Milestone Gives Back: Our Recent Day of Service at Youth in Need Head Start Center

One of the greatest gifts we can give is our time.

We recently had an opportunity to volunteer as a corporate team at the Youth in Need Head Start Center in Wentzville, Missouri. More than a dozen team members from across our divisions joined forces on July 21 to work in classrooms with children and on various service projects around the facility.

“Volunteering is very important to us, it provides us an opportunity to work together on a personal level,” says Jennifer Schaefer, Executive Administration Assistant for Milestone Equipment Holdings. “It also gives us a chance to share our talents and skills in the community we live in. Giving back always feels good.”

Team members were all smiles working with the children. Carolyn Mueller and John Reitano enjoyed entertaining 2-year-olds on the outdoor playground. Chris Bachmann volunteered in the 3 to 5-year-old classroom. Patti McAlister and Sarah Mesnier loved getting to know the infants and toddlers.

“I love being able to work for a company that gives back to the community,” says Mesnier, Senior Financial Reporting Accountant for Milestone Equipment Holdings. “Helping kids in need is something that means a lot to me. My mom is a child abuse therapist, so growing up I had a lot of exposure to families and kids who had nothing. It was always very important for my family to give back in any way we could. Youth in Need is an amazing organization, and it was awesome to see everything the Head Start Center does. I had so much fun playing with the toddlers and I hope we can do it again soon!”

Founded in 1974 by community volunteers, Youth in Need offers service and support programs to over 12,000 children, teens and families across eastern Missouri. The organization provides services including education, counseling and support groups, and infant, child and family development at more than 40 sites in six counties.

“The staff at Milestone was a great help to the teachers in our facility – they volunteered in all three of our classrooms doing everything from reading to our preschoolers to helping with the infants, and at one point they were even dancing with the kids,” says Cody Finan, Community Engagement Coordinator at Youth in Need Head Start Center. “Their efforts go a long way in making a great connection in the community.”

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
Milestone Trailer Leasing - National Network

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!

Milestone Equipment Holdings Promotes Don Clayton to Chief Executive Officer

ST. CHARLES, MO (July 11, 2017) – Milestone is proud to announce that Don Clayton has been promoted to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, and appointed to the Board of Directors. Clayton joined Milestone in August 2016 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Previously, Don served on the executive team of nationwide industrial distributor HD Supply Waterworks for 11 years, including eight years as Chief Financial Officer. He also served in the financial services practice of global professional services firm PwC for seven years.

“We are very pleased that Don will lead the Milestone organization into the future,” says Tom Juterbock, who represents Barings Alternative Investments on the Milestone Board of Directors. “Since joining Milestone, Don has worked closely with management and the Board to develop and execute the company’s strategic plan, while driving numerous initiatives that will allow the company to capitalize on future growth opportunities.”

“I am honored to continue serving Milestone in this new role,” says Clayton. “The transportation industry is constantly changing and Milestone is positioned to serve the market very effectively with our wide range of products, expert solutions and world-class customer service. We are driven to grow our business by making our customers more successful, while serving as an employer of choice in our industry. It is an exciting time to be part of the Milestone organization.”

 

About Milestone Equipment Holdings, LLC

Milestone is a full-service transportation equipment leasing and asset management company specializing in motor carrier equipment and rail industry intermodal assets including: Chassis, Domestic Containers, Flatbed Trailers, Highway Trailers, Intermodal Trailers (Piggybacks), and Refrigerated Containers and Trailers.

Headquartered in St. Charles, MO with regional offices in Chicago, IL and Kansas City, MO plus our nationwide branch network, Milestone has acquired intermodal and highway fleets for our operations since 1995, while managing and leasing equipment on behalf of institutional and private investors. Customers include Class I Railroads, Truckload Carriers, Less-Than-Truckload Carriers, Drayage Companies, Intermodal Marketing Companies, 3PL’s, Private Shippers, Barge Operators, and Shipping Lines. The Milestone fleet allows all of these industry segments to maximize equipment utilization and transportation efficiency without the burden of owning their own equipment.

Our management services include the origination and administration of leases, arranging debt and equity financing, operating and maintaining equipment in daily rental service, and administrating the returns of equipment portfolios.

Port of New York & New Jersey

The Port of NY/NJ to See Chassis Shortages, Milestone Chassis Customers Not Affected

Concerned about chassis shortages on the East Coast? You’re not alone. Many of our customers are setting plans in place to be sure that they’re ready to handle larger shipments following the first to pass under the Bayonne Bridge on June 26th.

When we speak with our customers, we’re glad to be able to tell them things will be business as usual. Milestone Chassis is very much so present on the East Coast and poised to seamlessly assist customers with our modern fleet.

