Spotlight News

Women in Expediting: Hope McDermott

June 27, 2016

Our web series focusing on Women in Expediting rolls along as we continue to explore why women choose Expediting as a career, and how they not only survive in an industry traditionally dominated by men, but thrive to become successful drivers and/or owners.
Women in Expediting bring a number of much needed talents and abilities that compliment the team environment and contribute to a successful business.

We introduce Hope McDermott, wife, team driver and business partner of Thomas McDermott. They have partnered together through a number of ventures over the years, settling into a successful Expediting career since 2013.

SLN: How did You and Thomas begin your careers in Expediting?
We started out driving 53-footers for several years and we weren’t real happy with the company we were driving for at the time. We began talking to people who were in Expediting and learned about the industry. Thomas got online and found the Expediter Services website — that was in 2013. We soon began at Expediter Services as contract drivers, signed on to Fedex as our carrier. A couple of years later, we bought our own truck at last year’s Spring EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) from Expediter Truck Sales, utilizing Expediter Equipment Finance and we’ve not looked back since!

SLN: What reaction do you get from people who find out you are a woman in Expediting?
The subject does come up from time-to-time. Some people are still surprised that there are women drivers out there, but once they see that you know your job, they respect you. Also, I speak with men who want to bring their spouse or significant other on the road with them. A lot of times their partners are a little intimidated by driving a vehicle the size of a straight truck. I tell them a good way to see if they like it is to rent a large U-Haul truck for a weekend and drive it around. It’s a neat piece of advice that has helped quite a few husbands get their wives involved in the business. Once their partner gets her Class B license, a whole world of opportunity opens up in Expediting.

SLN: What do you feel is the key to success for you and Thomas?
Thomas was “all in”  from the very beginning when it came to me being his driving and business partner. He was also the one who trained me to drive a 53-footer. In many ways, our working together as Expediters is not much different than when we were driving big rigs or even when we owned our own construction company years ago. Many people ask me how do we work so closely together. I think the important thing to remember is that at the end of the day we are a team and there is always give and take. It also helps to keep in mind the goal of having a successful business and Expediting helps to provide focus toward that goal.
Also, it’s important to know boundaries and respect each other’s personal space, after all, you’re both living in close qurters much of the time. We use the curtain between our bunks as a way to maintain privacy. When the curtain is closed, it’s private time and we both give each other the space we need.

SLN: Do you have any advice for women who may be looking to enter Expediting as a career?

I say that if you are a woman looking to get into Expediting, just do it! It doesn’t matter if you are a contract driver or even an owner. There is real opportunity for women. It’s often said in this business that you’re not making money if the wheels aren’t turning, and in general trucking that’s true. But in Expediting, downtime is part of the business. Don’t let that bother you. There are a lot of weekends where we are waiting on loads. But when Monday morning comes, we are on the road delivering freight. It also helps to get certified for HazMat and other enhanced credentials.

SLN: What does the future hold for You and Thomas?
Right now, we’re working on getting our HazMat/White Glove credentials. Once we have this in place it will open up more earning opportunity for us, and we are looking into adding a second truck in January of 2017. At that point our tasks will probably change as we take on the management of another team on top of what we already do. Who handles potential problems would depend on which one of us is awake when we get the call. That’s where team work comes into play. Over the next three years, we would like to have a fleet of about ten trucks and manage that fleet from home. We definitely feel like we can reach this goal with the support provided by Expediter Services.

Thanks Hope, for sharing your experience about Women in Expediting with us.
Stay tuned for another edition of Women in Expediting in a future issue of Spotlight News!

Visit our Women in Expediting page to learn about how you can get started today with your new career.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

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The EGG at the Expo 2016

June 17, 2016

Expediter Services is excited to once again host the EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) at the Expedite Expo’s new home in Lexington, Kentucky on July 15th.
The venue may be new, but the reason for the EGG remains the same: to provide a place for Expediters to meet and discuss issues affecting the industry and to help provide solutions for success.

