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Monday, December 30, 2013

On-time deliveries at an all-time high this holiday season

I want to take a moment to congratulate and thank everyone on the Pilot team for their hard work over the holiday season and in the months leading up to it. Not only did we handle a record number of shipments this year, but we did so while achieving an extremely impressive on-time performance.

This year’s holiday delivery rush was our best ever, delivering more than 40,000 televisions and other large items to consumers in the month of December. There's no doubt that the new technology solutions we launched this year aided in making our network more efficient and error-free. But it's also important to note that our success this holiday season -- and through the year -- would not be possible without our team of dedicated employees.

There is still large numbers of orders coming in after the holidays, but we anticipate that when the numbers are all in, our home delivery on-time performance rate will be well over 99 percent for the month of December, which is an incredible achievement during a notoriously difficult delivery season. Once again, thanks to the staff and Pilot community for making that possible!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pilot Introduces Customs Brokerage Service Offering

Over the past several years, we have continued to add more services to our arsenal in our quest to provide the best possible service to our customers. To that end, we have just announced the launch of Pilot Customs Brokerage (PCB). PCB is now processing and handling the customs clearance of imports for Pilot customers everywhere in the U.S. We are also offering customs brokerage as a stand-alone service for companies who are not current customers, allowing us to broaden our reach and bring in new business.

Ilyse Dawicki, managing director of customs brokerage, is spearheading the new PCB operation. Ilyse has over 20 years of experience in customs brokerage and has undoubtedly been a great asset to our team.

With the help of Ilyse and this new service we are able to better serve our customers and eliminate the use of third party brokers. PCB not only adds to our growing list of customer services, but to our overall growth as a company. Congratulations to everyone involved in putting PCB into action!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Technology: It’s here to stay, so let’s embrace it and use it to our advantage

Supply & Demand Chain Executive recently asked me to share my thoughts on the technology advances that are helping propel our industry into a paperless environment. In an article that was published this week, I discussed not only what the industry is doing as a whole, but how Pilot’s use of technology is allowing us to really level the playing field and compete with the big guys.

Let’s be honest, our industry has not historically been the most tech savvy. However, in the past few years we have taken major leaps forward that have changed our business for the better. We have streamlined the process of delivery, allowing our customers to close the communication gap and ultimately solidify sales. With the introduction of Compass, we now have the tools and base we need to adapt and create more apps or add-ons that will continue to give us an advantage within the industry.

To read the full article, check out Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s website. And if you have any questions on the topic, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to get back to you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pilot helps Isle Surf & SUP reduce damage and increase sales

For a number of years, our San Diego station has worked with Isle Surf & SUP, a company that sells stand up paddleboards (SUPs) and surfboards. Pilot handles all SUP imports and nationwide home deliveries. I recently spoke with Marc Miller, the co-founder of Isle Surf & SUP, about how Pilot has been able to help his business.

The SUP industry presents a shipping challenge, as these boards are oversize and can be easily damaged. Marc told me that with his previous domestic shipping partner, they were seeing damage rates of roughly 20 percent. Pilot has been able to work with Isle to improve their boxing and has brought their damage rates down to the two to three percent range. This improvement has meant happier customers and a reduction in the man hours normally spent dealing with customers who have received damaged products or delayed shipments.

In online retail, shipping rates can make or break a sale. And in an industry selling large items that need special treatment, shipping costs for consumers can be exorbitant. However, we were able to work out competitive rates for Isle that—along with a lower damage rate—has allowed them to offer free shipping to its customers. This is a MAJOR competitive advantage, and part of the reason that Isle has been able to take advantage of the recent SUP boom and has seen overall sales growth of roughly 100 percent this year.

The shipping and handling of paddleboards has the potential to be one huge headache, but our team in San Diego has proven that it doesn't have to be. Congratulations to Marc and team on such impressive growth this year!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hola, Spain!

In 2011, a team of Pilot employees set out for Europe and opened a now-thriving station in Amsterdam, our first full-service location outside of North America. Since that time, we've seen the Amsterdam station have great success in serving our customers who move freight both into and out of Europe, and everyone has seen the advantages of having Pilot employees overseas.

This year, we're continuing to expand our presence in Europe and I'm excited to announce that we have opened a new station in A Coruña, an important port city in Spain. The station is already up and running, and has gotten started with shipments of iPads to the Middle East and textiles to Russia. As you can read in the press release that we issued this week (see below), we expect that the A Coruña station will do a lot of work with textiles and ecommerce goods en route to destinations including the European Union, China and the Americas.

And because we see so much potential in Spain, we plan to open to additional locations later in the year in Barcelona and Madrid. Stay tuned for more information on those stations.

Congratulations to everyone involved in getting Pilot Spain off the ground!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pilot hits $500 million revenue milestone

At our National Meeting in Philadelphia two years ago, I stood up in front of 300 Pilot employees and announced my goal to reach $500 million in revenue in 2012. I could not be more proud to say that we have reached that goal.

This is an incredible accomplishment, one that truly shows the strength and determination of all Pilot employees. It’s impossible to give this credit to any one person or group of people, because our growth has been across the board. From special services to home delivery to government services, our team continues to exceed customer expectations and drive success.

I've said this before, and I’ll say it again – my excitement over this achievement isn't just because we hit a big number. It’s because we hit a big number by staying true to our core strengths, which lie in heavy-weight expedited freight. We don’t take every piece of business that comes our way. And in fact, in the past year we've chosen to walk away from some very attractive, big revenue accounts in order to go after the business that positions Pilot for long-term, sustainable growth. As a result of this strategy, I am confident that Pilot will continue to hit huge milestones in the years to come.

This will be another exciting year for us, as we continue to expand our footprint with new locations internationally, and many of our domestic stations moving to larger facilities to accommodate their rapid growth. Along with this expansion comes great opportunity for the Pilot community, and we are excited to see where 2013 will take us.

A big thanks and congratulations go out to all members of the Pilot family!