Journal of CommerceAs highlighted in a recent JOC article by Hugh Morley, Doug Hoehn, EVP of Milestone Chassis Co., offered assurance. In addition to our own chassis offering, he confirms that we are indeed interested in joining either the Flexi-Van/DCLI or Metro Pool. Milestone’s goal remains to offer a new, modern alternative to the aging equipment that competitors are offering.

JOC subscribers can read the full article here. Be sure to sign up to reserve your chassis in advance of this development here.

Milestone Chassis – Prepared to Serve In Light of Shipping Alliance Reformation

Here at Milestone Chassis, we strive to keep customers informed. It is particularly important now, in our changing business climate.

In a recent article, the Hellenic Shipping News detailed what they and others have described as “The Big Bang of 2017,” referencing the merger of several of the largest ocean carriers.

In the article, David J. Arsenault, president of Logistics Transformation Solutions and former president of Hyundai Merchant Marine America, appears. He spoke about the issue at a “Learning from Hanjin” panel on Feb. 28 at the Journal of Commerce’s TPM 2017 Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center. He predicts that we will begin seeing larger vessels at U.S. ports:

“…That’s going to certainly start to contribute to challenges with terminals, with trucks, with chassis and all the stakeholders that are there until things get resettled.”

*The full article is available here.

In short there are many ways to combat congestion and delay – not least of which is Milestone’s commitment to adding more new chassis and intermodal equipment into the pools in markets like Los Angeles and Long Beach. Sign up to receive daily West Coast Inventory Alerts from Milestone Chassis to keep your business moving!

Daily Milestone/HTA Inventory Email Sign Up

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Milestone Chassis – Staying Ahead of “Warning Signals” in Los Angeles & Long Beach

In an article last week, JOC flagged “warning signals” mounting at LA-LB terminals during the current, post-Chinese New Year decrease in imports.

Weston LaBar, Executive Director of the Harbor Trucking Association, offered thoughts on ways to address the issue including:Harbor Trucking Association

  • Discontinuing storage at marine terminals.
  • Offering storage of chassis at designated yards throughout the harbor area.
  • On-site pre-inspections and repairs, where necessary.
*The full article is available to JOC subscribers here.

In short there are many ways to combat congestion and delay – not least of which is Milestone’s commitment to adding more new chassis and intermodal equipment into the pools in these markets. Sign up to receive daily West Coast Inventory Alerts from Milestone Chassis to keep your business moving!

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Christopher Buller Joins Milestone Chassis as Gulf Regional Sales Manager

Milestone announces the addition of Christopher Buller, who joins the team as Gulf Regional Sales Manager. He will be based in Houston, TX and will oversee sales and customer support in the Gulf Region. Buller will report directly to Doug Hoehn, Executive Vice President of Milestone Chassis & Managed Assets.

I am excited to join the Milestone team and look forward to increasing our representation in the Gulf,” says Buller. “My highest priority is to build strong customer relationships and exceed customer expectations.”

ChrisBuller

Buller brings eight years of sales and management experience in the transportation industry – both in logistics and trucking. Most recently he was Sales Manager for TXN Logistics, based in Houston. Buller was also the Gulf Regional Account Manager for a major chassis company.

“Chris brings the experience and philosophy we want to continue to take our organization to the next level,” says Doug Hoehn, EVP of Milestone Chassis & Managed Assets. “He shares the Milestone passion for customer service and our commitment to a superior customer experience.”

Buller received his Bachelor of Business degree with an emphasis on marketing from Sam Houston State University. He has lived in Houston since 1987 and is proud to call the largest city in the Southern United States home.

 

Our New Corporate Headquarters

In an ongoing effort to support its growing customer base and in response to a remarkable growth year, Milestone Equipment Holdings, one of the nation’s most comprehensive lessors of transportation equipment, announces its new corporate headquarters in St. Charles, MO, near Interstate 70 and Zumbehl Road.

  • Address: 3050 West Clay Street, Suite 300 St. Charles, MO 63301
  • Telephone Number: 636-238-8896

The new facility will serve as a support hub for the company’s divisional offices in Chicago, IL (Intermodal and Chassis) and St. Charles, MO (Trailer Leasing), and its nationwide branch and depot network. This location will house the majority of the company’s administrative functions such as Finance, Accounting, Risk Management and Human Resources.

“Milestone is focused on providing outstanding service to our customers, while capitalizing on growth opportunities in the transportation sector,” says Don Clayton, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Milestone Equipment Holdings. “The construction of our modern new headquarters and the availability of adjacent space for future expansion provide a scalable platform to support that mission, while helping us become an employer of choice for our current and future associates.”

collage

Since its founding in 1995, Milestone continues to build on superior customer service and flexible solutions. Today, with a combined fleet of over 80,000 domestic chassis, containers and trailers, the company continues to offer customers full service transportation equipment leasing and asset management.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Jordan Ayers, added, “We are fortunate to have some of the most experienced leaders in the industry and this expansion will help us continue to grow and build, while also providing upgraded training facilities for our sales and operations personnel.”

 

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