Matt Bott, the president of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce calls TransNET, Inc. a great local success story.
TransNET, Inc. was a finalist in the second annual King County small business awards, in the “Exporting Small Business of the Year” category. Bott nominated TransNET for the second year in a row, noting that the company also gives back generously to the community.
TransNET is now housed in their own brand-new building at 1710 5th Ave. N.W. The company started on the same location in an old house, and as it grew, moved to a location behind Safeway for six years. President Peter Moe Jr. said the intent always was to owner occupy, and the timing was right with low construction costs this year. With a new building and this lofty recognition, this family business is literally on the move.
TransNET is in the business of global transportation logistics, specifically doing business on the Russian Pacific Coast. Moe’s dad, Peter Moe Sr., has worked in the shipping industry his entire life. The family moved to the West coast from the East coast in the 1980s. Moe Jr. had already settled here, and once the time was right for he and his dad to form a business together, the company grew organically as the post-Soviet Union Russian economy grew.
“People wouldn’t choose to get into this business – it’s a niche business,” Moe said.
Four of the staff at TransNET speak Russian. Moe said it’s logistically challenging where TransNET does their work. The company brings goods into this most eastern part of Russia from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. They’ve gained their expertise in this market.
With 15 employees in Issaquah, there are also 35 employees globally spread throughout Moscow, Vladivostok (which has the main rail head for the trans-siberian railway and is the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean), Sakhalin Island (which is rich in oil and gas) and the financial office in Khabarovski, Russia.
“Like any international business we are subject to ups and downs, but Russia is resource rich so they can pay to have large cargo shipped in,” Moe said.
TransNET brings cargo with supplies for the oil and gas business to Sakhalin Island, which is experiencing an oil boom. Moe travels to Russia at least twice a year to be on the ground with those employees.
They also do charters if a client has enough cargo to fill an entire container vessel to one destination. Moe said they are a non-asset based logistic company – in other words, they buy services for the client, so it’s a turn-key operation for the client.
So, it’s not necessary for TransNET to be, say, at the Port of Seattle. The Moe family enjoys Issaquah, and feel fortunate to live and work in the community.
“We’re honored to be selected and recognized, especially in the relatively niche business we’re in,” Moe said.
Linda Ball can be reached at 425-391-0363 ext. 5052, or firstname.lastname@example.org.