Back From Mars and on course to normal
|Greg Syfan, Exec. President|
In the science fiction movie, The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (actor Matt Damon) is stranded on Mars and must find a way to survive—or die. After eventually returning to Earth, he explains how he survived to a classroom of future astronauts in the movie’s final scene.
“You just do the math,” Damon said. “You solve one problem, then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you’re going to get home.”
To me, the last three years feel like we’ve been to Mars, and that we’ve only just now returned.
The irony is that despite a worldwide pandemic and a supply-chain collapse, our company and the rest of the logistics industry have been on a wild ride of uninterrupted growth. In fact, until now, I had hardly experienced any year without at least a dip or two along the way.
In January of this year, we finally experienced our first downturn in business since the early days of the pandemic in 2020. That’s why it feels like we’re home again.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like any shortfalls in profitability, even brief ones. But the truth is that the ups and downs of business cycles are the norm, not the exception.
We’ve known this rainy day would come, and we’ve planned for it. Like the astronaut on Mars, we’ve done the math, solving one problem at a time while capacity was tight as a drum. And now, with an abundance of trucks and pressure to lower rates, we’ll continue to figure it out – step by step.
By the time you’re reading this, the economy may even have flipped again. That’s life, and the roller coaster can be scary at times. But at Syfan Logistics, we choose Faith Over Fear and look optimistically to the future each day. You already understand this if you’ve ever read one of our Faith Over Fear messages that we email monthly to customers and friends.
So, in recent months, our positive outlook has led us to add an outside sales team of top-notch logistics pros based around the country. We’ve also added port drayage services for import and export shipments (read more about it in this newsletter) by opening a new office at the Port of Savannah while sowing the seeds for an inland port planned near our headquarters in Gainesville, Ga.
We also continue to invest and focus harder on customer service with open, honest communications, enhanced technology, and our “never say never” mindset.
I realize the economy may one day return to Mars, but we’re not going to lose sleep worrying. We’ll just keep doing the math and practicing Faith Over Fear.
‘Breaking New Water’ With Addition of Port Drayage Services
|Our Ocean Drayage Team was added to provide greater convenience to our shipping customers.|
Our Syfan team is excited to announce our expansion into Ocean Drayage Services, providing final-mile delivery of containers between ports and our carrier partners.
While we’re now fully underway, the Syfan Logistics Ocean Drayage Team has been building its operations since 2020 to provide greater convenience. Our shipping customers appreciate working with a single provider like Syfan to coordinate container shipments out of the ports and to their destinations.
This year, we opened an office within the Savannah Global Logistics Center at Port Wentworth, less than two miles from the Port of Savannah. Savannah is the nation’s third-busiest port city. This office will help to build on our company’s success in this niche segment of the transportation market.
Operating at large ports like Savannah, Syfan’s Drayage Team assists in moving freight imports and exports. Our team utilizes maritime tracking technology and is able to monitor the journey of containers at sea to ensure prompt pick-up at the ports.
“Essentially, we’ve brought our knowledge of the 3PL world into the port world,” says Matt Keadle, the Syfan Drayage Team Captain. “We are using an expedited port model to introduce velocity into the ports and create more efficiency.”
Container shipments often get bogged down inside the ports, racking up expensive storage fees. However, Keadle says Syfan is focused on moving each container as soon as it is available for pick-up. Following delivery, we return the empty containers to the ports as fast as possible to avoid any additional charges.
“We’ve noticed a lot of other companies are slow and inefficient,” Keadle said, “so we’ve worked hard to be different by eliminating unnecessary downtime and wasteful storage costs.”
Another plus for our entry into maritime services is the development of a new inland port for Northeast Georgia near our headquarters in Gainesville.
“In Georgia, we have boots on the ground at the Savannah port and soon we will have access to a local inland port within a few miles of our headquarters in Gainesville. So anything to do with the port on either side, we have it covered,” Keadle said.
SYFAN LOGISTICS HIRES EXPERIENCED OUTSIDE SALES TEAM
The new team is led by Tyson Goeman, Vice President of Business Development.
“We have a unique opportunity to build an outside sales team from scratch with great vision and leadership from the top of the company down,” Goeman said. “Syfan has had positive momentum building for some time now and it is an exciting opportunity to join a company growing at this rate.”
Goeman joins Syfan after working his way up from a sales position to the President of Ten Logistics in Minneapolis after starting his transportation career at YRC Freight.
The rest of the team includes Regional Sales Directors Clifford Yow, Staci Robinson, Adam Wedan, David Griffin, Paul Leone, Robert Moore, Zach Pieper and Danny Boots – who are based all throughout the United States.
