Dry Vans – Milestone Means Unparalleled Accessibility and Service

 Scale of Dry Vans

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 57,000+ 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 one of the largest and fastest growing transportation equipment lessors in the U.S., 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.”

Personal Touch

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 25+ 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.

Capabilities

Whether shipping foods and beverages, textile and clothing items, industrial goods and automotive parts, or plastic and building products, we know our customers. Milestone asks 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; or 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

Personal Service

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. Milestone is there for the long haul and last mile.

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 Trailer Leasing Last Mile

“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

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 Trailer Leasing Last Mile

 

The Last Mile

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 understand the last mile and the technological enhancements that may be on the horizon. These enhancements can range from drones to ground-based delivery bots. We remain committed to supporting the process and making it more efficient.”

Why CARB Compliance is Important

CARB Compliance

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.”

Innovate Dry Vans

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 back 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 - 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.

 

 

 

Milestone Background

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.

A Day in the Life

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 25+ 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!

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.

Providing a Great Experience

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 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.

Challenges & Predicting the Future

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 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.

Why Milestone?

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!

Daily Milestone/HTA Inventory Email Sign Up

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