JZ Celebrates Customer & Vender Appreciation

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Jacksonville, Fla. –On Saturday June 16th, JZ Expedited Logistics celebrated its recent growth and success by hosting a customer and vendor appreciation party at the home of owner Robert Fox.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since the creation of JZ Expedited Logistics,” says Fox. What started as a one man operation in the home of Fox has now expanded to a team of 12 employees consisting of both recent college hires and individuals who have experience in the transportation and logistics industry. “We have a lot of youth and spirit mixed in to our staff, and I am confident that the unique skills and ambition of each employee will continue to develop and strengthen our team.”

With more than 125 guests attending, the festivities included a pig roast, Bono’s catering, a live band, and activities for children. As an independent agent for Spectrum Logistics’, many managers and directors from Spectrum Logistics were in attendance at the celebration to offer their congratulations and support to JZ Expedited Logistics for achieving many accomplishments and milestones in such a short amount of time.

Another cause that added to the celebration was the recent graduation of Fox’s son, Josh Fox. Following in the footsteps of his father, Josh capped off his senior season by winning the Florida class 1A State Wrestling Title at 195 pounds wrestling for University Christian.  Josh will be attending Ohio State University in the fall, and assisting as the student manager to the wrestling team.

Overall, JZ Expedited Logistics continues to strive to achieve superior service and maintain the loyalty of their customers. The growth of JZ Expedited Logistics is attributed to the support of their customers and vendors. Moving forward, JZ Expedited Logistics is dedicated to enhancing its service offerings in order to cater to the supply chain needs of its customers.

Utilizing 3PLs During Peak Season

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For the transportation and logistics industry, peak season provides new opportunities and generates new revenue. Peak season can make or break the reputation of many businesses. Any mistakes or unforeseen obstacles in a supply chain can prove disastrous for the business of a global manufacturer or retailer. As a result, utilizing a third party logistic service can prove beneficial for supply chain operations during peak season.

Many manufacturers will usually add more resources to leverage during peak season, however, the problem with increasing technology and employees is that they will be under-utilized during the remainder of the year. And neither can companies overwork their employees. So what is a manufacturer supposed to do during peak season? One possible solution: working with a 3rd party logistics provider.

3rd party logistics companies provide manufacturers and large transportation and logistics carriers the flexibility needed to expand their supply chains as needed without disturbing other critical components of their business operations. Many 3rd party logistics providers are highly proactive to the constantly demanding environment of peak season. Combined with coordinating transport carrier services and delivery and pickup, the real-time tracking technology that 3PLs use allows manufacturers to be in touch with their products 24/7.

In addition, 3PLs are better equipped with dealing with the supply and demand of capacity in the market. As a freight solutions provider, 3rd party logistics providers can more conveniently respond to the demands of shipments requiring expedited freight service or be able to address other transportation hauling needs. Moreover, 3rd party logistics companies ensure that they are adequately prepared for any contingencies during peak season. For example, many 3PLs review their documented processes and work instructions, and train employees prior to peak season. Performance indicators are reviewed by both management and employees on a daily basis because peak season is a time to prove the 3PLs service capabilities.

When choosing a 3PL to work with, businesses should work with companies providing a range of domestic and international transport carrier services. In addition, a business should look at the partnerships a company is affiliated with—3rd party logistics providers that acquaint themselves with a variety of both domestic and global companies and associations are more likely to better handle shipment obstacles. Do your research and make sure that the 3PL has a wide array of both domestic and international licenses and certifications—expect the unexpected when shipping. Also, one should review the location and uses of the 3PL’s facilities—being closer to a shipping port, being asset based, and owning a warehouse can be quite helpful during peak season.

The peak season of 2012 is predicted to propel economic growth. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has proposed a $600 peak season surcharge to take effect on June 10, and many major shipping lines are supporting this proposal. The surcharge will be added to cargo moving Asia to the United States, and this fee will remain in effect for the duration of the peak season from June 1 to October 31st. While this surcharge will certainly increase rates, 3rd party logistics companies can offer competitive rates through their existing agreements with ocean carriers and other transportation providers.

Overall, as global manufacturers and other businesses gear up for peak season, they must make a cost-benefit analysis of tackling peak season on their own. The benefits of using a 3rd party logistics provider, like JZ Expedited Logistics, far outweigh the cost. 3PLs will provide competitive rates, superior service, and on-time delivery. Businesses that are smart enough to use a 3rd party logistics company are usually the ones who survive peak season unscathed.

JZ Employees Receive Freight Broker Certification

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Jacksonville, Fla. –Upon successfully completing a rigorous five week freight agent/broker training class at the University of North Florida (UNF), JZ Expedited Logistics’ employees received their freight broker certification on March 31st.

With a steady increase in global demand for exports and imports, the transportation and logistics industry continues to be one of the fastest growing worldwide. UNF’s freight agent/broker training class is designed to educate students more about logistics and supply chain management, and to explore the essential skills and tools necessary to become a successful freight sales agent or freight broker. Zach Fox, the son of JZ Expedited Logistics’ owner Robert Fox, attended the training course and says, “I was not only able to broaden my knowledge about the world of logistics, but was also able to better understand the operational and financial aspects of how my dad started his freight agent business.”

