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Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello, blogosphere.

Welcome to the new Pilot Freight Services blog! The launch of this blog, in conjunction with the totally re-designed Pilot website, marks a new step in the continued innovation and evolution of our company. As you’ll read about in an upcoming post from my sister Stephanie Phillips, Vice Chair and Chief Marketing Officer, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes on a complete re-branding initiative.

My family has owned and operated Pilot Freight Services since the mid-90s, and we have grown to become the largest privately held U.S. freight forwarder operating today. Traditional business theory likes to portray private family-owned companies as slow to change and innovate, insulating themselves from the new forces shaping the marketplace and the rapidly changing needs of their customers.

I’ve always taken issue with that kind of stereotyping. In many ways a family business can be a better reflection of the values and aspirations of the people who work there. There’s no reason a family business, run by people who care passionately about what they do, should be less connected than public companies. And Pilot’s record of success speaks for itself.

When we talk about family here at Pilot we’re really talking about the hundreds of employees who keep our company running every day. You’ll meet many of them as part of this blog in the months ahead. We’ll also examine the new trends remaking the shipping and logistics industry, and talk about the challenges we all face as we navigate an economy that for now seems stubbornly stuck in neutral.

As a pilot myself, I’ve always thought many of the challenges we face at Pilot are comparable to skills needed to fly safely. Besides constant training, a pilot has to extensively plan every detail, and is always trying to manage multiple sources of new information to guide his or her decision-making.  A pilot must also always be aware of his or her surroundings, and be ready to adjust course to find the smoothest flight. As our customers’ needs become more complex and the deadlines become ever shorter, the employee training, infrastructure and cutting edge technology at Pilot allows us to successfully meet those challenges. And we are constantly looking for smooth air, and new areas for growth. We will be sharing both these challenges and the solutions as they come up, in hopes that others can benefit from this knowledge.

All blogs have space for comment and we hope our readers will leave a lot of them. From my perspective, blogs have gained their popularity because they are a forum for dialogue. Our goal is to make the Pilot Freight Services “Piloting Business” blog the go-to place for discussion of trends, ideas and issues for the freight industry.

So enjoy the blog…and definitely let me know what you think.