TheLogisticsJournal Suits to Boots
The Logistics Journal
published by the TIA.

Issue - December 2010   

by Walter Weart

LOGISTXS        TIA
In discussing his early background, I learned that after finishing Edison College, Mike got down to business in the Drug & Toiletries industry. With a succession of increasingly responsible positions in retail, publishing, and distribution, Mike landed the position of Director of Traffic and Distribution at JB Williams, a Nabisco company. Nabisco eventually sold the company to Beecham (who only wanted their products) and already had their own distribution department. As you might have guessed, Mike was soon to find himself, out of work.

Mike having a family to feed, partnered with a salesman and struck out to find some commission only work, assisting a few companies manage their product traffic. He put it this way to me, “I exchanged suits for boots. My partner and I were working in truck stops and were using trip leased truckers to cover some of our loads, you just had to be creative.”

Like a true entrepreneur, Mike decided to do what he did best. Logistxs Transport was launched in 1986, to assist small companies with their traffic and distribution challenges.

Since then, Mike has steered his company through a lot of storms as government regulations added confusion and red tape, to the US transportation industry. And just when things were cooling down a bit, September 11, 2001 brought in another wave of legislation and controls, followed by the current rash of our own marketplace self-regulation.

In spite of it all, Mike managed to grow the company and prepared to celebrate as they turn the corner on 25 years (2011).

The big question I had to ask was, “How did you achieve such steady success, in an era this full of uncertainty and landmines?” “Staying with what I knew got me off the ground running, the rest was really a lot of hard work, really long hours, and just a little bit of luck.” He added that a key to our success is to become integrated into our customer’s operation and work to solve their problems and that we strive to become part of their team.
When I asked him if there were any business moves that added to the growth factor, Mike said, “There sure was. About 3 years ago, I made the decision to look at growing Logistxs by acquiring another company. I was able to locate a company that looked like a strong candidate. We made the purchase and now Journey Freight Brokers has given us new market capabilities in the Alcohol and Beverage Shipping industry. We now move about a million cases a year in that channel. Three years ago, we couldn’t say that”.

Mike continued to explain, “Over the years, we became much more sophisticated and have grown to the point where we now have a specialized staff of inside and outside folks dedicated to servicing our customers.” He added that the company’s geographic location in the busy northeast corridor had been a productive area for them at the outset, but now business comes from across the U.S. Mike says that his firm supplies a “value added” service and provides “One Stop” shopping allowing his customers a range of transportation options.  
Mike added that, “In addition to truckload service, we can provide LTL, rail intermodal, NVOCC service and air freight if needed.”

When I asked him about what to be careful with, he added this bit of advice, if you are starting out and want to grow your business, focus first on what you know best, before branching out. He also says that you should capitalize on your expertise, using your contacts in the industry areas where they will be of the greatest use. He also advises to pay close attention to your financials and carrier base, the loss of either could mean disaster. Mike says that TIA has been instrumental in providing education and other support activities, without which, his task would have been much more difficult.

Logistxs today is a stalwart stable company in a sea of competitors.

Pay attention to Mike Zito’s advice before you think about trading suits for boots and make sure your “day” job pays the bills.

“The Logistics Journal — © 2010 Transportation Intermediaries Association, Inc.”