Logistics companies keep the nation’s supply chain running during unprecedented disruption

The nation’s supply chain is facing historic challenges as demand is soaring for medical equipment, household goods and other essential items. Logistics companies are working hard on the frontlines, offering creative, nimble solutions to keep shelves stocked and supply chains running smoothly.

In recent weeks, countless companies have relied on Milestone’s nationwide network of 70 locations and more than 90,000 trailers, chassis and containers to solve critical logistical issues that continually change. This requires businesses to pivot quickly, and Milestone’s location-based online reservation system makes it easy for customers to quickly reserve a trailer or chassis whenever and wherever it is needed to meet surging demand.

On-Demand Storage Options for Overflow

To store the inventory of non-essential products that are overflowing warehouses while making sure they can get these products to market when needed again, businesses are using Milestone’s Mobile Warehousing & Storage (MW&S) solution. These are portable flex-space trailers that can be delivered in as little as 24 to 48 hours to provide customers a flexible storage alternative that is up to 50 percent less expensive than traditional warehouse space.

“As one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing transportation equipment lessors, we are dedicated to helping our customers adapt by delivering flexible, comprehensive and cost-effective solutions so they can transport freight as quickly and cost-effectively as possible,” said Executive Vice President & General Manager Highway Division Chuck Cannata.

For more on how Milestone is keeping the nation’s supply chain moving during these tumultuous times, please visit www.milecorp.com.

milestone-trailer-leasing-containers

Are Trailers the Next Big Warehousing Trend?

Shippers turn to alternative storage options as they seek to manage inventory headaches.

Companies and warehouse providers are scrambling for creative solutions to overcome a lack of warehouse space as they revamp supply chain networks to embrace e-commerce expectations.

The amount of available U.S. warehousing and logistics space sits at a multiyear low, according to real estate researcher CBRE Group. In the fourth quarter of 2018, availability for industrial real estate fell to its lowest level since 2000, the 34th consecutive quarter of decline.

Equipment providers and startups are stepping in to supplement the traditional warehouse market, from temporary trailers to Airbnb-style matchmakers that bring warehouse space and inventory together.

Mobile storage fills the gaps

Companies like Milestone Equipment Holdings lease dry van trailers as temporary storage space. It’s been an ad hoc practice in the past as a warehouse manager scrambled to accommodate inventory spikes.

The temporary trailers — which may be used for years — allow companies to scale their warehouse space based on demand. Some companies moved imports up to beat rising tariffs or geared up for holidays or promotions.

“Some inventory needs to be mobile so they’re keeping it on the trailers, but then they’re moving the trailers where they need them,” Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR Transportation Intelligence, told Supply Chain Dive.

Now temporary or on-demand space is becoming a long-term factor in warehouse strategies for e-commerce, as companies revamp their supply chains to support fulfillment and fast delivery

“For our traditional customer base, it’s difficult to access warehouse space, to find enough of it in small quantities across the country to meet the compressed delivery time expectations that’s now transitioning into the B2B world as well,” Sarah Johnson, executive vice president of mobile warehousing and storage for Milestone, told Supply Chain Dive.

Milestone has a fleet of nearly 60,000 trailers and can dispatch a storage trailer within 48 hours from one of its 25 U.S. branch locations. Trailers available for storage include 53-foot and 48-foot dry vans with roll-up or swing doors. Johnson said the cost of storage in trailers could be up to 50% less than brick-and-mortar warehouse space.

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Companies are also tapping trailers for reverse logistics. One national retailer has used about 1,000 of Milestone’s trailers to store returned goods.

“We’re helping them think about our trailers more in terms of real estate as opposed to a trailer,” Johnson said “Temporary storage represents a good opportunity for companies to try different solutions before they commit their capital or find a substantial term lease for warehouse space, which is tough to come by now.”

In response to the demands of e-commerce, retailers are reconfiguring distribution to be closer to consumers for faster delivery time. The mobile warehouses help shippers transition from large distribution centers in low-cost outlying areas to smaller sites in more expensive urban areas.

