The power of relationships
|Greg Syfan, Exec. President
In the fast-paced world of logistics, you need a lot of tools to be successful. Computers and software are essential in connecting with customers and suppliers. Trucks, tires, oil, GPS systems, and drivers must all mesh together to deliver consumer products.
But it’s the underlying power of relationships – combined with blessings from above – that drives true success. This critical part of our business model has proven its value many times over in my long career.
Within our company’s carrier database, we have upwards of 10,000 trucking companies qualified to haul loads for us. They are important. However, there is a much smaller subset who are our “go-to” drivers. They’re the ones we can call at the last minute with an impossible deadline or to ship a perishable load of chicken meat before it spoils. They also allow us to be less reliant on buying capacity on the volatile spot market.
These are critical relationships that make or break our success. Without these carrier partners, we would go nowhere, especially in challenging times.
Relationships with our customers are equally important. Toward the end of last year, shipper demand and rates started to trend down to pre-Covid levels. Consequently, our pace of business has slacked off in 2023, but our contract relationships with customers remain solid.
Coming on the heels of an unprecedented three-year growth wave, we have been happy to reward our customers with lower rates in this down cycle. That’s a real partnership. In return, our customers have stuck with us, resisting the lure of switching partners for cheaper rates. In fact, a recent article in Freight Waves stated that shippers would rather spend “purposely more” than spot rate to lock in better service.
Trusting In Our Growth Plans
Without these relationships – and our positive faith – we wouldn’t be moving forward with our recent expansion, hiring over 150 new team members and doubling the size of our headquarters in Gainesville, Ga. While other logistics firms are cutting back and laying off employees, we’ve been adding an outside sales force around the country to build our future pipeline of new customer partners.
We have meaningful relationships outside of business, too. Every year, we host a cook-out for our local first responders, police and fire. We rely on them for our safety, so this is a small way to show our appreciation. We do the same for nonprofits like our local hospital and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. These partnerships are more rewarding to us than the blessings we are bestowing.
In making connections with colleges and universities across our region, we have helped schools develop supply-chain curricula. Years later, our hard work has resulted in a steady stream of interns and future Syfan team members in the midst of a difficult economic market for hiring.
Yes, our focus on business and personal friendships has clearly met the test over the years, producing an incredible ROI for our company. But more than that, every one of us at Syfan Logistics is truly blessed with the joy that comes from such meaningful partnerships.
That’s the true power of relationships.
Rally to Fight Childhood Cancer
We hope you’ll join us for our first Syfan Supports Rally 5K and Fun Run on the Gainesville Midland Greenway at 6:15 p.m. on July 21.
Money raised from the event will benefit the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research as it works to discover better treatments with fewer long-term side effects – and ultimately to find a cure for childhood cancer.
So many of our families have been touched by childhood cancer, so we understand the critical importance of ongoing research.
To register for the race, please visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/Gainesville/SyfanSupportsRally5kandFunRun.
Syfan and Turbo Open Office To Serve Port of Savannah
|Syfan Logistics CEO Jim Syfan cuts the ribbon at the Savannah office grand opening on June 1. More than 200 people attended the festivities.
Syfan Logistics and our sister company Turbo Terminal Tractors have opened their new Savannah office, located in Port Wentworth less than two miles from the Port of Savannah.
“We are excited that our companies will have a presence in Savannah and be hands-on in serving the second largest port in the United States,” says Jim Syfan, Syfan Logistics CEO. “Being in the heart of Georgia’s ocean-shipping industry is an important step for Syfan and Turbo.”
Syfan has members from its Port Drayage team onsite at the office, providing final-mile delivery of containers both ways between ports and its carrier partners. Turbo is serving its terminal tractor customers out of the office.
Driver Spotlight: Norman Thomas
Norman Thomas has driven trucks for most of his adult life.
His career path of driving big rigs started during his eight-year service in the Army. Since the mid-1970s, Norman has traveled across all 48 lower states (he’s vacationed in Alaska but never driven there – at least not yet).