Earlier this year, JZ Expedited Logistics expanded its operations and sales force, and two of the newest additions to its sales team are Morris Brown and Aaron Bartholomew. Brown is new to the logistics and transportation industry and explains, “Being unfamiliar with logistics, the knowledge gained combined with the course instructors’ real-life examples taught me the need to strive for consistency in sales efforts. I look forward to applying my newfound knowledge to growing JZ.”

Since the economic downturn, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has been aggressively committed toward improving transportation infrastructure and developing new initiatives that have put Jacksonville on the path to becoming the preferred logistics hub of the U.S. southeast.

Robert Fox remarks, “Jacksonville offers high economic growth potential, and by educating my staff more about the industry, I hope to tap into new opportunities that cater to supply chain needs of customers.”

Earlier this year JZ Expedited Logistics partnered up with the UNF Transportation and Logistics division in an effort to recruit interns, and it looks forward to maintaining this relationship in its growth strategy. Zach Fox will continue his logistics training for the next couple of months by enrolling in UNF’s Certification in Transportation & Logistics (CTL) Cohort Program, which is jointly sponsored with the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL).

About JZ Expedited Logistics:

Jacksonville-based JZ Expedited Logistics, an independent agent of Spectrum Logistics, specializes in expedited ground and air solutions, supply chain management, intermodal, truck brokerage, project cargo, less than truckload (LTL), and import/export logistics. A growing part of JZ Expedited Logistics revenue is the turn key handling of Class 1 Explosives and cradle to grave flexitank procurement heavy haul drayage. For more information about services, visit www.jzexplogistics.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-299-0249 and locally at 904-527-3902.

Seven Tips for Choosing Your LTL Carrier

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In these difficult economic times, shippers must be resourceful when looking for LTL Services. Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments do not require a full trailer of cargo. With most large logistics companies dedicating the majority of their fleets to long-haul truckload Transportation Hauling, there is a significant decrease in the number of market players for Domestic LTL Services.

The Journal of Commerce recently reported that, the ten largest LTL carriers in the U.S. increased revenue by 17% in 2011, and as a result the LTL market expanded by a total of 11.6%. With LTL transportation being dominated by a couple of major market players, one must take the following factors into consideration when finding the most efficient Domestic LTL services.

1.      Consider a Regional Carrier vs. National Carrier

Regional transport carrier services, such as JZ Expedited Logistics, usually have more dense freight in certain regions so you not only are able to get a cheaper rate, but these companies’ expertise and knowledge in the region usually allows them to be better equipped in the handling of unforeseeable circumstances.

2.      Take Advantage of Pup Trailers

Certain carriers offer discounted spot rates for LTL freight that is consolidated into two, connected trailers known as pup trailers.

3.      Competitive Transit Times & Rates

3rd party logistics providers must be able to transport freight in a timely manner and at a competitive rate.

4.      Carrier Flexibility to Change

3rd party logistics companies should be fairly flexible to changes and be willing to accommodate you with expedited freight service and other freight solutions when necessary.

5.      Multiple Customer Service Options

Your customer service representative should keep you informed through notifications at critical points in your shipment.

6.      GPS Tracking

Take advantage of companies who offer full transparency of your shipment through technology and online-based tracking tools from the point of origin to destination.

7.      Multiple Transportation Modes for Money Savings

Freight solutions providers should work with you to provide the most effective and optimal modes of transport carrier services.

For LTL quotes, fill out the JZ Request A Quote, email csr@jzexplogistics.com, or call us toll free 877-299-0249.

JZ: A New Entrepreneur in Logistics

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Jacksonville, Fla. –When Robert Fox established JZ Expedited Logistics in 2008, it was a one-man operation out of his home. Today, Fox employees seven other individuals, and is looking to add five more employees to his staff in the first quarter of 2012. Consequently, JZ Expedited Logistics just moved into a new office space on Southside Blvd. in Jacksonville, FL. As JZ Expedited Logistics progresses on the path to growth, it seeks to hire talented individuals who offer unique skills and expertise that will prove to be an asset to the company.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms, and they employ about half of all U.S. workers. The small businesses account for nearly 65 percent of the 15 million new jobs that have been created between 1993 and 2009. Fox says, “In today’s competitive economy, along with the slow recovery from the recession, it is more important than ever to pursue entrepreneurship.”