According to Jeff Tacker, Expediter Services, Vice President of Operations, this year’s EGG will address the state of freight, as well as other important topics. “At this year’s EGG at the Expo, we will welcome those we know and get to know those we don’t. We’ll also address the ups and downs occurring presently in the market and discuss the opportunities ES offers to let owners know that we’re here for you, regardless of the road ahead.”
One of the most important features of any EGG is that each gathering is tailored to meet the challenges of changing market conditions. This year’s EGG will speak to the current freight environment, allowing Expediter Services to offer real support, real programs, real services and a real community, born out of ES’s experience. We look forward to seeing you at this exciting Expediter Group Gathering!The EGG at the Expo is open to current and prospective qualified team expediters.

Register Now or call 877-349-9303 for more information

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Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

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Women in Expediting: Bobbi Moore

June 7, 2016

As we continue to expand upon our series about “Women in Expediting”, Spotlight News is speaking with women to learn why they chose Expediting as a career, and how they cope with an industry that has been traditionally dominated by males. We are also exploring the strengths that women bring to the industry.
One might think that women who make Expediting a career solely become drivers or owners. But as you will see in this issue, women play other key roles that are indispensable to the success of their businesses.
We introduce Bobbi Moore, wife and business partner of Jimmy Moore. She at first reluctantly entered into Expediting, but became adept at managing and recruiting for a growing and dynamic fleet of nine Expediting trucks.

SLN: How did You and Jimmy get started in Expediting?
Our start really began with my husband. We had recently sold a business here in Las Vegas and he began looking at some other business opportunities. He discovered FedEx Custom Critical and began doing research to determine the income potential of Expediting. The business model looked very good, so we decided to go for it.

SLN: What was your role in this new business venture?
At first, my role was pretty minimal. I don’t have a commercial drivers license, so from the very beginning, my job was to take care of things on the home front. We have two young boys, Jimmy Moore Jr. (16), and Joshua Moore (10). We both decided that it was important for someone to be here while Jimmy was on the road. To be quite honest, I was pretty reluctant about the whole thing because I knew absolutely nothing about Expediting or trucking. But Jimmy’s business instincts are good, so I just figured I would jump in with both feet and make the best of whatever opportunities came my way.

SLN: Tell us how your business began to grow?
We started our business in late 2013 with one truck. Being new to Expediting, it got off to a bit of a rocky start, mainly because finding a good used Class 8 truck was difficult and the truck we wound up buying just didn’t work out very well. Shortly thereafter we discovered Expediter Truck Sales and Expediter Equipment Finance and haven’t looked back. Our current fleet of nine trucks is made up entirely of trucks from ETS and it has made a huge difference in our ability to grow quickly and efficiently.

From the beginning, we’ve partnered with Expediter Services. Their fuel and insurance discounts are great and so is the support they provide through their Owner Operator Program. There’s no doubt ES has helped us grow our fleet. They really give you an advantage so we Never Stand Alone. Even now that we’re experienced Expediters, ES is an integral part of our growth model. I only wish we had known about Expediter Truck Sales from the beginning. It would have made things so much easier when it came to buying that first truck!

SLN: How has your role and tasks changed as your business has grown?
As you can imagine, at first there wasn’t a whole lot to do. We grew our fleet by purchasing one truck at a time. Jimmy would drive each new truck and we would find someone to drive with him, as well as finding a team to drive the other truck. After truck number three, things really started to get busy for me. Now, it’s pretty much a full-time job managing the accounting and recruiting for a fleet of nine trucks!
I think part of our success is the fact that we are constantly in “recruiting mode”. If we get to the point where we have too many teams for the amount of trucks we have on hand, we then evaluate our position and either add another truck or pass that team along to another fleet owner or even forward them on to Expediter Services.

SLN: What does Jimmy think about your involvement within the company?
He thinks that what I do is absolutely necessary. We both realize that we wouldn’t be able to make it in this business without the management and recruiting skills that I bring to the table. But at the end of the day, what we do is a team effort. We work very well together and we realize that each of us has our own strengths that contribute to our success as a whole.