To read to full article, click here

SOURCE: Supply Chain Dive

Milestone Trailer Leasing

Milestone Launches National Mobile Warehousing & Storage Product Line

ST. CHARLES, MO (December 12, 2018) – Milestone Equipment Holdings, a national leader in trailer and chassis leasing, is expanding its offerings to include a line of mobile warehousing and storage products. As the only national lessor with dedicated trailers for mobile storage applications, Milestone is positioned to be the industry leader for this kind of offering, with a fleet of 59,000+ trailers of varying specifications, sizes and vintages. This launch is the latest in Milestone’s recent expansions, which have included rapid growth of fleet size and additional locations over the past several years.

In preparation for the launch, Milestone developed a robust infrastructure that included the development of a 15-point quality inspection for the storage assets as well as operational mechanisms that can often deliver assets on site in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Milestone can also provide inexpensive trailer parking at one of its 25 branch locations across the United States if on-site storage space is a challenge.

Forward-Thinking

“We saw an opportunity to use our high-quality fleet to solve space constraints directly related to warehousing shortages and supply chain disruptions; providing expanded access and new solutions for our customers,” said Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Mobile Warehousing and Storage for Milestone. “These forward- and reverse-logistic storage solutions address many of the demands driven by e-commerce, freeing up customers’ equipment. It’s exciting to be the only national single-source provider of this kind of trailer and storage network.”

The product line is comprised of trailers available for cartage, portable or fixed storage; with options that include 53’ or 48’ dry van trailers with roll-up or swing doors and air or spring ride. The services are supported by 25 branches across the country, with a team of dedicated customer service specialists. Milestone can provide flexible terms to address customers’ various volume and commitment needs. The company will also soon offer an enhanced online reservation request system and customer portal, both of which will be available in early 2019.

Opportunity

“In recent years, many companies have struggled with rapidly escalating logistics and warehousing costs, in part driven by the massive growth of e-commerce,” said Milestone CEO Don Clayton. “We worked closely with our customers to develop a product offering that delivers substantial cost savings and flexibility relative to traditional warehousing. Along with the significant investments we continue to make in late model equipment and the expansion of our branch network, we’re positioned to deliver an unparalleled range of solutions to our customers.”

For additional information about Milestone’s Mobile Warehousing & Storage solutions, contact Sarah Johnson at sarah.johnson@milecorp.com or call 636.238.8732. Customers wishing to reserve equipment for mobile storage applications may call their customer service representative or 866.706.1144, email customer.service@milecorp.com.

Sign up for more information here.

 

About Milestone Equipment Holdings, LLC

With a combined fleet of more than 85,000 trailers, chassis and domestic containers, Milestone is one of the nation’s leading and most comprehensive transportation lessors. Founded in 1995 and Headquartered in St. Charles, MO, Milestone’s team of seasoned commercial, operational and customer support professionals provide a broad range of transportation solutions to customers, operating from 60+ locations nationwide.

For more information, please visit: https://www.milecorp.com/

Milestone Trailer Leasing

Milestone Expands Its Capabilities in Growing Seattle-Tacoma Market

ST. CHARLES, MO (September 12, 2018) – Responding to growing transportation needs in the Pacific Northwest, Milestone announces its expansion in the Seattle-Tacoma region, effective immediately. In an effort to continuously expand its service offerings to both local and national clients, Milestone is opening the Seattle depot as a key strategic location to service trailer and chassis needs.

“We are excited about this expansion and look forward to delivering creative solutions and outstanding service to our customers throughout the region, while offering more comprehensive services to national accounts with West Coast fulfillment needs,” says Chuck Cannata, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Highway Division at Milestone.

The region’s economic boom and its proximity to the Port of Seattle means a tremendous need in industries including construction, manufacturing and agriculture, among others.

“Seattle is undergoing explosive growth and we want to be a part of that – the opportunities to serve this market are exciting,” says Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President, Mobile Storage and Warehousing at Milestone. “Our Pacific Northwest customers will have access to Milestone’s nationwide network and a robust mix of 85,000+ pieces of equipment, with our focus on over-the-road needs, as well as mobile storage and chassis.”

