Laura Fava has joined FreightWaves as Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Development.
Fava is excited to join the team, as she explained to FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller during an episode of the FreightWavesTV show, “Fuller Speed Ahead.”
“I think that FreightWaves is doing something that nobody else is doing, and being a part of something that nobody else is doing is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Fava said.
Before joining FreightWaves, Fava began her career in the freight industry with startup freight forwarder Steam Logistics in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She saw great success at Steam, climbing the ranks to Vice President of Operations.
“Because [Steam] was a startup that was a huge selling point for me. I thought it was awesome to be a part of something that is just about to grow and get big and being able to help them grow was something I was really excited about because I was quite young as well,” Fava said.
Steam has seen tremendous growth since its founding in 2012. According to its website, it was recently named #254 on Inc. Magazine’s List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Steam’s main focus is on international logistics, which attracted Fava to the freight forwarder.
“Being from another country, I wanted to do something that allows me to speak to people from different parts of the world, which [Steam] allowed me to do. So I was really excited about that,” Fava said.
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Fava came to the United States on an athletic scholarship to play tennis in college. Upon graduating, she stayed stateside to start her career.
While at Steam, Fava said she saw first-hand the challenges it took to break into the international freight forwarding industry, dealing with manufacturing and supply chains, as well as rules and regulations that are much different than those domestic freight brokerages deal with regularly.
“There are a few things that you have to understand that are going on in other countries in order to even do business in those countries,” Fava said. “That’s just something that’s quite difficult to do. Also managing the expectations with some of these importers that don’t only ship from Europe and Asia, but all over the world, and even being able to find a service from a really, really small port in Africa is not as easy as you would think.”
Going from college directly to a startup had its challenges for Fava, who described herself as ‘process-oriented.’ However, Fava believes both she and her team learned from each other, mixing structure with unstructured.
“You just have to try something and hope it works, and if it doesn’t, try something different,” Fava said.
Fava has learned a great amount in her very short time in transportation and logistics and is looking forward to taking the next step in her career.
“I’m hoping to bring something to the table that [FreightWaves] may not have yet. The international side; I’ve always been interested in that,” Fava said. “I was able to do that at Steam and I think that I can do the same here. I’m just excited to bring that additional knowledge to some of these people in this industry that FreightWaves can bring.”