Change is Good

In his newsletter last week, Michael McKinney announced he has stepped down as president and CEO of AM Transport Services, and David Abell is assuming the role.

“Change is important and healthy,” McKinney wrote, “you can’t grow without it.” 




David Abell has been with AM Transport since 2011 when he came onboard as IT Manager. At that time AMT employed 11 team members, and the fax machine was still the King of Tech. Abell left his old job in technology at the local hospital at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. He hit his new job running, configuring a new file server over the weekend before officially starting at AMT Monday morning.

Ten years ago, other industries had embraced the technology revolution, but logistics was another beast all together. “Working alongside the folks at AMT to learn the business, I quickly understood that technology in the logistics business was lacking,” David said. “One of my first major projects was sourcing and implementing a new Transportation Management System.”  

It didn’t take long for David to realize that even with a state-of-the-art TMS, AM Transport needed more customization. This realization took David twice to India to meet with an outsourced development team charged with building custom software unique to AMT’s needs.

Sales and marketing was just a short step from David’s IT role. Logistics marketing is a challenge, and once he created a playbook for AMT, he realized it was applicable to other logistics companies. With that Squirrel Works was born–the first marketing company that focused solely on the transportation industry. 

“Founding Squirrel Works provided me with both the insight into how other transportation companies operate and the opportunity to meet some world-class people and develop some great friendships,” David said.  In the past five years, Squirrel Works has worked closely with over 75 transportation companies on a variety of sales and marketing projects.

Abell was surprised and honored when McKinney approached him about his interest in succeeding him as CEO/president. “I’ve been given a special opportunity to work alongside the best people in this business,” he said. “Being mentored and coached by Michael McKinney has greatly influenced everything from my love of reading and curiosity to my desire to be the best version of myself and to live the AM Transport values.”

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” he added, “and I’m so excited for this opportunity. Without a doubt, AM Transport has the best team of passionate, smart, and diligent logistics professionals who genuinely care about one another and the customers and carriers we are lucky to work with. These folks are going to make my job easier for sure.”

Here at AM Transport, we are excited about the future. We are committed to serving both our customers and carriers for many years to come. If the upheaval of the past year has taught us anything, it’s that freight brokers and the outsourced logistics solutions they offer are a necessity now more than ever. “I’m extremely bullish about AM Transport’s role in that future,” David said, “I believe more and more companies are beginning to see the importance of working with a relationship-driven freight brokerage. We’re all excited to buckle in and enjoy the ride.”