Milestone Trailer Leasing - Peak Season

Staying Ahead of the Game During Peak Season

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Peak Season

Staying Ahead of the Game During Peak Season

We are in the midst of Peak Season – the months of August through December – when customer sales explode, particularly as holiday product comes in on ocean containers, requiring trucks to transport merchandise to the box stores in time for holiday shopping.

Because of this surge, many shippers and trucking companies need to supplement their fleet with rental trailers to meet the demands of peak season. With trailer availability at the tightest point of the year, shippers can expect it to be difficult to fill their needs. Milestone plans ahead by making sure all trailers are ready to go as capacity gets tight during this time of year.

“We recommend planning ahead and letting us know what their anticipated needs will be,” says Lori Crider, Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. “The earlier they are reserved, the better.”

 

Peak Season Checklist

Milestone has your back. Below is your checklist to prepare for Peak Season:

 

Confidence During Peak Season

Your Surge in Business, Our Dedicated Capacity

  • Secure your trailers only as necessary to satisfy peak demand
  • Visibility into expenses allowing you to avoid unexpected costs

 

All of Your Transportation Needs – One-Stop Shop

  • Choose the Right Equipment: Over the Road (OTR) and Intermodal Equipment (trailers, containers, chassis)
  • Connect with Your Local Branch: Our Nationwide Network includes 27 locations across the US, stretching from Las Vegas and Southern California to America’s Heartland and the South to the East Coast

 

Choose Your Customized Program

  • One or multiple years
  • Lease and rental
  • Expand or contract with business requirements
  • Maintenance, parking and delivery options
  • Flexible terms and options
Milestone at IANA EXPO 2017

A Look Back on IANA EXPO 2017!

IANA EXPO is always a great time to connect & learn! This year presented new opportunities to share with customers

Milestone at IANA EXPO 2017

around how we continue to push intermodal forward through:

  • The growth of America’s newest chassis fleet, launched in the past year, now expanding nationwide!
  • The benefits of reduced M&R (as well as the bottom line) through the use of new equipment.
  • Flexible leasing options, expert service & more!

Thank you to our customers, vendors & friends that joined us at our reception on Sunday. It was wonderful to get together with you to kick off such an incredible few days at IANA EXPO 2017!

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Union Public School Marching Band

March On – Milestone Trailer Leasing Gives Back to Union Public Schools Band Program

In Tulsa, marching bands go big.

Particularly at Union Public Schools, the eighth largest school district in the state of Oklahoma, where its band program (Union Bands) serves over 1,100 students in 6th through 12th grade. At the high school level, some 250 students participate in state, regional and national marching band competitions. This means unparalleled opportunities and experiences for the next generation of musicians and performers. It also means lots of traveling and the need to transport thousands of pieces of equipment, instruments, costumes, sets and props.

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Union Public School Marching Band

Union Bands found itself struggling to meet its storage and transportation needs and reached out to Milestone for help. The Milestone team responded by donating a good condition 2000-year model, 53’ dry van that should meet the students’ needs wherever they go.

“This is a group of students who do quite a bit of traveling and needed a trailer, and we saw it as an opportunity to step in and help,” says John Friend, Branch Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. “We were thrilled to donate a trailer to Union Bands and I’m very proud it was a team effort involving a few other people – risk officer Shelley Shannon, operations manager Jonna Voss, division president Jeff Alpert and Milestone CEO Don Clayton.”

A 10-time national finalist marching band, Union Bands is among the top marching bands in the US. Two years ago, they participated in a national band competition in St. Louis and won 2nd place. Last year, students performed at the Orlando Citrus Parade, and in 2013 at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, for a live audience of 3 million and a global television audience of over 50 million.

“To have this large school district in our backyard, where 70 percent of our customers’ children and grandchildren attend – it means a lot to be able to give back,” says Friend.

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Union Public School Marching Band

“We can’t overstate how grateful we are to accept the generosity of Milestone,” says Charles Pisarra, Director of Bands at Union Public Schools. “Our mission statement is to ‘Cultivate a culture of artistry, excellence and community. Milestone is a perfect example of the ‘community’ piece in our mission. A relationship like this helps us do what we do: to provide kids a world class experience.”

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Jeff Alpert

Meet Jeff Alpert

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Jeff Alpert

As President of Milestone Trailer Leasing, Jeff Alpert oversees the company’s highway trailer division which consists of 27 locations across the US and over 53,000 units. The company veteran (he joined Milestone in 2000) recently shared what accomplishments he is most proud of and the biggest challenges facing the transportation industry.

 

Tell us about your role as President of Milestone Trailer Leasing. What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I’m responsible for the oversight of Milestone’s highway trailer division which consists of 27 locations and over 53,000 units. My role is to help make everyone around me successful and get obstacles out of their way.

