Journey Freight Logistics Inc: A Veteran’s Perspective on Trucking During a Pandemic
Strong, Can-Do Attitude Empowers Jennie McCutcheon to Trucking Company Success
A strong, can-do attitude goes a long way – as far as cross-country hauls and back. That’s how Jennie McCutcheon keeps her trucking company, Journey Freight Logistics Inc., successful. The Hermitage, Tennessee-based trucking company began in 2015 as Journey Freight Logistics LLC. In 2020, the company transitioned to a corporation with the help of the Apex Startup Program team. Jennie has been an Apex factoring client since 2015.
Journey runs with 100% owner-operators leased to Journey. Currently Jennie’s husband and father are the company’s two owner-operators. Jennie lost eight owner-operators that were leased onto Journey because of the COVID-19 health crisis. But that setback hasn’t stopped Jennie from moving forward to keep steady customers happy: “We haul dry freight,” she says, “mostly automotive parts since they are more likely to want continued service from the same carrier more than other industries.”
A Woman and a Veteran who Makes Things Happen
Jennie finds strength and resilience as a woman in trucking, and that can-do spirit that keeps trucks moving from her training as a military veteran.
She was in the United States Air Force from 1990 to 1994, serving during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm while stationed in San Vito, Italy.
Her veteran discipline serves her well running Journey Freight Logistics Inc. “I am able to obtain government bid freight contracts and get my foot in the door with veteran preference before other carriers who may be pursuing the same customer,” she says. “My attention to detail, consistency, regimented style, and integrity have all gotten me farther.”
Jennie entered the industry in 1998. She proved herself as an over-the-road driver of reefer, dry van, and flatbed trucks. She’s also been a broker, dispatcher, and driver manager. Journey Freight Logistics Inc. is Jennie’s third trucking company ownership endeavor.
“It made me feel more empowered,” says Jennie about being a woman in trucking. “It’s a man’s world, but we can do this. I had to deal with the usual comments, ‘You belong in the kitchen, so go bake some cookies.’ I had to deal with the harassment just to prove myself. We must work harder. Everybody expects us to be better. So, for the women who are out there, more power to them. There needs to be more of them.”
Apex Tools and Services Help Journey Freight Logistics Grow
Jennie keeps proving herself as a trucking company owner with the help of Apex tools and services. She regularly uses our Account Management Portal (AMP), our Mobile Factoring™ App, our Apex TCS Fuel Card, and our blynk™ digital payment system. Plus she used our Apex Startup Program to get going.
“The desktop site, the mobile site, the fuel card, the entire team has always been a blessing and I know I wouldn’t be where we are now without the efforts, the ongoing growth of Apex as a whole,” she says. “Apex is constantly brainstorming on ways to improve and they impress me with the ‘out of the box’ ideas they come up with to ensure the success of their clients.”
Working with Account Executive Megan Black: A Well-Oiled Machine
Jennie has spent nearly four years working with Apex Account Executive Megan Black. Their relationship is a well-oiled machine that achieves maximum efficiency. At Apex, all our clients have dedicated account executives that help manage their accounts, develop a relationship with the client, offer advice as needed, and troubleshoot challenges or potential risks.
“Over the years, she’s come to know me well enough to almost predict what my needs are,” Jennie says.
“Megan and the team she’s grouped with have always been my professional savior when it comes to times I get in a pickle. I know I can always call, and no one will ever make me feel small about any question. Even when I have had a bad day, Megan always pays attention to detail and instantly calls me when I’ve made an error with a schedule. She’s always got my back and I know I always have a team of experts looking out for me throughout my journey.”
Surviving a Pandemic with Pride and Persistence
Part of Journey’s recent journey has been surviving a debilitating pandemic that shut down much of the economy earlier this year. While the company did lose eight of its owner-operators, Jennie proudly and persistently kept Journey afloat.
“We didn’t shut our doors; we survived,” she says. “I didn’t get any kind of loans, no financial assistance, and we are still here. The pandemic has affected everyone. You may be a small carrier and endured a huge loss, but you can still survive. We can all still survive.”
Can-Do Advice for Future Trucking Company Owners
There goes that can-do attitude again. Military training and trucking experience mean Jennie has these words of wisdom for anybody that wants to start a trucking company: “There’s so much I’ve learned along the way,” she says. “Freight diversity is essential. Set up a trucking company with a solid financial structure. Properly manage revenue for successful growth. Expect accountability for leased-on owner-operators to maintain established relationships with customers. Put plans into action to get back on the road.
You might be able to do it all yourself, but that’s not a good idea. Use Apex for back-office support, tools, resources, advice, and guidance. That’s how you keep your trucking company on track.”
Are you a veteran with a dream of owning a trucking company? The Apex Startup Program staff can help you form your trucking company in your state, apply for operating authority, help with necessary paperwork, and more. Also, we are waiving the Startup Program administration fee for all military veterans through January 29, 2021. Get started now!
Written by Mario Tarradell