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 - 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.

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 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.”

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.”

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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.”

 

Giving Is the Reason for the Season

In the spirit of giving back, Milestone Intermodal has recently donated a 53-foot steel container to the Keller Central High School Band in Keller, Texas to help students keep their equipment and props safe and secure, season after season.

“We have been talking about how to reach out and support our communities and for me, both personally and as a senior manager at Milestone, this is exactly what we need to do and where we need to give back,” says Amy Genobles, President of Milestone Intermodal.

Milestone worked in partnership with Kevin Smith of Equipment Management Services in Houston, which donated the cost of delivery of the 53-foot steel container. “It’s a really great feeling to work with vendor partners and have the opportunity to help the community,” says Genobles. “This is bringing it full circle.”

Looking for a solution to their storage situation, Keller Central High School’s Band Booster Association estimated program costs of $1,800 to $3,500 for off-site storage container options for students’ equipment and props.

“[Milestone’s] generosity allows us to use the money we would have spent replacing damaged equipment or paying the cost of other storage options and allows us to invest more in the training, education and needs of our students,” says Gina C. Root, Keller Central High School Band Booster Association Vice President.

It was a wonderful reminder of the power of paying it forward. “The overall satisfaction for us was the response we received from the high school,” says Genobles. “It was overwhelming. It really made me feel proud to be a part of Milestone. We look forward to future opportunities to support not-for-profit organizations locally and nationwide.”

The donated container is currently being converted for use as a storage unit. The finished product and photos to come!

 

Photo courtesy Keller Central High School Band

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Adds Don Clayton as Chief Financial Officer

ST. CHARLES, MO (September 12, 2016) – Milestone announces the addition of Don Clayton who joins the team as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Clayton will be based in St. Charles, MO and will report directly to Jordan Ayers, President and Chief Operating Officer.

“I am very excited to join the Milestone team,” says Clayton. “The team has built an outstanding business through its customer-centric, flexible approach to leasing. We will continue to make that our core mission, while building additional processes and controls to further scale the business. I see tremendous opportunities for growth and we will be prepared to capitalize on those opportunities.”

Clayton has 18 years of experience working in the industrial distribution and financial services industries, including eight years as Chief Financial Officer of a multi-billion-dollar nationwide distributor and seven years in the financial services audit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, financial reporting and internal controls. He has also played key roles on several acquisitions and capital market transactions.

“Don brings the experience and philosophy we want to take our organization to the next level,” says Ayers. “He has built world-class back office operations and has led numerous strategic transactions. Just as importantly, he shares our passion for customer service and our commitment to stay nimble and innovative as we grow.”

Clayton received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from Southeast Missouri State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Consolidates Personal Attention Leasing Into Milestone Trailer Leasing

ST. CHARLES, MO (August 31, 2016) – Milestone Equipment Holdings announced that they will consolidate the trailer rental brand of Personal Attention Leasing into Milestone Trailer Leasing, creating an expansive portfolio of products and services under the Milestone Trailer Leasing name.

This development comes as a result of Milestone Equipment Holdings going to market with a unified Milestone brand name for the Trailer, Intermodal and Chassis Divisions.  Milestone Trailer Leasing continues their commitment to provide personal attention to each customer in the form of open-architecture arrangements, flexible lease options, and added-value services.

“Consolidating the PAL Trailer brand into the Milestone family helps express to the transportation market that we have transformed into a large scale provider with a national footprint. We can deliver that message and still retain our customer-centric and flexible approach to providing equipment,” says Milestone Executive Vice-President of Branch Operations, Sarah Johnson.

“This is an exciting announcement for our company and a great benefit to our customers,” says Milestone President and Chief Operating Officer, Jordan Ayers. The value of this rebranding can be seen in the form of:

  • Financial strength to buy new equipment to grow our trailer fleet at each branch.
  • Purchase trailers to meet specific customer equipment needs.
  • Expanded trailer fleet of over 40,000 trailers.
  • Nationwide trailer branch network.
  • Broader array of equipment types and transportation services.
  • Access to large groups of cartage equipment to upgrade and augment local fleets.
  • Seasoned, knowledgeable, and customer-centric sales professionals.

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Continues to Elevate Leadership Team, Names EJ Bronwasser Assistant Vice President of Operations, Chassis Division

BURR RIDGE, IL (August 10th, 2016) – Milestone announces the addition of EJ Bronwasser who joins the team as Assistant Vice President, Chassis Division. He will be based in Burr Ridge, IL and will report directly to Doug Hoehn, EVP Milestone Chassis & Managed Assets.

“Throughout my career I’ve maintained a passion for continuous improvement and being a part of a winning team, such as the one in place at Milestone,” says Bronwasser. “I look forward to helping to streamline processes, optimize our team’s efficiency, increase performance (on behalf of our customers and our team) as well as provide ongoing leadership to our Chassis outfit.”

Bronwasser brings 30 years of experience in equipment control within the ocean liner business. He has worked with such companies as P&O Nedlloyd, Maersk Line and NYK. In his most recent position at NYK, Bronwasser was the regional Operations Director managing all aspects of first and last mile logistics in addition to rail operations and vendor management.

”EJ’s wealth of experience will bolster the Milestone team as we continue to grow the Milestone Chassis Company business,” says Hoehn. “His systems knowledge and operational expertise will drive organizational excellence. Along with the newest premium marine, domestic and specialty chassis available in the market, adding talent like this will help Milestone to continue to anticipate and exceed client expectations.”

Bronwasser received his Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Maritime Management from the Nautical Academy of Rotterdam, The Netherlands followed by his Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Intermodal Transportation from the University of Denver.  He is the current President of the Intermodal Association of Chicago.