He has also gone through every big city except for Las Vegas, which he hopes to check off his list eventually. “I’d like to have time to stop and see everything once I get there,” Norman says.
Norman, who has driven professionally since 1975, has been with Syfan Logistics for the last 10 years of his career. One of the best parts of working with Syfan is the company’s proximity to his home in Cleveland, Ga., about 30 minutes away.
“It’s nice when I get back from a trip and I’m home,” he says. “That’s not always the case for some truck drivers who might be based hundreds of miles away. At this time in my life, it’s more important for me to be based close by – and this is home.”
He and his wife, Suzanne, have two daughters and three grandchildren. Their youngest grandchild recently graduated from White County High School in Cleveland.
Syfan Logistics Earns GAESP Educational Patron Award
The Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals recently honored Syfan Logistics with its 2023 Educational Patron Award for our local support of Mount Vernon Exploratory School (MVE) in our community.
Syfan Logistics has been a Partner-In-Education with MVE for 12 years.
“Syfan Logistics and the Syfan family are generous and involved supporters of Mount Vernon Exploratory School,” Principal Jennifer Westbrook says. “Both Greg and Steve Syfan and their entire team are always willing to support our students, team members and families in any way possible.”
Syfan has supported special events at the school including Veterans Day, teacher appreciation lunches and treats, paying for the fourth grade field trip to the Northeast Georgia History Center, and helping with facility updates such as assisting with new hallway bulletin boards for project-based learning displays.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Syfan Logistics provided MVE students with masks and lanyards to meet health and safety requirements.
Employee Spotlight: Jose Rodriguez
We are excited to shine the spotlight on one of our team members, Jose Rodriguez, Vice President of Operations, for his selection to the 2023 class of Leadership Georgia. This prestigious program brings together emerging young leaders from across the state.
Leadership Georgia is one of the oldest and most successful leadership training programs in the nation, catering to young professionals in business, civic, and community roles. Throughout the year, participants delve into the important issues confronting our state and explore potential solutions.
“My experience so far has been amazing,” Jose says. “I have really enjoyed getting to know neighboring communities. It’s been an honor networking and working with leaders from all over the state and different industries.”
Jose began his logistics career in 2004 with the Syfan family’s previous company, Turbo Logistics. He later joined Syfan Logistics in 2011, when our company was founded.
As vice president of operations, Jose plays a pivotal role in our company’s growth and success. He manages our operations team and works closely with division managers.
“Growth is a big initiative for us, especially with the expansion,” Jose says. “I collaborate with our entire team in efforts to achieve our company goals along with helping them meet their personal goals.”
The timing couldn’t be more exciting as our company completes its latest expansion, providing space for more than 100 additional team members. Jose is excited to introduce our work environment at Syfan and the fast-paced world of logistics to new team members.
“The culture at Syfan is like no other,” he says. “It’s a great feeling to show up to work with like-minded team members working toward the same goals. There is constant change in our industry and similar problems that have to be solved differently for each customer. We are striving to provide great customer service, while working in tight deadlines.”
It’s not all work for Jose. His sons Hampton, 12, and Camden, 8, keep him and his wife, Tiffany, extremely busy. If they are not on a field or a court, they love spending time sharing new experiences. They enjoy cheering on the Braves, Georgia Bulldogs, Hawks and Falcons. Jose also loves coaching or helping with any of their kids’ sports.
We Gave A ‘Spirited’ Effort at Chamber Chase 5K
We had more than two dozen team members take part in the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Chamber Chase 5K. The large company participation and enthusiastic effort earned our team the Most Spirited Award – and we certainly got some good practice for the upcoming Syfan Rally 5K in July!
Showing the love to our dedicated police officers
We love to show our support for law enforcement officers in our community and our appreciation for their service. Our friends at the Gainesville, Ga. Police Department helped us kick off summertime with a hamburger and hot dog cookout.