Tyson Goeman, Vice President of Business Development
Driver Spotlight: Michael James
Michael James was working in a warehouse a little over 20 years ago when he decided it was time for a change of scenery.
So, he set his sights on becoming a truck driver, and earned his CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). Now he has been on the road with his new career for the last few years and enjoys every minute.
A driver for Syfan Transport since 2019, Michael especially enjoys the freedom that comes with a life on the road.
“I was bored and looking to do something new,” Michael says. “I got my CDL and started driving.
It’s nice to see different places, especially when you have a little free time.”
Michael has driven all across the country, with his main routes in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
The family atmosphere at Syfan is also something Michael appreciates.
“You know all the people here and know they have your back,” he says. “And if an issue comes up, they are always communicating and working together with you.
A Texas native, Michael lives in Montgomery, Ala. with his wife, Breana. They have two sons Dejuan, 26, and Patrick, 18.
Employee Spotlight: Katherine Fernandez
Marketing Coordinator Katherine Fernandez started with us full-time in January, but she has been part of the Syfan Logistics family since last May when she took part in our 2022 Summer Internship Program. She then worked part time while completing her bachelor’s degree.
Her job entails a wide variety of external and internal marketing initiatives, including managing and maintaining social media accounts for Syfan Logistics and Turbo Sales & Leasing, helping with website development, our intranet, internal and external materials, and the overall vision of Syfan companies by coordinating with and aiding our outsourced partners.
“Through the internship I learned a lot about an industry I knew nothing about” she says. “I was also given opportunities that challenged me. I knew if I worked at Syfan I would continue to be challenged and I would continue to grow my skillset. This was important to me because I would never want to stay stagnant, I love to learn new things and challenge myself.”
Katherine graduated Summa Cum Laude from Piedmont University in 3½ years, with a business degree in Marketing & Management. Her sister, Caroline, graduated from Kennesaw State with a degree in marketing the same week, so it was celebration time in the Fernandez household.
A North Gwinnett High graduate, Katherine grew up in Suwanee in a tight-knit family of her mother, Kay, father, Carlos, and sister, Caroline.
Katherine loves to travel, which is an interest she got from her parents who worked in the aviation industry. Her dad is a retired Delta pilot, and her mom worked as a flight attendant in her 20s.
“I love to travel,” she says. “Any chance I can, I love to be on the road or in the air headed somewhere new. My parents have traveled the world and I’d love to do the same.”
First Phase Close to Completion
|Work continues on our 46,000
If you’ve visited our headquarters lately, we don’t have to tell you that we’re building and growing.
Our most recent expansion project at our building off Candler Road in Gainesville, Ga., is progressing well. The first phase, which is focused on adding office space, is set to be completed in early April. The second phase involves renovation of our existing workspace and should be finished in September.
Once completed, our headquarters will be nearly double in size with enough workspace for an additional 125 team members.
Growing Our Next Generation
Syfan Team Attends College Career Fairs
|Recruiting Manager Jakob Jameson and our Organizational Development Manager
Dan Bacus lead our recruitment efforts.
Every year our recruitment team hits the College Career Fair circuit looking for potential team members and interns to meet our strategic growth plans.
Our Syfan recruitment team is led by our Recruiting Manager Jakob Jameson and our Organizational Development Manager Dan Bacus.
“Attending the College Career and Internship fairs at our partner schools has been extremely important in supporting the growth of our company,” Jameson says. “At these career fairs, we have the opportunity to make early connections with students who are studying various disciplines that could ultimately lead them to a career opportunity with us.”
Our Partner Universities
University of Georgia
In addition to visiting our partner universities across Georgia and the Southeast, we attend the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Spring Job Fair in our Gainesville, Ga., backyard.
At each career fair, we value taking the time to get to know the students on a personal level. We want to foster relationships with people as opposed to just collecting their resumes or giving away free handouts like many other companies do.
“We strive to have genuine, meaningful conversations with each individual,” Jameson says. “We make a point to ask, ‘What are you looking for in an internship?’ or ‘What are you looking to get out of an internship program?’”
From there, he adds, “It’s figuring out if there is alignment with what they want and what we can provide.”
We especially like to promote Syfan’s work culture – one of our biggest assets. “As a company, we hold our culture near and dear to our heart,” Jameson says, “and we get so excited talking about it that students want to visit us and see for themselves.”
Part of our culture is focused on continual professional and personal development of each team member. This focus benefits both the company and our team members as we work together to build and prepare for the future of our business.
For more information about our company and available career opportunities, visit https://syfanlogistics.com/careers.