SLN: How do people react when they learn that you’re a woman working in a field dominated by men?
Due to the fact that my role is administrative and not out on the road mixing it up with the guys, people’s reaction is just like that to any other office-type of job. I think for the most part people are surprised when they learn about the amount of growth we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time. There’s absolutely no stigma when it comes to me being a female in this business and I think that’s a positive for everyone.

SLN: Do you have any advice for women who may be looking to enter Expediting as a career?
My advice for women (or anyone for that matter) who wants to get involved in Expediting is to surround yourself with as many professionals as you can in order to learn the business. ES is a perfect example of this. Their support team is extremely helpful, especially to those just starting out. Also, I would recommend networking with people in all levels of the business. When it comes to Expediting, you never stop learning.

SLN: What does the future hold for the company and for you?
I think without a doubt, we will continue to grow until God tells us it’s time to stop. We just added our first DR unit at the Expediter Services Spring Egg event. Jimmy has been very involved with this new truck because they run differently than dry units. He’ll continue to be hands-on until the truck and the new team is up-to-speed. As for me, I will continue to manage the accounting and the recruiting for the fleet as it grows. Our sons are also showing an interest in the business and that’s something we’ll nurture as they grow up. Who knows, someday they may take over the business and carry it to a whole new level! But one thing is for certain, we will continue to rely on the Expediter Services, Expediter Truck Sales and Expediter Equipment Finance as we grow.

Thanks Bobbi, for sharing your perspective on Women in Expediting.
Stay tuned for another edition of Women in Expediting in a future issue of Spotlight News!

Visit our Women in Expediting page to learn about how you can get started today with your new career.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

Building a Fleet. Investing for the Future.

May 25, 2016

How many times have you thought about Expediting as an investment in your future? To some, this may seem like a strange concept. But to Jeff and Renie Strahan, building an Expediting fleet plays a major part in their investment portfolio for the long term. Before we get into the specifics of their business plan, let’s get to know them a little better.
ES-logo-short-72Jeff has been a truck driver for about twenty-five years, while Renie has been busy with a career of her own as a dental hygienist for the past thirty years. As Jeff explains, he first became aware of Expediting while on the road. “Driving my truck, I would see these small straight trucks out on the highway and I always wondered what they did. I started doing research and became intrigued by Expediting’s business model. As I did more research, I realized that there was more to Expediting than meets the eye. The deeper I dug, the more I realized that Expediting would be a great opportunity as a way to plan for our future. I found Expediter Services online and spoke with Jeff Tacker. I was with a carrier that was not getting the job done. I decided to sign up with ES and go with Panther as my carrier. I saw an immediate turnaround — that was in 2010, and as they say, the rest is history.”
After a few years, the Strahan’s left Expediting to concentrate on other priorities, but the opportunities available through Expediting stuck with them through the years. “Renie and I have been doing a lot of planning and thinking about our futures and even retirement, and we knew that Expediting was still a great way to make that happen. We heard about The EGG at Expediter Services’ offices in Southaven, Mississippi and we decided to attend so we could learn more about the industry and take a look at a truck. It turned out The EGG was a great experience and we got a lot of good information. Our original plan was to purchase a good used truck from Expediter Truck Sales, but we wound up buying a new 2016 Volvo 780 factory dry unit. This truck is  one of the first ten Volvo factory spec’d straight truck units available in North America and we got a terrific deal on it! We utilized Expediter Equipment Finance too and the entire process was easy!”
As mentioned earlier, the Strahan’s are looking to leverage an Expediting fleet into an income stream they can use as part of their retirement planning. “At some point both Renie and I will step away from our current careers and a fleet of Expediter trucks will be a good way to help us transition into having a good income when we’re ready to make that move. Renie is already making plans to become even more involved in the bookkeeping and managing the business. As a woman in expediting, she is a great asset for our company,” said Jeff. “We also plan to add more trucks to our fleet and I anticipate we will have at least three trucks in the next year. Expediter Services just makes the whole process so easy.”
In addition to retirement income, Strahan says purchasing a new truck is a great way to insure against market fluctuations. “I feel that having as new a truck as possible is a good way to cut down on overhead, especially when freight is soft. Also, Expediter Services has fantastic services and programs that can help defer costs like fuel, maintenance, breakdown support and insurance. There truly is no other company I would rather be associated with than ES in any business environment.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