 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the whole journey. I’m proud of the many years of organic growth to becoming the second largest lessor in the country.

 

Biggest challenge facing your industry today?

One of the biggest challenges is around customer choice and customer expectations. Today, consumers want to have a product in their hand, yesterday, with a click of a button. That sense of urgency impacts everything we do. The challenge is keeping up with the velocity and pace of change. Our challenge is, “What can Milestone do to help our customers keep up with that velocity?”

 

What does the future hold for Milestone Trailer Leasing? What things are you excited about?

Back to these ideas of flexibility and being creative problem solvers – for me personally and for the company DNA, it’s about the love of solving pain points and solving problems for our customer. We are continually expanding our knowledge around finding solutions in trailer leasing, especially with how quickly things are changing in transportation.

 

What keeps you up at night?

How to tackle employee shortages and trying to get young people excited about the industry.

Hard to get a smart college grad to get excited about this space. We’re losing a lot of experience, knowledge-based in the business.

 

What is a great story about Milestone Trailer Leasing that you love to share?

It’s related to how far we come. One story has to do with one of the first big acquisitions we worked on as a young company. They asked us about our net worth. It was $1 million. They asked, “$1 billion?” And we said, “No, $1 million.” It was kind of comical because it showed what a small potato we were at the time. And now here we are, close to a $1 billion company.

Dry Vans – Milestone Means Unparalleled Accessibility and Service

Dry freight over-the-road domestic hauling is the most common type of freight transportation in the US., with over 65 percent of freight being moved by truck. At Milestone Trailer Leasing, our expanded trailer fleet features over 53,000 dry vans, flatbeds, specialized flat beds (single drops, double drops), reefers, local cartage vans, storage trailers and specialty equipment. Our extensive inventory of 53’, 48’, 45’ and 28’ trailers, coupled with unmatched personal attention is what makes us one of the nation’s leading trailer lessors.

“Our large-scale capabilities and excellence in customer service speak volumes about who we are,” says Lori Crider, Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. “As the country’s second largest trailer lessor, we have the resources and equipment availability to provide what our customers need – but we also have that personal touch without being a too-large, slow-moving corporate machine.”

We have a complete range of equipment to fit any application – factory direct new 2018s, mid-range model years for economical over-the-road use, and well-maintained older units for cartage and storage use. Our national network includes 27 locations across the US, stretching from Las Vegas and Southern California to America’s Heartland and the South to the East Coast. Our customers benefit from equal access to trailer inventory all around the country as well as open architecture agreements and flexible lease options.

This means answers to peak capacity problems and door-to-door solutions to empower our customers for the long haul, last mile and everything in between.

Whether shipping foods and beverages, textile and clothing items, industrial goods and automotive parts, or plastic and building products, knowing our customers and how to ask the right questions is at the heart of providing world-class service.

“Our customers have specific needs, particularly around the specs of a trailer,” says Crider. “They might need a smooth-sided interior, an aluminum roof versus a translucent roof; they could be loading at night; they might need a swing door versus a roll door. It’s all about customization and personalization of the equipment.”

Milestone is There for the Long Haul & Last Mile

While the growing strength of e-commerce has been putting pressure on the transportation industry, Milestone Trailer Leasing is committed to keeping pace with the changing market.

We are committed to partnering with customers to search for more efficient ways of leasing dry van trailers. We can look at a dedicated trailer pool, a minimum quantity capacity guarantee, or any customized trailer solution that allows flexibility in day-to-day business. While the industry continues to shift toward major growth in e-commerce, Milestone is committed to supporting the companies operating in that space and building a rental or lease package to match.

“Milestone can provide new trailers that are reliable on the road in the long-haul application,” says Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Branch Operations at Milestone Trailer Leasing. “Our network of dedicated trailer vendors and after hours service providers gives assurance that we can provide maintenance support 24/7. We are dedicated to keep you moving and on time.”

The long-haul freight model has changed dramatically over the past several years. For example, the size of driver pools has not kept up with the rise in freight volume. Isolation and long periods away from home associated with long distance trucking is often a deterrent for a new generation of drivers. Experts watching these trends predict truck fleets will adopt short-haul, regional and “last mile” routes – taking advantage of port expansions on the Gulf Coast to get drivers home sooner while also effectively managing freight deliveries.

Milestone recognizes this is where Last Mile deliveries, when a package makes the final leg of its journey to the customer’s requested location, make that critical difference. We understand and do everything we can to find ways to get our customer’s goods where they need to go in the shortest amount of time possible.

“Milestone is supporting the wider transportation network; from manufacturer, to warehouse, to fulfillment center, making sure the last mile delivery works more quickly,” says Johnson. “We are open to understanding the last mile and the technological enhancements that may be on the horizon, such as drones or ground-based delivery bots and we remain committed to supporting the process and making it more efficient.”

