( Courtesy Tom Lange )

Tom Lange Co. is marking the 60th anniversary of its founding in St. Louis, Mo., this year.

Jeff Moore, vice president of sales, has been with the company for nearly 20 of those years and has seen a lot changes during that time as the firm continued in expansion mode.

“We’ve expanded globally,” he said. “We continue to expand our growing and shipping operations, and we’ve had tremendous growth in logistics.”

He said there are three pillar to the company:

  • The Tom Lange Co., the traditional buying and selling division;
  • Seven Seas, the unit that handles growing, shipping, importing, exporting and repacking; and 
  • Lange Logistics, the transportation brokering division.

Lange Logistics is a multimodal operation, Moore said.

“We provide intermodal services as well as over-the-road and less-than-truckload.”

Produce LTL is definitely one of the firm’s niche strengths, Moore said.

If a customer needs three pallets of grapefruit out of South Texas or a couple of pallets of a commodity out of Michigan to go to a specific location, Lange Logistics can handle it, he said.

“We have trucks loading in all growing regions.”

The company ships full truckloads as well.

Tom Lange Co. has 25 locations, Moore said, and each office has different account managers.

“We share a lot of the same customers, but we break out our services by commodities,” he said.

The company ships “pretty much everything, from apples to zucchini.”

The firm was founded by Tom Lange, who worked out of a local office in St. Louis when he was employed by a produce brokerage firm in Kansas City.

He worked out a deal to buy out the St. Louis office and, together with Farrell “Dutch” Gay, established his company there.

Four years later, Phil “Rock” Gumpert joined the pair, and he continues as chairman and CEO.

Gumpert knows most of the company’s nearly 200 employees by name and is prone to calling them on their birthdays or randomly checking in with them to see how they’re doing, Moore said.

“He’s very supportive.”