Customers interested in accessing equipment for their transportation needs can contact Seattle-Tacoma Account Manager Todd Bring at todd.bring@milecorp.com or (206) 453-9002. For more information, visit milecorp.com/seattle.

For chassis availability at this branch and at Milestone’s existing ConGlobal facility, visit https://www.milecorp.com/chassisfinder.

Milestone Appoints Chuck Cannata, Mike Schiller & Kathy Tierney to Leadership Team

SAINT CHARLES, MO (August 21, 2018) – Milestone is pleased to announce the recent addition of three key executives to its leadership team: Chuck Cannata, Mike Schiller and Kathy Tierney. Cannata, Schiller and Tierney will report directly to Don Clayton, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Chuck Cannata

Chuck Cannata joins Milestone as Executive Vice President for the trailer leasing division, leading the nationwide branch network’s commercial activities, including sales, customer service and field operations. Chuck brings 18 years of commercial equipment finance experience to Milestone, including eight years of sales management and business development at GE Trailer Fleet Services. He is based in Kansas City, KS.

Mike Schiller

Mike Schiller joins Milestone as Senior Vice President of Operations Support, leading key functions such as real estate, vendor management and environmental health & safety. Mike brings 23 years of trailer leasing experience to Milestone, including 21 years of diverse commercial and operations experience at GE Trailer Fleet Services and two years of general management experience at Fleet Trailer Leasing. Mike will be relocating to St. Charles, MO.

Kathy Tierney

Kathy Tierney joins Milestone as Vice President of Human Resources, leading all key HR functions, including recruiting & development, employee relations, payroll & benefits and compliance. Kathy brings 40 years of HR experience to Milestone, including 20 years at First Bank and 20 years at Venture Stores. Kathy is based in St. Charles, MO.

“I am very proud of the outstanding team that we have built by promoting from within and selectively adding outside talent.” says Milestone CEO Don Clayton. “The addition of Chuck, Mike and Kathy will help us continue to grow rapidly, while driving operational excellence in their areas of responsibility. Just as importantly, these additions provide some of our other very talented leaders the bandwidth they need to drive focused strategic initiatives that will contribute to Milestone’s future success.”

Milestone Trailer Leasing Continues to Invest in Modern Equipment, Adds 1,500 Trailers to Expansive National Fleet

St. Charles, MO (June 6, 2018) – In a continued effort to expand its offering of personalized solutions for customers, Milestone Trailer Leasing has acquired leases for 1,575 dry vans from Heartland Express of North Liberty, Iowa. This move will add additional trailers – manufactured between 2014 and 2017 – equipped with tracking, tire inflation systems and lift pads to Milestone’s already expansive fleet spanning 25 markets.

“Milestone’s depth of industry experience, flexible deal structuring, lender relationships and nationwide branch network uniquely positions the company to craft and execute on this type of transaction,” says Don Clayton, Milestone President and CEO.

New Equipment, More Opportunity

The Milestone – Heartland deal provides Heartland the opportunity to move out of the leased late model fleet that was part of its July 2017 purchase of Interstate Distributor Company (IDC) while providing for a quick and orderly return of all 1,575 trailers to locations throughout Milestone’s nationwide branch network.  Additionally, the structure of the transaction allows Heartland to focus on the replacement of the IDC fleet with trailers made more to its specifications.

“This transaction allows Heartland to execute our financial and fleet strategies effectively and efficiently,” says Michael Gerdin, Heartland President and CEO. “Milestone’s extensive experience in large multi-location trailer fleet programs gave us confidence in working with the Milestone team.”

This announcement comes on the heels of Milestone’s expansive growth in the last three years – including the addition of $400 million of equipment. Inventory comprises of approximately 85,000 trailers, chassis, and containers provided to customers under flexible operating lease and rental structures. “The company continues to respond to customer and market demand,” says Clayton. “We are dedicated to driving results for our partners.”