Why CARB Compliance is Important

At Milestone Trailer Leasing, we believe saving money and protecting the environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Ensuring our trailers meet stringent emission standards not only reduces our carbon footprint, it is beneficial to our customers’ bottom line.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the “clean air” agency in the state of California that regulates emissions standards. The term “CARB compliant” means that a product meets these requirements, which are the most rigorous in the country.

“Meeting CARB compliance is very important – it’s fuel efficient, it’s green and ultimately it’s good for business,” says Jason Pahules, Regional Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. “Not getting on board is only going to limit you.”

In order to meet emissions standards, our dry vans are fitted with aerodynamic equipment compliant with all current regulations. Depending on our customers’ needs, we will fit our trailers with equipment including side skirts, spoilers fitted behind the back doors, and two panels on either side of a trailer; fitted across the top. Depending on the configuration, these systems can deliver 5 to 10 percent more fuel efficiency.

Reefers are fitted with state-of-the-art technology, known as forever filters.

“This is new technology that won’t have to be continually updated,” says Pahules. “It will make the refrigerated unit be Carb compliant forever.”

California is the leader in green and is paving the way for the rest of the country. Transportation companies are following suit and accepting that this is the direction the majority of the country is moving, and it’s important to drivers, too. As the regulatory environment regarding emissions standards become increasingly stringent, going green will become more important to our customers – even to those who don’t currently travel into or throughout California.

Milestone is proud to deliver these value-added services for our customers in today’s market.

Milestone Trailer Leasing

Short & Long Term Trailer Leasing

No “Gotcha” Moments

Short & Long Term Trailer Leasing 

Transparency and fairness are of utmost importance to us, especially when it comes to developing customized short and long term trailer leasing strategies to fit your specific needs. Milestone Trailer Leasing works diligently to providing you the best equipment in the industry.

 

Our long-term solutions mean driving down monthly costs and locking down your equipment. Short-term options feature flexible terms. While it’s common in the industry for trailer leasing companies to hit up their customers with additional costs – like damage maintenance fees and turn-in charges – this is unacceptable to us.

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Jeff Alpert“There are no gotcha moments with us – something our competitors are notorious for,” says Jeff Alpert, President of Milestone Trailer Leasing. “Our leasing options are structured around our customer, not the other way around. We will do everything we can to meet their needs.”

 

 

 

Our short and long term lease plans help you optimize your fleet usage. Advantages of leasing with Milestone include maintaining a stable and consistent operating budget, optimizing cash flow, fleet balance (as a Milestone Trailer Leasing customer, you gain priority access status if and when you need to rent trailers on a temporary basis), minimizing risk (protects against market uncertainty) and reducing your maintenance and overhead costs.

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Sarah Johnson“The overall goal for us is to foster open communications with our customers,” says Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Branch Operations. “We structure our leases around our customer to meet their needs.”

 

Flexibility

Enrollment in our Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) program is a cost-effective and simple alternative to providing the normal physical damage insurance with your trailer rental. Benefits include:

  • Savings by eliminating insurance premium payments (and no cash outlays while settling with the insurance company on claims)
  • Savings because claims reported under LDW do not impact your claims history or insurance premiums
  • Save time by eliminating the need to schedule rental equipment
  • Save time by letting Milestone handle all the paperwork and coordinate repairs

The Nation’s 2nd Largest Trailer Lessor

Commitment to the market and unmatched personalized attention are at the heart of Milestone Trailer Leasing. We are focused on crafting the best and most creative solutions for our customers – whether they be the local trucking shop to large-scale national for-hire motor carriers.

 

Over the years we’re proud to have grown our relationships to become the country’s second largest trailer lessor. With over 54,000 units in 27 locations coast to coast, our customers benefit from unparalleled access to equipment. We have a complete range to fit any application; factory direct NEW equipment, mid-range model years for economical over-the-road use, and well-maintained older units for cartage and storage use. Match equipment and monthly rate to your use of the equipment.

Milestone Trailer Leasing - National Network Map

As industry leaders, we continue to strive to innovate on our customers’ behalf – serving truckload and dedicated to less-than-truckload and commercial delivery to package and carrier, refrigerated, flatbed and heavy specialized.

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Sarah Johnson“One of the biggest game changers is around the shift in retail logistics – shifting from brick and mortar establishments to online retail, for example – we are always asking ourselves, ‘How do we shift? How do we pivot?’” says Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Branch Operations for Milestone Trailer Leasing. “Particularly when it pertains to first to last mile shipping.”