Interestingly, Fox has had a unique journey during his career. Fox is a 1987 graduate of the Michigan State University, and pursued a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice. While in college, Fox spent 3 years loading trucks for Roadway Express, and his first job experience out of college was as a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In 1987-1888, Fox started out in Less than truckload (LTL) trucking at Bowman Transportation in Boynton Beach and then later at Pie Nationwide in Jacksonville, FL. After discovering trucking was his passion, Fox went on to work for a variety of other transportation companies including: Yellow Freight in Jacksonville, FL as LTL Outbound Dock Supervisor (1990-1996), Operations Supervisor in Roanoke, Virginia (1996), and Operations Manager in High Point, NC (1997-1998); Watkins Motor Lines as Operations Manager (1998-1999); Link Logistics in Detroit, MI as Assistant Terminal Manager of a 300 automotive logistics operation dedicated to Chrysler where he handled 35 plants in U.S., Mexico, and Canada and was in charge of operations and labor relations (1999-2001); Pilot Air Freight as an Account Executive specializing in both expedited air and ground domestic and international transportation (2001-2004); EGL, now CEVA Logistics, as a Sales Representative (2004); Crowley Logistics  as an Account Executive concentrating on trucking and equipment repositioning (2004-2008); General Transport as Vice President of Operations and Sales (2008). After JZ Expedited Logistics was established in 2008, Fox became an agent for Your Freight Rate during 2009 to 2011, and earlier in 2011, JZ formed an agent partnership with Spectrum Logistics. Fox explains, “What has made me successful is that I recognize I have worked for several employers, but I was smart enough to gain knowledge and skills from each opportunity and expand my tool box by applying what I learned in my future endeavors.”

Averaging about 1.4 million in gross sales at the end of 2009, JZ Expedited Logistics expects to average almost 3 million in gross sales in 2011. Fox has been presented with many challenging situations in the logistics business, and has had to find options where there have been none. For example, Fox has hand carried sensitive cargo to Korea and has sent his son on a jet plane to Boston to pick up hot parts to get a power plant back up and running; he has even handled cradle to grave shipping of explosives for foreign military sales! Fox recognizes that a lot of his business is unconventional, but building trust and taking a risk is part of the game.

One of the key characteristics of a leader is to be able to delegate. Fox admits, “An entrepreneur can’t do everything—in order to be efficient one must seek the knowledge of others.” For instance, Jesse Ballentine joined JZ Expedited Logistics in 2009 as Operations Manager; Jesse is has over 10 years of experience in the industry, has owned a moving and storage company, and has previously worked for YourFreightRate.com in LTL dispatch. Together, Fox and Jesse have been able to establish the foundations and loyal customer base to succeed.

As an entrepreneur, Fox expresses the importance of providing a platform to young individuals where they can learn the industry and get hands-on experience on how to run a business. In the first of quarter of 2012, Fox will be working with the University of North Florida’s (UNF) Transportation and Logistics program to provide internships to students who have an interest in the industry; Fox hopes to be a mentor and train these students to succeed in any business environment. Moreover, Fox received a grant from UNF to send members of his staff to attend its renowned Certification in Transportation & Logistics (CTL) program, which is a rigorous program focusing on all aspects of supply chain management and domestic and international logistics. An alumni of the University of North Florida’s Transportation and Logistics program, Inez Ortiz, was recently hired by Fox as a Logistics Specialist. Inez has worked previously for PSS World Medical in the import department, and she brings excellent bilingual skills to the company who assists us with our Puerto Rico customer base.

Heading into 2012, JZ Expedited Logistics is dedicated to nurturing its relationship with its employees, customers, and the community. Fox states, “In the coming year, JZ Expedited Logistics will focus on promoting entrepreneurship, encouraging learning, and building partnerships with key stakeholders.”

JZ Forms Partnership with Spectrum

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Jacksonville, Fla. –In a recovering global economy, many third-party logistics providers (3PLs) in Florida have been impacted by a decrease in trade volumes. As a result, it’s very beneficial for 3PLs to form strategic relationships with other 3PLs and carriers in order to expand their business. Established in 2008, Jacksonville-based JZ Expedited Logistics is a 3PL who has recently entered into an agent partnership with a larger Jacksonville-based transportation and logistics company, Spectrum Logistics.

JZ Expedited Logistics offers both domestic and global transportation services, but relies on Spectrum Logistics to arrange for the equipment and to process the documents that are necessary for the transportation of those goods. Robert Fox, owner of JZ Expedited Logistics says, “We hope that by pooling together resources and expertise, we can better serve customers who are looking for an end-to-end supply chain solution.” Not only has this partnership allowed for JZ Expedited Logistics to offer more and better services, but both companies have seen an increase of 15-20% profit in their bottom lines.

In order to create synergy, JZ Expedited Logistics and Spectrum Logistics are using the same information system, and there are many processes and operating procedures in place to ensure the smooth flow of communication. To reflect its new partnership with Spectrum Logistics, JZ Expedited Logistics recently redesigned its logo; the new logo features “JZ Expedited Logistics” in a navy blue, bold Arial font, the “JZ” is outlined in red and connected to the unique Spectrum Logistics diamond by a red line touching one of the rays in the diamond, and above the line is the phrase “Agent for.”

As the New Year approaches, JZ Expedited Logistics has many plans to continue its growth. The company will be hiring a full-time outside sales person, collaborating with the University of North Florida to offer internships to logistics students, and participating in a variety of logistics trade shows and auctions to gain new business prospects. Moreover, JZ Expedited Logistics will be launching a newly redesigned website and social media campaign in the first quarter of 2012. Fox stated, “In the next few years, JZ Expedited Logistics hopes to be in a position where it is a well-known, reputable logistics company in Jacksonville offering superior customer service.”