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2023 Year in Review: Maintaining Forward Momentum

2023 Year in Review: Maintaining Forward Momentum
22 Dec 2023

Despite a challenging year for both the transportation industry and the economy as a whole, Trailer Bridge doubled down on its efforts to be the leading logistics provider in North America, the Caribbean, and beyond.

When times got tough, instead of slowing down we responded by doing more – reaching more new customers, investing more in company growth, committing more to our company culture, and allocating more resources to community giving.

Trailer Bridge CEO, Mitch Luciano, explained the philosophy behind this course of action: “While others are pulling back on their investments, letting employees go and hitting pause on their new technology rollout; at Trailer Bridge, we are doing the opposite. Why? Because our reaction to the right now will have a direct correlation to our future success.”

While we were not immune to the ups and downs, this forward-thinking strategy has resulted in a year full of progress to celebrate.

Building the Business

We have our eyes on the goals we have set, and we aren’t slowing down in pursuit of becoming a billion-dollar company by 2027. This is evident in the company’s continued growth throughout 2023.

Ocean and Logistics Divisions Continue to Grow

Amidst a tough market, our Ocean and Logistics divisions excelled at serving our customers and expanding our business.

Rates may have been down, but our logistics teams across the United States landed an average of one new customer a day and a 27% year over year load volume increase.

Thanks to strong customer relationships, the Ocean team also had a solid year serving our partners in the Caribbean. The team signed on multiple large chain retailers and were at 100% capacity for a majority of our sailings.

Trailer Bridge International Expands

Trailer Bridge International (TBI) has expanded exponentially since its launch in 2021. Within the last year, Trailer Bridge has received formal licensing to import/ export from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, expanding our service offerings in the Caribbean. Mexico, Europe, Africa, South America, China and India are also among the growing list of countries TBI serves.

New Faces Join TBNation

We aren’t short on talent at Trailer Bridge, and it just keeps growing! This year, we hired 119 new members across our network of offices in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Award-Winning Moments

Check out some of the awards Trailer Bridge brought home this year:

  • 2023 Best Places to Work by Jacksonville Business Journal: Trailer Bridge was ranked 2nd Best Place to Work in Jacksonville in the large companies’ category. This is the 7th year we have been recognized with this award.
  • Inc. 5000 List: This is the 2nd time Trailer Bridge has been named to this list, ranking #4299 for 3-year revenue growth.
  • Fast 50 by Jacksonville Business Journal: Trailer Bridge ranked on the Fast 50 list for the second time, coming in 30th for percentage growth and 5th for revenue growth.
  • Healthiest Company by the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council: The company was awarded Silver for exceptional employee wellness initiatives, education, and resources.
  • TMSA Trailblazer Purpose Award: The Transportation Marketing and Sales Association (TMSA) awarded Trailer Bridge the Purpose Award for the company’s commitment to serving the community we live and work in.
  • TMSA Trailblazer Award: Trailer Bridge received the Trailblazer award for its “Get You There” marketing campaign, focused on recruiting the next generation of supply chain professionals.

Celebrating Our People

Trailer Bridge wouldn’t be anything without the incredible individuals dedicated to its success every day.

New Leadership on Board

Greg Kleffner joined us as Trailer Bridge’s new Chief Financial Officer, re-entering the workforce after retiring as CFO at Stein Mart In 2019. He brings with him an extensive background in finance including more than 17 years of leadership experience at publicly traded retailers and 25 years of experience as a partner at an international accounting and consulting firm.

Executive Promotions

Several internal company leaders were promoted to the executive level this year as part of Trailer Bridge’s plans for expansion to better serve its people and customers.

Ann Phelps was promoted to Vice President of Customer Experience for the Ocean Division at the beginning of the year.She has been an employee of Trailer Bridge for more than 20 years, and her industry knowledge and familiarity with the company is invaluable when it comes to serving our customers in the Caribbean, both now and in the future.

Kacy Swanson was promoted to Vice President of Employee Services, bringing more than a decade of experience in recruiting and human resources to the table. She is responsible for leading all the employee-focused efforts across the company including talent acquisition, benefits, wellness initiatives, and more.

Whitney Croxton was named Vice President of Marketing and Communications and oversees initiatives such as branding, advertising, content development, communications and more. She brings to the role more than 12 years of experience working in the transportation and logistics industry in Northeast Florida.

Individual Awards

In addition to company awards, Trailer Bridge celebrated stand-out individuals who were honored for their accomplishments in the industry and contributions to their local community.

