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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Looking back at 2015

2015 was a great year at Pilot. It brought us our best-ever performance, with record revenue of $565.5 million and 1.4 million shipments in total.

Throughout the year, we worked to continue our efforts expanding Pilot’s international and domestic reach, delivering our trademark personalized service, and adjusting the customized shipping solutions we offer customers worldwide.

Looking ahead, we are excited to keep the momentum as we bring our people, technology, and understanding of ground, ocean, and air capacity to new stations in Vancouver and Mexico City. In 2015, we debuted a new retail services division, and we look forward to it progressing in the coming year, allowing us to expand our work with brick-and-mortar retailers.

Keep your eyes here for updates, and from all of us at Pilot, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2016.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A special delivery benefiting the foster children of Arizona

Customer service and loyalty has always been important to us. Therefore, when we were approached by past customers, Sheri and Sal Barbera of Sweetles, a publishing company for children’s books, to assist with a special delivery, we were happy to help.

The couple was on a mission to donate over 1,000 copies of Sal’s book, “Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow,” to Arizona Helping Hands, a non-profit organization benefiting the state’s foster children. In need of a way to get the donations from the printing facility located in Brainerd, MN to Arizona Helping Hand’s headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ, Sheri turned to Pilot. After remembering her previous experience with Pilot and the value we placed on her customer as if they were our own, Sheri was confident we’d handle this delivery with the same special care.

Tom Drake, VP, domestic/Canadian operations and traffic, and his team worked hard to ensure Arizona Helping Hands received the donations properly and I‘m happy to report we were even able to get them the books ahead of schedule.
We take on every delivery with our customer’s best interest in mind and we couldn’t be more pleased to help donate our services to support such a momentous cause. Thanks to Sheri and Sal, the real heroes, for reaching back out to Pilot and allowing us to help make a difference!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pilot de Mexico open for business!

Planting Pilot roots in Mexican soil has been in the works for some time and I am happy to announce that we've officially expanded our operations to Mexico, where we’re now doing business as Pilot de Mexico. The first station under the Pilot de Mexico brand, located in Mexico City, is a full service operation and will address customers' transportation and logistics needs within the city and the interior states of Mexico.

During our national meeting this year, the growth of the Mexican economy was brought up in almost every breakout session. For example, Gordon Branov, executive VP of business development, pointed out that Mexico’s economy is the 11th largest in the world, making the region an obvious choice for our growing international footprint. Phil Annese, director of automotive, noted that in the next two years, Mexico is expected to surpass Japan in automotive business, opening up doors for our eager sales reps to make an impact in the country.

Under the management of Alberto Ochoa, a 17 year industry veteran, along with the continued support of sales, customer service and the Pilot community, I have full confidence that Pilot de Mexico will exceed expectations. And because of the potential in this market, I don’t anticipate Mexico City being our only station in Mexico for very long.

Thank you to everyone who played a role in making Pilot de Mexico a reality!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hola Mexico City, Hello Vancouver!

In the past few years we've expanded Pilot’s international footprint; first Amsterdam, followed by Toronto and most recently offices throughout Spain. I couldn't be happier to introduce the company’s newest additions, Mexico City and Vancouver. We issued a press release last month and the news has quickly taken off. The company, along with its new stations, have already been featured in publications such as The Philadelphia Business Journal, Air Cargo World, Logistics Management, and many more.

Both locations, opening in the first quarter of 2015, will be full-service stations and will allow Pilot to expand our offerings to current customers, while also providing us the opportunity to grow and attract new business. Vancouver’s position in the I-5 corridor, which runs up and down the West Coast of the U.S. into Canada, is a huge advantage along with the added access to the Far East that will allow for increased Asian import and export business. The Mexico City location will give us the presence we need to develop a national network in Latin America and better support our existing U.S. stations.

We've recruited the help of Alberto Ocha, who has seventeen years of experience in the international freight forwarding industry to manage the Mexico City location, and Lygdel DeLeon a thirteen year veteran in transportation and logistics to manage the Vancouver location.

Congratulations to the Pilot family as we continue to grow, and especially to those involved in getting these two stations off the ground!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pilot delivers to new heights

Last month Pilot went to outer space. Well, not exactly, but one of our shipments did! You may have heard about Alan Eustace, the Google executive that recently broke the sound barrier, as well as breaking many free falling records. As part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corp. and its Stratospheric Explorer (StratEx) team, Eustace took a helium-filled scientific balloon 135,000 feet above southern New Mexico before free falling for approximately 4.5 minutes, landing nearly 70 miles from his launch point.

With this project, Eustace and his team hoped to design a system that would allow humans to explore the stratosphere as easily and safely as they do the ocean. Understanding the groundbreaking implications of this experiment, Pilot Freight Services District Manager Gustavo Ceballos and his team imported the balloon from where it was developed in India, all the way to Phoenix, AZ for the first leg of its shipment. Then, Pilot continued the delivery to its final destination in Rosewell, NM, where it arrived safely. From there, knowing that the balloon had been kept safe in transport, the Pilot team eagerly anticipated Eustace’s mission.

Eustace’s success is something Pilot is incredibly proud to have been a part of and interacting with him and his team was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Transporting fragile, critical cargo is something we do every day at Pilot. Whether it’s medical equipment, a big screen TV, or a scientific helium-filled balloon, we believe that our attention to detail, professionalism, and excellence in customer care has prepared us to tackle any challenge.

The success of Eustace’s stratospheric mission has opened the door for future human endeavors and explorations of the earth’s stratosphere, and we at Pilot couldn't be more proud and honored to have played such a crucial role in this accomplishment.

A video of Alan Eustace’s mission can be found here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pilot CEO takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

It seems that everyone in the world has been challenged to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the past month, and now it's my turn to step up. ALS research is a cause near and dear to my heart, so I was happy to let our president, Lou Cortese, soak me with icy water.

In turn, I've challenged my mother, Ellen Phillips, chairman of the board of Pilot, to take the challenge herself. I'll also be donating to the ALS Foundation.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Doing business in Africa…Challenge accepted

Pilot has a presence just about everywhere in the world, and being everywhere is sometimes no easy task. International freight forwarding comes with its challenges, particularly in regions where the infrastructure isn't quite the same as what we are used to in the U.S. No continent better exemplifies the obstacles we come up against than Africa. In the past several years, our business in Africa has greatly increased, thanks in large part to work with the U.S. military, and I’m proud to say that we’ve successfully conquered significant obstacles on many occasions in the course of doing that work.

Shipping into and out of Africa presents a number of unique challenges that we and our partners have to work through to make sure we can deliver the great quality service that our customers expect. Some of these issues include political unrest, a lack of infrastructure, equipment that doesn’t work, and airports that can close on a moment’s notice. It’s this new set of challenges that really tests what we’re good at, which is being flexible.

To give you an example, we recently had a 747 full of military freight going into Africa. To unload a 747 is no ordinary task—it requires a device called a K-Loader, along with about seven trucks that can then unload cargo once it’s on the tarmac. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s not uncommon for the airports in Africa to have issues with their equipment. In this case, we found out at the last possible minute that the K-Loader at the airport that we had chosen as our destination was broken. We had to quickly re-route to fly into a different airport, find a K-Loader that did work, make sure the runway could hold the weight, and find seven trucks that could unload the cargo and transport it down to the airport of the original destination. All of that happened in about an hour and a half.

This is the kind of situation that continues to set us apart. There will always be challenges, and as long as there are, Pilot will continue to find ways to overcome them.