FedEx Ground Names Entrepreneurs of the Year
Six outstanding service provider businesses recognized for excellence in safety, customer service, business growth, and community support
PITTSBURGH, April 22, 2022 – FedEx Ground, a leader in cost-effective package ground shipping, recognized six independent businesses that provide outstanding contract transportation services as FedEx Ground Entrepreneurs of the Year: SB Transportation Service, Inc. of Orlando, Fla. (owner Diana Rodriguez), JSJ Trucking, Inc. of Tupelo, Miss. (owner John Smith, Jr.), Hutch Motors, Inc. of Pasco, Wash. (owner Eric Hutchcraft), Mercury Logistics, Inc. of Greenwood, Ind. (owner Laura Brown), Fulsom Logistics, Inc. of Fresno, Calif. (owner Troy Fulsom), and EPR Transport, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. (owner Erin Roach).
The Entrepreneur of the Year distinction recognizes businesses for valuing safety above all, delivering excellent customer service, building dedicated and engaged teams, and responsibly growing their companies. FedEx Ground contracts with 6,000 service provider companies throughout the United States and Canada, and this year’s winners were selected from among the top 40 regional qualifiers representing the best of those companies for the past two fiscal years, ending May 31, 2021.
“These exemplary companies have navigated unprecedented challenges over the last two years, and through it all have continued to place the highest priority on safety and exceptional service to FedEx Ground customers,” said John Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Ground. “Since 2007 we have been recognizing outstanding businesses that successfully demonstrate an unwavering commitment to these principles, and we are proud and excited to honor this year’s winners.”
The following are brief company profiles of the businesses recognized:
SB Transportation Service, Inc. – Orlando, Fla. – Diana Rodriguez, Owner
Communication, accommodation, and cooperation characterize SB Transportation Service. Led by Diana Rodriguez, the sizeable five-year-old transportation company operates a fleet of 87 vehicles.
SB Transportation Service’s willingness to satisfy customers and adapt to evolving volume and service demands has spurred its success. Thanks to sound management principles and fleet and people preparedness, Rodriguez and her team have operated smoothly through a period of rapid growth and are always available to help other service providers as needed.
While customer service is important, Rodriguez affirms that safety is the priority. The company’s new drivers are schooled in comprehensive safe-operation methods that include individualized coaching and a tool kit for success.
SB Transportation Service’s fleet features the latest onboard monitoring and regulating technology that promotes accountability and a high standard of service excellence.
The company’s managers monitor fleet analytics daily and use the data to implement operational improvement opportunities. Managers also keep an eye on pickup movement, fleet maintenance schedules and safety expirations — all in real time. As a result, the fleet is in great condition. Vehicles are technologically up-to-date and replaced with fuel efficient and environmentally friendly models.
In the community, Rodriguez and her family volunteer their time and resources to a local food harvest organization, including distributing canned goods to people in need and helping local farmers harvest crops.
JSJ Trucking, Inc. – Tupelo, Miss. – John Smith, Jr., Owner
When the FedEx Ground Tupelo facility opened in 1995, JSJ Trucking began operating with one tractor. Today, John Smith, Jr. leads a team responsible for a fleet of 12 tractors safely and professionally. Along the way, Smith has become a role model for other entrepreneurs who seek to create a business that values others.
Two JSJ Trucking managers run a smooth operation and manage a third-party vendor that provides background solutions for hiring, onboarding and compliance processes.
JSJ Trucking also enlists an industry expert to administer its safety program, which has helped it achieve eight years without a preventable accident. The company champions the latest safety technologies, including collision warning alerts with auto brake, speed limiters, blind spot monitoring and more. Tractors are upgraded after three years of service and the fleet is 100 percent compliant with required safety technology.
Managers John and Terry Reese are at the FedEx Ground facility every day to ensure safe and reliable operations. The company employs extra resources to cover additional runs and provide recovery. During the peak shipping season, JSJ Trucking says they can always be counted on to help whenever needed.
JSJ Trucking employees are known in and around Tupelo for their professional appearance, friendliness and willingness to communicate and help in any situation.
The company commands a strong presence at the state Truck Driving Championships each year. Smith is a FedEx Ace, a 10-time state champion and a three-time national champion. In 2016, he was named Mississippi Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year.
JSJ Trucking provides charitable support for a host of worthwhile organizations, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Goodwill of America, Breast Cancer Research, the Salvation Army and a local elementary school.
Hutch Motors, Inc. – Pasco, Wash. – Eric Hutchcraft, Owner
Eric Hutchcraft, owner of 12-year-old Hutch Motors, is a continuous learner who does his utmost to be prepared to lead his team. “My goal is to maintain a good work environment for my people,” Hutchcraft says. “I want everyone focused on driving safely and delivering great service.”
The company uses experienced drivers as trainers and pairs the trainers with new hires based on learning style and instructional needs.
The company hosts monthly safety meetings and communicates regular safety messages each week. Hutch Motors’ fleet of 26 late-model vehicles include video insight technology. “The technology allows me to coach a driver about something before it becomes an incident,” Hutchcraft states.