 

 

About Milestone Equipment Holdings, LLC

Milestone is one of the largest and fastest growing transportation equipment leasing companies in the US, operating a diversified fleet of over 84,000 pieces of equipment including Domestic Chassis, Domestic Containers, Marine Chassis, Highway Trailers, Intermodal Trailers, Storage and Convention Trailers, Flatbed Trailers, Refrigerated Containers and Trailers, and other specialty equipment.

Headquartered in St. Charles, MO with an operational center in Chicago and 60+ commercial locations across the country, Milestone has acquired intermodal and highway fleets for our operations since 1995, while managing and leasing equipment on behalf of institutional and private investors. Our customers include trucking companies (over-the-road and LTL), third-party logistics (3PL) companies, package carriers, private shippers, railroads, steamship operators, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), retailers, manufacturers and other companies throughout the transportation sector. The Milestone fleet allows all of these industry segments to maximize equipment utilization and transportation efficiency without the burden of owning their own equipment.

Our management services include committed peak and surge capacity programs, complex consulting and structured deals (including sale-leaseback transactions and fleet refresh programs), maintenance and telematics consulting and services, comprehensive management of third party transportation equipment assets, and equipment acquisitions and remarketing.

For more information, please visit: https://www.milecorp.com/

 

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Blue Transport truck docking at warehouse

Flexible Lease Promotion

Milestone Trailer Leasing provides personalized service in trailer leasing and rentals to customers every day. No matter how complex your needs, we make it happen. We provide customized solutions, open architecture deals and access to a fleet of 57,000+ trailers from our 25+ locations across the nation. Take advantage of our limited time Flexible Leasing Promotion.

Lease 2006-2009 Vintage Trailers

12-Month Lease: $230/Month*

24-Month Lease: $220/Month*

36-Month Lease: $210/Month*

 

 

 

*Requires credit pre-approval. Only for new contracts executed 1/1/2018 – 7/01/2018. Based on availability.

 

Trailer Equipment

  • Length: 53’ – 48’ – 45’ – 28’
  • Model: dry van, plate, composite plate, reefers, flatbeds (spreadaxle and closed tandem), specialized flatbeds (single drops, doubledrops)
  • Specifications/options: aluminum or translucent roof, roll or swing door, psi, e-track, log posts, tracking, skirts/ carb compliant, lift gate, single drop, double drop
  • Model years: We have a complete range of equipment to fit any application; factory direct NEW 2017’s, mid-range model years for economical over-the road use, and well-maintained older units for cartage and storage use
  • Specialized Equipment: If you have a specific equipment need, we will locate and purchase the trailers required, then design a custom lease plan for your company

 


 

Complete Credit Application

Download and complete the Credit Application Form here. It is required that before any company rents or leases equipment from Milestone that the company is able to exhibit proof of being in business for at least three (3) years.

Meet John Brockmeier

John Brockmeier is a veteran of the industry. With 30 years of experience in transportation and operations management, his wealth of knowledge and skills have helped to build superior teams that support Milestone Trailer Leasing’s comprehensive national network.

Brockmeier shares how he get got started, what urgent issues face the industry, and the secret to good leadership.

Professional Background

Tell us about your role as Director of Operations at Milestone Trailer Leasing. What are your responsibilities?

My responsibility is to oversee all the branches in our national network. I make sure our branches are keeping track of inventory and processing their purchase orders and I also do all of the auditing. I go through every branch, examine their paperwork and make sure everything is going smoothly. We have over 25 locations across the US, so I do a lot of traveling. At the end of 2017, I was traveling almost every week.

How did you get started in this industry?

I started in this industry in 1987 with AJF Trailer Leasing. My advisor from college had connections with the company and encouraged me to start my career there. I went to Chicago and worked there for four months, then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, then worked for the AJF branch in St. Louis. Later, I transferred to AJF corporate headquarters when they started a 24-hour road service. There were a lot of changes in the coming years – AJF merged with XTRA Lease until 1997, then went to Fruehauf Trailer Services from 2000 to 2003. They sold that division to Aurora Trailer Leasing, then sold to Milestone, which I joined in February of 2012.

Personalized Attention

The best thing about your job?

What I like about it is that every day will be different. I don’t know what’s going to be happening, what will unfold. It’s kind of fun. You walk into the day thinking, “What’s going to be the new problem that needs to be solved?”

