Expediter Services and the Women In Trucking Association have reached a new milestone in their collaborative effort to create 150 women-owned businesses in transportation. The program announced that it had welcomed its 50th participant last week.
The 150 Business Challenge gives women the opportunity to start their own small businesses in transportation, many as owner-operators or fleet managers. The women have access to resources and expertise from ES, making it easier to learn how to grow their companies, according to a media release from the two groups.
The program is aimed at professional women drivers who desire to gain more autonomy and own their own business. Participation in the program gives them access to market-rate truck financing, new equipment choices and fuel discounts. ES also provides the women with a maintenance program and business planning assistance, according to the release.
“The 150 Business Challenge is fast becoming the kind of impactful program that is beginning to shatter the glass ceilings that have existed for women entrepreneurs in the trucking industry,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association. “Thanks to this program being facilitated by the excellent work of Expediter Services and the ES Community, the participants in the 150 Business Challenge are truly being empowered through the access to best-in-class resources and support. The businesses being established and those that are expanding in this program are being positioned for long-term success.”
The 50 operations that have been launched under the program are currently generating a combined gross revenue of over $1 million per month, according to ES officials.
“Our main mission as a service provider is to make sure the participants in our programs, the members of our ES Community, have every tool they need to achieve success in their business pursuits. We have tremendous respect for the Women In Trucking Association, and it’s been extremely rewarding for everyone at ES to see the response to the 150 Business Challenge and the results the participants in the program have realized so far,” said Jason Williams, President of Expediter Services. “The impact of the 150 Business Challenge has not just been limited to bringing women-owned trucking operations into the transportation industry. The great work of the entrepreneurs utilizing the program has created a series of ripple effects. The tight freight market is benefiting from much-needed additional capacity. This is especially important in the expedited market where the additional capacity is often called upon to make time-critical deliveries.”
ES offers multiple programs intended to assist folks with true truck ownership options, but the 150 Business Challenge is also designed to provide participants with non-asset capacity growth that will allow them to better meet customer demand in today’s freight environment. Forward Air and Panther Premium Logistics, a service of ArcBest, are participating in the program.
“We believe that women coming into the industry will serve as a very important part of answering the challenge of the driver shortage, and it’s been great to see the response to a program in which women can become owner-operators and fleet owners,” said Nick Burch, Director of Recruiting for Panther Premium Logistics, a Service of ArcBest. “We have been impressed by the ability of ES to find and to work with people who have the drive to be successful. We have certainly seen that type of drive in our fleet with the participants in the 150 Business Challenge.”
Nora Weston became an owner-operator earlier this year with the help of the program.
“The 150 Business Challenge has been great for me in starting my business as an owner-operator. Expediter Services has given me all the support I have needed, and I am ready to grow. I would like to work with ES and the 150 Business Challenge to build a fleet,” Weston said.
The 150 Business Challenge is not just for those building businesses from the ground up though, it is also for women who own existing fleets. The program provides those women with the opportunity to add additional trucks to their fleets in order to keep up with booming demand, according to the media release.
Donna Sleasman added additional trucks in her existing expedited fleet through the program.
“What Expediter Services is doing through the 150 Business Challenge is very important because it is allowing women to be their own boss, create their own business and grow those businesses,” Sleasman said.