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Women in Expediting: Donna Sleasman

May 18, 2016

Donna Sleasman and her fleet of trucks

Spotlight News continues its series “Women in Expediting”.  As reported in an earlier edition, we are talking to women to learn why they chose Expediting as a career, and how they cope with an industry that has been traditionally dominated by males.
As you’ll see, women enter into Expediting for different reasons. They also perform different tasks that suit their talents and tastes. Not all are drivers or owners. Some women prefer to take advantage of other opportunities that support and grow the company business, including recruiting, bookkeeping and freight management, to name a few. It is becoming even more clear that as women move into Expediting, their talents are needed and welcomed in the industry.

To help explain the main factor driving the Women in Expediting phenomenon, a recent Bloomberg news report points out that more and more women are entering trucking due to a nationwide driver shortage with a projected shortfall to be 400,000 drivers by 2017. In addition, the American Trucking Association states that 5.8 percent of the 3.4 million U.S. truck drivers last year were female, compared to 4.6 percent in 2010.
Taken as a whole, women are gaining in the trucking industry, but there’s more to their story than sheer numbers. Statistically, they are proving to be more cautious and attentive behind the wheel than their male counterparts, a trait for which major carriers are beginning to notice. Other changes within the industry can be directly attributed to the influence of women, including better ergonomics in the cab, more accommodating sleepers and accessibility to showers at truck stops. We can expect to see more changes coming as carriers and trucking companies start to court women as an untapped resource.
We now introduce Donna Sleasman, a successful driver and fleet owner who has built a family business while blazing a trail for other women in expediting.

SLN: Donna, how did you get started in trucking and how did it evolve into a career in Expediting?
While working at a gas station in 1982, I saw that trucking was a way for a woman without a college education to make $40,000 a year, and that’s how I got into it. Once I made up my mind to get into the business, I bought a truck and became an owner operator as a long haul trucker, which was an oddity in 1982.
My entry into Expediting came about after my husband retired as a firefighter in 1999. We visited a truck show in Boston and spoke to a carrier who introduced us to Expediting. It sounded like a great fit because my husband who didn’t have a CDL would only have to qualify with a Class B license, which he did. In 2000, we signed on with FedEx, and as they say, the rest is history.

SLN: Once you were into Expeditng, how did you get involved with Expediter Services?
I heard about ES from someone who was already involved with them. Their OIC (Occupational Accident insurance) really appealed to me, plus their support meant that someone would be there for me in case of a breakdown. All of their other services are good too, but these two were the determining factors for me.

SLN: As a woman driver and business owner,  how do you approach the business?
Without a doubt, Expediting is a “co-hab” venture. It’s important to have someone who is compatible as a driving partner as this works best. In some ways, I feel that I have a bit of an advantage because I’ve been in the business long enough I can analyze situations and capitalize on them. For example, I’ve had some drivers tell me that they will never drive to New York City. I learned a long time ago that if I go within a 200 mile radius of Bordentown, I can make money. I figure out areas to make money and concentrate on those areas. It takes time to develop this knowledge, but I think it’s what sets my business apart; finding these niches.

SLN: Tell us about your fleet of Expediting trucks?
I’m a driver and a fleet owner. I have four DR units and a BR unit, as well as a tractor trailer that runs with a company out of Utah. I went about building my fleet a little differently than most people in the business. I never aspired to be a fleet owner, but I’m the kind of person who likes to help people. I’m always reaching out to people and offering advice (sometimes I think more than I should). One team I have, I met in White Glove class. I was talking to them and offering advice and telling them if they have questions to call me. Their owner didn’t turn out so well and I offered to buy them a truck if they would drive for me and they agreed. Another team had a similar situation. I’ve never purchased a truck that I didn’t already have a team ready to drive. I think it’s also important to be accessible and take phone calls and answer questions. I’ve had some teams call me on almost every load while they were learning and I don’t mind that. I’m always happy to share tips and “secrets” to help them be successful.