Also, I enjoy interacting with our team. I like giving them ideas that I’ve used over the years and watching them apply it to their professional lives. One example of this is a trip I made to one of our branches in Chicago. I had completed an audit and unfortunately the personnel received a D rating. I watched the two employees take my ideas, reinforce what we needed to do and they went from a D rating in 2012 to an A in 2017.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’m proud that I’ve been in this industry for 30 years. Coming to work for Milestone has been the highlight. XTRA is the big gorilla in this industry, but I wanted to be in a culture that felt more personalized. At Aurora, it was more accounting driven, if a deal wouldn’t work in their structure they just wouldn’t do it. But at Milestone, if a deal comes us and no matter how goofy it is, we will try to figure out how to make it work. I’ve been very happy to be here and figure out how to serve our customers. Watching these deals happen gives me my greatest sense of accomplishment.

Urgent Issues Facing the Industry

What are the most urgent issues facing the industry right now?

The lack of good drivers. There’s a general lack of accountability and caring about your equipment. I’ve been in this industry for 30 years now. If a driver has a light out, he would replace it. But now they call in for service and get it repaired for them. There’s just not enough quality drivers in the industry.

How is Milestone addressing those challenges?

We can’t recruit drivers for our customers but we can give them better trailers so their drivers don’t tear them up so badly.

On Leadership

Tell us your thoughts about leadership. What do you look for when building a team?

Good communication. From my standpoint, the ideas we put into place get clearly communicated to our field personnel. From there, if they don’t understand something, they need to communicate back with us, and make sure they are totally understanding what is expected of them. The key to a whole team is communications up to down and down back up.

Ahead of the Competition

What sets Milestone apart from the competition?

We are easier to work with than our competition. That is the long and short of it. Compared to other companies, and I’ve worked at a lot of them, they’re not even close.

What is the key to superior customer service?

Number one the people who are willing to do the things not during normal business hours. To make the customer happy. Of our two national accounts, FleetNet and Goodyear, drivers who break down can call into one centralized number to get help. Both vendors have my cell phone number. It’s all about accessibility. It’s a 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year kind of working relationship. I never turn my cell phone off. I’ll take the call.

Milestone Women In Trucking Recap Featured Image

Women in Trucking – Accelerate! Conference & Expo Recap

Women in Trucking

Women from all facets of the transportation and logistics industry gathered together for the Accelerate! Conference & Expo hosted by Women in Trucking. Held November 6th to 8th in Kansas City, Missouri, this year’s conference focused on how gender diversity can have a positive impact on a woman’s career and her company’s success.

The event, which also celebrated Women in Trucking’s 10th anniversary, drew more than 500 attendees from across the country. This made it the largest group ever for the organization.

“What a wonderful opportunity to gather with likeminded peers to discuss critical transportation issues and trends,” says Milestone Trailer Leasing Division Sales Executive Karen Novak, who attended the conference with Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Highway Operations. “We were grateful to attend and represent the Milestone team.”

Accelerate! Conference & Expo

The three-day conference featured 30+ educational sessions. Topics ranged from speed mentoring and improving early stage driver turnover to creating happiness in the workplace and defining successful leadership. Attendees also had an opportunity to choose from four educational tracks: Leadership, Human Resources, Operations and Sales & Marketing.

The opening keynote address was given by author, screenwriter and attorney Valerie Alexander. Her presentation, “How Women Can Succeed in Trucking (Despite Having Female Brains),” examined a woman’s experience in the industry. It also provided practical tips on how to compete on a playing field designed by men.

Presentations

“Valerie is a dynamic speaker who dove into the basic reasons why women are great multitaskers, organizers and how we can take on multiple challenges,” says Novak. “Her presentation centered around ways women hold themselves back in the workplace and how to overcome that thought process.”

Novak herself participated as a sales coach/mentor and discussed her sales history followed by an informative Q&A. Topics discussed in her presentation included how to position yourself to grow with your company, recognizing when options for growth may not come in your current employment, and “must do’s” to promote yourself for higher opportunities (ex: dress, speak and behave professionally; know your topic better than anyone else in the room; take on projects that you can positively affect).

