In 1982, Sam Cole started Sunland Distribution with three people and 100,000 square feet. Now, 40 years later, with new leadership from CEO Arch Thomason and a new senior leadership team along with a name change, Sunland Logistics is a national third-party logistics provider and recognized as a top 100 3PL by Inbound Logistics Magazine.
But how did it get here?
Cole sought to start a distribution center focused on helping his local community in Greenville, once known as the textile capital of the world. His goal was to be a “good employer and take care of customers,” according to Liza Mcangus, who has been with the company for 10 years and who currently serves as director of marketing.
In 2008, Thomason purchased the company and became CEO, a role he still holds today. He learned the business directly from Cole while serving as head of sales.
After the industry started to change, remodeling to become more technology-driven, Thomason notes in a video celebrating their milestone that the company was “starting to lose business to more professional-type organizations.”
To celebrate its 40-year milestone in 2022, Sunland Logistics debuted its online brand and website to convey its transformation into the new kind of company it is today.
Since the website had not been updated in 10 years, McAngus says its debut was “timed beautifully.”
As the company grapples with changes to the supply chain due to shortages from COVID-19, the short-term goal for the company is to focus on assisting customers to navigate and understand the current supply chain environment.
The company also aims to continue Cole’s dream of being a good employer and taking care of its customers. For the last 40 years, Sunland has impacted the community as a place of employment and has also offered internships and opportunities for those interested in logistics. What started as a local outfit to better impact the community has now become a nationally recognized logistics company.
1982: Sunland Distribution Inc., was founded by Sam Cole in Greenville to be a public warehouse provider for the community.
2008: Arch Thomason becomes CEO after purchasing the company and learning it from Cole while serving as the company’s head of sales.
2013: Elijay Ray becomes chief customer officer as a new leadership team of logistics experts begins to be formed
2016: Hari Sivaprakasam becomes chief operations officer as the team aims to become a lean organization
2022: Sunland is now a national third-party logistics provider