Pros to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive

CEO Mitch Luciano and CCO Jeff Vaughn were named 2023 Pros to Know for their impact in the logistics industry through innovative solutions, team development, collaborative culture, and focus on relationships.

Rockstars of the Supply Chain by Food Logistics

Nashville branch manager Justin Myatt was named to the 2023 Rockstars of the Supply Chain List for his work as Trailer Bridge’s resident produce expert. In addition to continuously serving our cold chain customers’ needs with personalized transportation solutions, Justin also educates other members of the company in shipping this specialized freight.

40 Under 40 and Women of Influence by Jacksonville Business Journal

Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Whitney Croxton, had twice the reason to celebrate after being named to two distinguished lists by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Both lists recognize her exceptional accomplishments professionally as well as her contributions to the Northeast Florida community.

Women in Supply Chain Award by Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Food Logistics

Employee Engagement and Training Specialist Becky Simon and Logistics Sales and Ops Team Lead Amanda Richterkraft were recognized for their personal successes in logistics and for paving the way for other women to succeed in the industry.

Thriving Company Culture

At Trailer Bridge, culture is at our core. That means prioritizing our people and nurturing meaningful relationships with our employees, partners, and customers.

Shugart Bridge Commemorates Beloved TB Team Member

Early in the year, Trailer Bridge christened the Shugart Bridge, named after our beloved team member Kerry Shugart, who worked at the company for more than 18 years. In addition to his name, the LoLo barge displays Kerry’s iconic moustache so his lasting impact will be remembered for years to come.

In-Person New Employee Onboarding Resumes

For us, logistics is personal. So, it’s important we make each new hire’s first impression of Trailer Bridge as welcoming as possible. This year we were able to do that by resuming a fully in-person onboarding experience for new employees across the country after taking a hiatus due to Covid restrictions.

Cultivating Future Leaders

Extreme Leadership Groups 9 and 10 became the newest graduates of the company’s in-house leadership program. Lead by CEO Mitch Luciano and VP of Marketing and Communications Whitney Croxton, participants took a deep dive into company values and what it takes to emulate them as a leader at Trailer Bridge.

Spotlight on Service

From the beginning, service has been at the core of Trailer Bridge’s mission. This year we expanded our efforts to reach even more of our community.

TB Gives

Our in-house community outreach team, TBGives, encouraged everyone in the company to get involved by planning fun activities throughout the year that provided the opportunity to give back. These are just a few of the charities TB Gives supported this year.

Dreams Come True of Jacksonville

Trailer Bridge has been a long-time partner of Dreams Come True of Jacksonville, a non-profit that fulfills the dreams of children local to Jacksonville, FL who are living with life-threatening conditions. These are some of the activities we participated in with them this year:

  • Dream Reveal Parties
  • Dreams Come True 5k Run and Tent Sponsorship
  • Trunk or Treat

Ronald McDonald House

The Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Nashville branches ensured that families at their local Ronald McDonald House had a comfortable stay by stocking the pantry every month with snacks.

Catty Shack Ranch

We took a walk on the wild side and helped with some daily tasks and grounds beautification projects at Catty Shack Ranch, a refuge and rehabilitation center for big cats and rescued exotic animals in Jacksonville, Florida.

Chemo Noir

Running for the cause was never so fun! Participants completed a mile run and sipped on some wine at the Chemo Noir Run, which raised money to support local individuals and their families as they go through cancer treatment.

Company Initiatives

In addition to TBGives, we participated in several community outreach initiatives that were carried out as a company-wide effort.

Rally por Puerto Rico

In 2023, we had a record breaking year, raising more than $104,000 at our 3rd annual charity golf tournament in support of Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico.

Kate Amato Foundation

This year, we formed a new partnership with the Kate Amato Foundation, a non-profit local to Jacksonville, FL whose mission is to improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer and fund childhood cancer research. In 2024, Trailer Bridge will host the first ever Rally for Kate charity golf tournament in support of the cause. Learn more about it and make plans to join us here.

Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation

We were a proud sponsor of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation’s annual Wine Tasting Gala, which raised money for the organization’s efforts in fighting childhood cancer.

Moving Ahead

As we reach the close of 2023, we have no plans of slowing down. While there may still be some uncertainty surrounding the freight market in the new year, we plan to remain hopeful, lean into our culture of service, and embrace change as it comes. After all, you can’t maintain momentum by standing still.

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