Expediter Services celebrated the success of the 150 Business Challenge, as more than 30 women-owned enterprises have formed out of the program.
The Women In Trucking Association worked with Expediter Services to create the challenge with the goal of supporting small businesses in the transportation industry that are owned by women. The next milestone for the group is to foster 150 fleet startups in the next year.
Resources include exposure to market-rate financing, new vehicles and fuel discounts. Expediter Services offers coaching through a maintenance program, operational feedback, administrative services and business planning. On the carriers end, Forward Air and Panther Premium Logistics provide freight opportunities.
Women In Trucking Association chief executive officer and president Ellen Voie called the accomplishment rewarding, exciting and empowering.
“The program that Expediter Services has developed is ideal for promoting the growth of women-owned businesses in transportation,” Voie said. “The reality is that, even in 2018, a lot of women have not established a credit record, and that makes it more difficult for them to get a loan to buy a truck.”
Knowing that, she said, Expediter Services prioritizes work history over credit history.
“They are looking at the individual and what kind of business owner they can be,” Voie continued. “And once they are a part of the program, they are providing these new business owners with the support they need to be successful.”
Expediter Services recently held a conference in Mississippi to share insight and update the more than 100 professional drivers who attended. The speakers included Voie, managing director and head of Stephens’ Transportation & Logistics Group Michael Miller, chief operating officer for the National Transportation Institute Leah Shaver, vice president of recruiting for Forward Air Ryan Gilliam and director of recruiting for Panther Premium Logistics Nick Burch.
One attendee, Nora Weston, said the conference solidified her decision to purchase a vehicle through Expediter Services and embark on the 150 Business Challenge.
“I can’t say enough about the way that Expediter Services helped me through the buying process with my new truck, and I’m proud to be a part of the 150 Challenge,” Weston said. “With the kind of support and the opportunities that are provided through Expediter Services, I believe that my husband and I can achieve our dream of starting and growing a fleet.”
Expediter Services president Jason Williams said he is content with the reaction to the challenge and the progress made.
“With the increasing demand for capacity, it’s a great time to enter the trucking industry as an owner-operator or fleet owner,” Williams said. “One of the goals of the 150 Business Challenge is to make women aware that there is a program that can make truck ownership and becoming an entrepreneur a reality. By working together, we can make great things happen.”
The company’s next conference is on July 20 in Lexington, KY.