share to be had,” Oaks said.

In fact, TQL plans to acquire more of that market share in the near future.

In March, the firm moved into a new 100,000 square-foot facility but already is discussing its next move into a 500,000-square-foot building, tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, Oaks said.

Also, the company plans to hire 500 more employees at its headquarters within the year, he said.

“It feels like it’s 30 years, but in a good way,” Oaks said of the anniversary. “We just continue to hire great employees, and it’s all about servicing the customer the way they deserve to be serviced.”

Oaks attributes much of the success to TQL’s personnel.

“Our hiring process is pretty tough, and our training process is second to none,” Oaks said. “And the formula as to how we do things here is, we just want to be the best provider of service possible.”

TQL also distinguished itself five years ago when it went paperless, converting all documents to computer programs and developing its own operating software. TQL has 20 programmers, who upgrade the system constantly, Oaks said.

The company has two events planned for the fall to recognize its anniversary, Oaks said. The first will involve inviting clients, community leaders, the media and guest speakers, including keynote speaker Roger Staubach, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, to its new facility, and the second will be geared toward employees and their guests, he said.