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.”