Hutchcraft, a mechanic by trade, handles truck maintenance himself in his own shop. His wife Christin is the business’ silent partner. “Without her support, I couldn’t do what I do,” he says.
During past holiday seasons, Hutch Motors has adopted three needy families. Employees meet after hours, break into teams and shop for gifts and food. “We all enjoy it and the drivers get to see what the money is going for,” adds Hutchcraft.
Mercury Logistics, Inc. – Greenwood, Ind. – Laura Brown, Owner
A service provider for the past four years, Mercury Logistics operates 24 tractors to high standards for safety and service. Safety is the company’s core focus and begins from the time of a new driver’s first road test and continues throughout his or her career. According to owner Laura Brown, “The emphasis on safety cannot start early enough!”
Safety communication is constant through coaching, sharing of best practices, and reviews. “If a driver makes an error, we try to understand why, so we can improve the process and avoid repeating it,” Brown says. Mercury Logistics uses an app to document their best practices, which reinforces consistency and accountability. Mercury Logistics has also participated in the state Truck Driving Championships with one of its drivers placing third in the flatbed class in 2019.
Mercury Logistics prides itself on treating its drivers as professionals whose skills are valued and rewarded. The company uses upgraded, well-maintained tractors and can rely on the support of a safety manager and a fleet manager who both serve as backup drivers. To retain its stellar service and help with contingency planning, the company employs contingency resources and spare equipment, which has enabled Mercury Logistics to grow significantly during the pandemic.
The company embraces a reduce-reuse-recycle philosophy. The operation is paper free and employees refill and recycle washer fluid and oil containers. Tractors are monitored for cruise control usage and upgraded regularly for fuel efficiency.
In the community, Mercury Logistics sponsors a family every Christmas through the public-school system.
Fulsom Logistics, Inc. – Fresno, Calif. – Troy Fulsom, Owner
In business 12 years, Fulsom Logistics has attained its excellent safety and service performance by sheer force of will from owner Troy Fulsom. Since the company opened for business, Fulsom has emphasized teamwork and encourages the company’s employees to think about the needs of their fellow employees first.
To Fulsom, the fundamentals of what it means to be a family are what drive their success. He explains, “I try to support my employees the way I’ve been supported by Leslie, my wife, by my four children, and by my mom and dad. My dad changed tires and brakes for me when I first started out and my mom is still my biggest fan,” Fulsom adds. “The least I can do is treat others the same.”
Fulsom Logistics’ new drivers are trained by a seasoned driver and training is customized. “It depends on how long it takes for the individual to truly acclimate to our high standards, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for accidents,” says Fulsom. If a lesser incident occurs, Fulsom meets with the driver and, if necessary, provides a retraining ride-along. The incident may also serve as a teaching moment in the company’s regular safety meetings. Daily safety messages and reminders are also relayed to drivers.
Fulsom Logistics constantly tweaks the service area and individual routes for efficiencies. Fulsom has also formed good relationships with local shops who service the company’s 24-vehicle fleet according to a strict maintenance schedule.
In the community, Fulsom Logistics employees happily participate in food drives and other assistance programs that help families, especially during the holidays.
EPR Transport, Inc. – Pittsburgh, Pa. – Erin Roach, Owner
Dedication and teamwork are the distinctive characteristics of 10-year service provider EPR Transport. The company’s employees take pride in their work and enjoy their jobs, which is evident in the way they treat others — and in their top-notch safety and service record.
Erin Roach sets the tone, coaching about safety and the customer experience. For example, to meet the goal of safely delivering every package every day, EPR Transport works through their vans each morning on the lookout for mistaken addresses and closed businesses, so these can be promptly resolved. Other small but effective methods include circling back to make second attempts and keeping spare vehicles that can be deployed in a moment’s notice.
EPR Transport’s strong safety program begins with solid training and features daily safety messages. Technology helps, too, including video and backing cameras paired with backing sonar, so drivers can see and hear obstacles in their paths. Anti-theft devices keep people safe and packages secure.
The company’s maintenance plan includes regular after-hours service and inspection of vehicles to support top performance. “Proper maintenance reduces the chance of a breakdown and ensures our vehicles are out on the road delivering packages,” explains Roach.
Proud of its 20-vehicle fleet, EPR Transport participates in a local Big Truck Day, providing a van and a tractor for display. The company has also supplied a driver and van for the annual Pittsburgh Marathon, and volunteers to host ride-alongs, which provide hands-on experience for FedEx Ground employees during orientation.
About FedEx Ground
FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., and is a leader in cost-effective package ground shipping, offering dependable service to businesses and residential customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through more than 200,000 employees, 686 sortation and distribution facilities, and 100,000 motorized vehicles operated by nearly 6,000 locally owned small businesses, FedEx Ground transported more than 10 million packages a day in its latest fiscal quarter. The company reported annual revenue of $30.5 billion in fiscal year 2021.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $92 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its nearly 600,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit fedex.com/about.
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