 

 

 

Knowing how and when to “shift” comes with knowing our customers. This happens through our commitment to building relationships and anticipating our customers’ needs, sometimes even before a problem or challenge arises. This means striving to have continuous equipment available at all of our locations in addition to having a pulse on market conditions as they change throughout the year.

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Jeff Alpert“There’s a big push for companies to outsource transportation and logistics, and ultimately, we want to help our customers be more efficient with their equipment,” says Jeff Alpert, President of Milestone Trailer Leasing.

 

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Sarah Johnson

Meet Sarah Johnson

Milestone Trailer Leasing - Sarah JohnsonSarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Branch Operations at Milestone Trailer Leasing, is driven to come to work to make sure her team is successful. “I love what I do,” she says. “I love to help them win. It’s very rewarding.” Johnson discusses how Milestone Trailer Leasing goes above and beyond when it comes to customer service, what the future holds for the company, and her biggest a-ha moment.

 

 

 

Tell us about your role as Executive Vice President of Branch Operations at Milestone Trailer Leasing. What does a typical day look like?

My day is focused around supporting branch operations in 27 locations across the US. This could be through structuring deals for customers, sourcing equipment, and general problem solving. It’s about being in constant communication. Setting up calls every day to review pricing and quantity of trailers; fleshing out details; arming the operations team with data to go out and execute with customers. I spend a lot of time traveling, meeting customers, evaluating the sales approach, helping them to understand their markets, and ultimately evaluating how we can be more successful. That success then drives the metrics, utilization, and overall profitability of the business which is the most important for everyone!

 

Tell us about the transition from Personal Attention Leasing (PAL) to Milestone Trailer Leasing?

It’s always been about focusing on the customer service aspect. We have trailers and our competitors have trailers, but what’s the differentiating factor? For us, it’s about how we better partner with our customers. That gets back to this idea of creativity and flexibility. For me it’s fun to do some creative problem solving; I like innovating in an industry that doesn’t often require innovation. That was the whole foundation of PAL, it was about being flexible. It started out as a local, then regional and now we’re at a national level.

 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’ve been in the industry a long time in a variety of functions. I’ve loved getting out over the past couple of years and building that customer rapport and getting on the frontline and watching those relationships grow. It’s very rewarding. It’s easy to sit behind a computer or on the phone and ask the team to do something, but getting out and doing it with them gives me firsthand knowledge of the interactions and how to help them through day to day issues.

 

Biggest a-ha moment?

Our most successful sales people have a strong rapport with their customers. They take their time to get to know their customer and build trust. They become a partner and not just a vendor. It’s not just about closing the sale, but having the rapport so that when the customer has a problem, they will pick up the phone and give us the chance to help them.

 

What’s the key to unparalleled customer service?

It’s finding employees who are driven to work hard and who are going to be of service. If the team is dedicated to building a successful business that translates into making sure the business is building strong customer relationships. You also have to be good at negotiating with customers; doing what’s in the best interest of Milestone while retaining the customer relationship. Therein lies the art.

 

What’s the biggest challenge facing your industry today?

Driver shortage and accessibility to drivers. In addition to new regulations with ELD (electronic logging device), the third thing is the shift to online retail. It’s changing the shape of transportation and who’s participating. It’s in its infancy, so there are a lot of efficiencies to be made on that front.

 

What does the future hold for Milestone Trailer Leasing? What things are you excited about?

Continuing to identify gaps in the industry then where and how to fill them. Thinking outside the box when it comes to industry-wide solutions, as well as continuing to develop a strong team. Nothing is stagnate and we have to be ready to evolve. What’s next? It’s exciting to think about.
What is key to a strong team?

There are many elements that make a strong team. A few worth noting are respect for one another, communication and having positive attitudes. We also have to collectively celebrate the wins (recognize failures) and respect each other’s roles on the team.

 

What keeps you up at night?

I worry about if I was supposed to call someone back and didn’t because the day got away from me or if I need to get an answer to someone so I’m not holding them up. I worry about the overall health of the business and if we’re doing all we can to make it successful. The other thing is making sure I’m delivering the message and everyone is on board and we’re pushing in the same direction. We use the analogy about rowing a boat, and how we need everyone rowing in the same direction. It affects the team if someone is rowing the other way.

 

What is a great story about Milestone Trailer Leasing that you love to share?

We’re pushing on bigger accounts where we haven’t been able to before. We are partnering with bigger companies in a bigger way. It’s been organic growth; everyone pitches in to make it work and it’s rewarding.

 

What is a great customer story that you love to share about MTL?

There was a target account in Atlanta our sales rep was working on for over a year. For a year, she listened to me say, “Why aren’t we in there?” A year spent calling on them, working through several contacts and really cultivating a relationship with them. Today they have over 100 trailers with us. It speaks to the sales rep’s perseverance and drive to win. I love it!

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