Conference Sessions

Some of the conference’s 30+ sessions offered included:

  • Steps Women Take to Become Successful Business Leaders
  • Best Practices in Female Driver Recruiting
  • Succeeding in a Male Dominated Industry
  • A Truck Tour (four different tractors were available to tour with a manufacturing rep available to discuss new innovations)
  • Elevating Your Game Through Personal Transformation
  • Tips to Eating Healthy on the Road

Several daily opportunities to network were available, including visiting vendor booths. Some vendors represented were:

In addition to the sessions, there were multiple speakers, networking lunches and evening receptions. The conference closed with drawings for vendor-provided prizes, the Woman of the Year Award (presented to Daphne Jefferson, Deputy Administrator, US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and a final presentation by Valerie Alexander.

Mission of Women in Trucking

Founded in 2007 to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, Women in Trucking is a non-profit organization that works to educate and raise awareness for women’s issues. This includes promoting career opportunities, improving working conditions for women, increasing the number of women drivers, as well as serving as a resource about women working in the transportation and logistics industry.

“In just a few short years, Women in Trucking has made significant strides for women nationwide,” says Sarah Johnson. “It’s great to see the organization grow and continue to support women’s endeavors in this exciting industry.”

Photo courtesy of Women in Trucking

 

 

 

Milestone Blog Post Featured Lori Crider

Meet Lori Crider

Lori Crider is passionate about building relationships with customers. It’s what gets her excited about her role as Sales Manager of Milestone Trailer Leasing’s Dallas division. She shares why Milestone is the absolute best trailer leasing option and what’s key to growing and retaining customer relationships.

A Day in the Life

Tell us about your responsibilities as Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. What does your typical day look like?

My focus has been to grow the Dallas market and maintain our existing customer base. Dallas is one of our newer locations (we opened last summer). It’s a growing market and it’s a great place to be in terms of the economy. Dallas also has an unusually high amount of competition.

Seeing how Dallas is a saturated market, how do you reach these customers?

I try to use all the different modes of marketing including phone calls, emails and personal visits. In this industry, you must be face-to-face with the customers and prospects which makes personal visits vitally important. I am involved in the Transportation Club of Dallas/Fort Worth and other industry networking events. You’ve got to be making those personal connections.

Accomplishments & Challenges

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Bringing on customers from my previous employer who sold their trailer leasing division and got out of the business. I’ve been in Dallas since 2010, so I had built up some business with other companies and past referrals.  It was exciting to get those customers to come over to Milestone.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry today?

There’s a lot of on uncertainty with how the ELD mandates will affect the industry.

Why Milestone?

What things about your job get you excited?

We are absolutely the best trailer leasing option out there. So many of our competitors are letting their customers down. Since Dallas is a newer location, it’s fun getting our name out there. Part of what I’m doing is talking with people and making them aware of who we are and what we offer. It’s thrilling to know that our executive team responds promptly and appropriately plus the fact that we’re in 27 locations with over 40,000 units definitely gets the attention of our prospects.

What keeps you up at night?

I just want to see Milestone’s brand grow and excel in the North Texas market. I see it as an exciting thing as we keep moving forward.

Success Stories

What is a great story about Milestone Trailer Leasing that you love to share?

We were able to use 15 of our storage trailers in the show, Queen of the South, which is on USA Network. Our trailers were used to simulate a loading dock in Galveston, TX.

What is a great customer story that you love to share?

I walked in at the right time to visit with a prospect. He said, “We have a problem. We need equipment and your competitor didn’t have a quote approved, so the costs actually came back higher but I signed the agreement anyway. I was also just told that they won’t be able to provide the trailers which we need in service within the next two weeks.” We ended up taking three 2009 model roll door trailers, ordered three new lift gates, got them installed and ready to go in a one-month period (from getting the right approvals through our executive team, lift gates ordered, installed and ready to go). The customer was impressed. This is a great example of  how quickly and effectively we can respond as a company to cover a unique need.