SLN: Do people treat you differently as a women in Trucking/Expediting?
When I started out, trucking was a male dominated industry. The large percentage of women who were actually in the business were wives who didn’t actually drive. In today’s trucking environment, I’m amazed at the number of men who actually respect my opinion. There are plenty of guys who will call me up and ask me questions about how do I do certain things. As a matter of fact, when I’m in a situation where we’re sitting around, I usually wind up sitting with the guys discussing the trucking business. I may not have the kids or grandchildren of my own to talk about, but I can sure tell someone how to re-rig your transmission, change a thermostat, radiator or just about anything else that involves a truck.

SLN: Do you find that attitudes regarding women in trucking have changed over the years?
Yes, quite a lot. I think as it relates to me, people (including men), respect my opinion because I know quite a lot about many aspects of the business. If I give advice about something, I always strive to be accurate based on my knowledge and experience. If I happen to give advice that’s not accurate or correct, I go out of my way to find that person and correct it. I believe attitudes toward women is not so much about one’s sex as it is about your attitude in regards to the business and others, as well as your knowledge, experience and integrity.

SLN: What advice do you have for women now in Expediting or who are looking to make it a career?
Just go out and do the job and don’t think you can’t do something just because you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter. But I will say this, as a woman, you can’t just stand by as a “helpless” female and expect the guys to do your work for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women at a loading dock watch as someone else unloads her freight. I’m proud of the fact that I have never once asked someone else to help unload my truck for me. I have even unloaded entire tractor trailer by myself. If someone wants to help that’s fine. But I am always there right beside them. I think its importan
t for others to know that you can carry your own weight in this industry. And that’s where respect comes from.

SLN: How do people react when they find out you are a woman who happens to drive a truck?
I still have people who are amazed that I’ve been doing this for as long as I have. Over the years, there’s been a couple of times that it seemed like a job, but the rest of the time, I just love being an expediter. It truly isn’t an issue as long as you are professional and know your stuff.

SLN: What are your thoughts about income disparity between men and women?
I don’t believe in trucking that really exists. One thing I find most annoying is that someone can come straight out of trucking school and get paid the same amount as someone who has been in trucking for years, but I guess the ease of entry and the equality of income is the reason a lot of women enter into expediting. Companies are not willing to pay for experience, which is a shame.  Their attitude has been that truck drivers are a dime a dozen, and that statement may be true to a certain extent. But I have always said a good, experienced truck driver is worth their weight in gold because people who have been in the business for years have the knowledge and experience to maximize profits for the carrier by knowing how to efficiently run their truck as a business, which benefits everyone. Also, Expediter Services support helps in this regard.

SLN: Tell us a little bit about how you’ve structured your business?
My business is a family affair. It just so happens that my family business is made up of females. My niece handles payroll, and this is made easy by how ES’s settlements are structured. My sister also helps with managing the business. I also have a niece who graduates from college in June and she wants to travel around with me this summer. I told her all she has to do is get her Class B license and we’ll hit the road.

SLN: As a woman, what has your experience been like working with Expediter Services?
I enjoy working with Expediter Services and I’ve always had a good experience with their people and services. I have never felt like being a female in this business has ever had a negative effect on me or my business. They have always been there and are always ready to serve. Also, when I talk to people who are Expediters, I am happy to refer them to ES because they are a great way for them to save money and have the support they need on the level they desire.
Thanks Donna, we have certainly enjoyed all of your insights about Women in Expediting.
Stay tuned for another edition of Women in Expediting in a future issue of Spotlight News!

Visit our Women in Expediting page to learn about how you can get started today with your new career.

ES is working for You!

Call us at 877.349.9303 and Never Stand Alone.

Please visit us on Facebook.

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