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News

Small Business Grows With Crowley's DFTS Services

Crowley Supports Small Business Growth and Success in Transportation Management Services for U.S. Warfighters

 

A key factor in Crowley’s successful support of U.S. warfighters under the federal Defense Freight Transportation Services (DFTS) contract is building successful partnerships with small businesses.

By working together, Crowley and those businesses leverage and maximize transportation management services for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Case in point: the strong growth of Virginia Transport of Chicago, a broker and certified U.S. HUB Zone small business that focuses on both shippers' and carriers' needs. The HUB Zone designation means the company operates in “historically underutilized business” areas by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

President Dean Norris credits Crowley’s support for helping the company succeed. Founded 2 1/2 years ago, Virginia Transport had five employees before beginning work with Crowley. Now, the company has grown to 15 employees. In the process, Virginia Transport’s load volume has increased from 30-40 orders each month to 300-400 monthly.

The success has allowed the company to ensure employees have health care benefits and business training opportunities – many of whom never had health insurance before, Norris said. Employees have told him that the experience has prompted them to pursue more career development and education to continue enhancing their own lives.

“When Crowley got involved, it opened a whole new realm of possibilities. Crowley created an environment for us where we felt like we had a mentor, a support team, someone who held us accountable, which is important,” Norris said. “We probably needed our feet held to the fire. Knowing that Crowley was behind us was what enabled us to move forward as a small business.”

Encouraging Small Business Logistics

The vast network of dozens of defense logistics locations served under DFTS stretches across North America and needs to be flexible and responsive to manage complex schedules and inventory needs. That requires transportation management that is integrated - and that maximizes the efficiency of partners, often small businesses, that serve as brokers or carriers. Those small businesses play a key role under Crowley’s government services team, ensuring cargo arrives at scheduled time for customers.