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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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pilot recognized for excellent service and customer value

It's awards and ranking season in the shipping and logistics industry, and Pilot has once again been recognized by Inbound Logistics and Logistics Management magazines. These awards are a true reflection of the hours logged, calls answered, and overall customer service provided by Pilot employees across the globe.

I’m happy to tell you that we have, for the fifth year in a row, been named to Inbound Logistics’ Top 100 3PL Providers list. Continuing to make this list is a huge win for us. Our logistics program is still relatively new in the scope of Pilot’s history, yet we continue to grow and expand our services and market share.

We also received our 25th Quest for Quality award from Logistics Management, ranking second in the air freight category and first overall in value. We hold this award in high regards because it’s determined by a survey of the magazine’s readers, who are our customers. Logistics Management readers are some of the industry’s most influential shippers, who are asked to evaluate the providers they work with in order to calculate the rankings. To be placed this high in the rankings is a clear sign that we are doing something right and providing great customer service.

Everyone at Pilot enjoys winning awards. Who wouldn’t? However it’s not just hanging a plaque on the wall in our headquarters that gives us satisfaction, but the reasons that we earned them. Our dedicated employees are the reason we keep gaining recognition and I want to thank them for an incredible year so far. Great job, everyone! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Raleigh rings in the New Year at bigger and better location

Here at Pilot we are continuing to grow and expand as a company, and our Raleigh station is no exception. The station is ringing in the New Year in a brand new updated location. The new space is located adjacent to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, in the heart of the Triangle region. Our Raleigh team will now have roughly 25,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, nearly doubling the size of the previous station.

This expansion allows the Raleigh team to continue providing excellent service to its customers, as well as add to their arsenal of services. Raleigh will now be able to offer inventory management to its customer base, which includes technology, furniture, medical, electronics, and manufacturing companies, and we couldn’t be happier. We are very excited to see what new opportunities the station’s new and improved space will bring in the New Year!

Congratulations to the team in Raleigh on the big move and continued growth!