On occasion, someone asks me how long I have been involved in the trucking industry. I often say “42 years.” I get an odd look, but I then explain that I literally grew up around the industry and that my father and grandfather built successful trucking companies. As a young boy, I would often go to work with my father and rather than let me play, he would put me to work. It goes back as far as I can remember, so I suspect he was breaking some child labor law that was on the books back in the 1980s.
But I didn’t care; I loved every minute of it and I was proud to show my dad that I would grow up to be just like him one day. I spent time in the parts department, maintenance, janitorial, dispatching trucks, dealing with driver issues, repowering loads, working on the computer systems, selling, marketing – really everything short of driving a truck. He would even have me attend executive meetings with key vendors, bankers, and even a board meeting or two. When I was eight years old, I negotiated a multi-million dollar truck deal; but I suspect that I was just repeating things my dad had told me to say.
My story is likely familiar to thousands of others in the trucking industry. After all, trucking is a family business. The business provides a good living for families, but the work is hard. Trucking entrepreneurs want their kids to build on their legacy and are proud to have them involved. For me there is nothing more exciting than smelling a new truck or the rubber from a new set of tires. It brings back fond memories of my childhood and how I was able to watch my father turn dedication into a successful enterprise.
In early March, FreightWaves turned four years old. While most startups tend to fail in the first four years, we were too busy to even remember the significance of our birthday, much less celebrate it. In that short period of time, FreightWaves has become the dominant media and information platform for the North American freight market. While we’ve enjoyed great financial success as a result of the products we have created, I am most proud of how we have created a level of transparency and awareness of everything that is happening in this dynamic and massively important industry.
The trucking/logistics/supply chain industries are having a massive renaissance. Technology, decarbonization, automation and digitization are shaping the future of society. The next decade will be the most exciting in the history of logistics and we are honored to be a trusted partner as you navigate the future. A venture capital investor once told me that the greatest impact we’ve had on the industry is that we’ve helped to make the broader world aware of how sexy and exciting freight and logistics truly is.
Thank you for being part of the FreightWaves community. This is the most exciting time in our industry to-date, and it is our pleasure to be your partner and resource as you navigate the future.