About a month ago, MoLo Solutions, the Chicago-based freight brokerage, quietly bought out its old investors and gained access to a new line of capital, the amount of which was undisclosed but is said to be “sufficient to allow MoLo to grow at speed for a long time.”
Yesterday, MoLo announced that it is adding new executives to its C-suite. Brian Rudich, chief financial officer (CFO) at Command Transportation from 2006 to 2016 and chief operating officer at HubTran thereafter, will be MoLo’s new CFO. Laurel Legler, former senior vice president of human resources at Guaranteed Rate, will be the vice president of People, and Justin Loeb, formerly a back-office analyst at Command, will take on the chief administrative officer role at MoLo.
To top it off, Jeff Silver and his old partner Paul Loeb—both veterans of American Backhaulers—yesterday announced they had founded a new software company, Mastery Logistics Systems, which will focus on “reducing waste across the entire freight logistics industry.” There’s no commercial relationship between MoLo and Mastery—yet—but Andrew Silver said he imagined that he would be an early customer.
MoLo CEO Andrew Silver announced the new hires to his team Monday morning and then spoke to FreightWaves by phone.
“People are fired up, man,” Silver said. “My job is to put people in the best position to succeed, no matter what that takes. Our new hires bring so much to the table. Laurel has this way with people, a contagious, positive personality that makes you want to be your best self. Brian is someone who has fifteen years of experience building one of the most successful, driver-centric brokerages ever, and at HubTran created innovative back-office solutions. Justin owned a lot of the back-office processes at Command, whether it was compliance, risk, systems, contracts, or making sure you’re booking the best carrier on every load.”
Silver said that MoLo would use its new funding to invest in people and in best practices, like paying carriers as quickly as possible.
“We look at every situation and think, how can we keep the driver happy? We’re always trying to keep a long-term philosophy at the front of our minds, and that’s expensive to do. We put in a tremendous amount of work to service our customers during a challenging 2018 market. Those customers returned the favor with significant contractual volumes this year, which has propelled our growth. ”
The brokerage now employs about 130 people and expects headcount to reach 200 by year-end. MoLo is currently operating at a $100 million run rate and capitalized on good relationships with its customers to grow its volumes 40% from February to March as new freight contracts went live. The brokerage recently added 18,000 square feet of space for a total footprint of 33,000 square feet.
“Growing fast is great, but it’s not about speed, it’s about doing things the right way,” Silver emphasized. “It’s less about revenue projections and more about perfecting the execution, less about hitting numbers and more about making sure the experience our carriers, customers, and people have is just phenomenal.”
High growth companies can run into a number of issues, including loss of culture, inefficiency and organizational confusion, and letting employees languish in the same position without opportunities for professional development.
“We’re aware of what happens if you don’t grow responsibly. Laurel, Justin, and Brian will help ensure the experience only gets better at MoLo. We have to think about every individual interaction an employee has, from their initial phone interview, to their first day, their training, and their eventual successes on the floor. Every single person matters, and all of their successes and struggles matter. We will be there for our people every step of the way and support them accordingly,” Silver said.
Silver also spoke about driver engagement, and creating such a great experience that carriers only wanted to drive for MoLo. He said that he reminds his team that none of us would be here without the driver, and that they deserve to be treated with respect and appreciation.
“When I walk around the office, I hear people ending calls with ‘drive safe’. That’s not a sales tactic. It’s genuinely caring about the person on the other end of the line. I love that about our people. They truly care,” Silver said, “Every time a driver gets off the phone with MoLo, I want them to think ‘that was a great experience.’ You have to make a real personal connection. When it’s 8 PM and they’re stuck at a facility for 10 hours, do they have someone they can call who will work for them?”
Finally, Silver reflected on how his role has changed as MoLo continues to scale. He said that he started off doing what he loves—selling—but now realizes that his job now is more to coach, support, and motivate his team. Silver specifically cited Ted Alling, from Access America, as a leader he admired.
“Ted’s one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. He inspired hundreds of people every day with his can-do attitude, and we want our people to feel that from us,” Silver said.
“People want leadership that cares about them, and when you’re growing fast it’s easy to lose sight of. We refuse to let that happen at MoLo. We want to motivate our people every single day and support them to the best of our ability,” Silver concluded.