Ah, Valentine’s Day is coming.
The most romantic holiday of all, at least for the 55% of Americans who actually celebrate it. Though nearly half of us DON’T participate in a meaningful way, those who do, apparently do it up BIG.
According to Forbes Magazine, consumer spending on Valentine’s Day is third only to Christmas and Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day comes in around $23.5 billion and Valentine’s Day is not far behind at just under $20 billion. (Yes, BILLION. On Valentine’s Day. WOW.)
What are these spenders buying?
According to the National Retail Federation, on Valentine’s Day in 2017 almost $2,000,000,000 (that’s 2 BILLION!) was spent on flowers alone!
That is A LOT of flowers – and an upwards of 250 MILLION roses alone! But that’s really no big surprise, as the classic red rose is as much a part of Valentine’s Day as a chubby-cheeked cherub.
Yet, when that gorgeous dozen (or two!) arrives, fresh and flawless, most people don’t think twice about where they started and how they arrived. Their attention is on the flower’s perfect beauty and of course, their admirer.
So, from where will your rose start its journey this year?
While it’s not surprising that so many flowers are sent on Valentine’s Day, it may come as a surprise that almost all of the long-stemmed roses sold in the United States come from South America. Most of those roses come from Columbia and Ecuador. It is known that some of the world’s finest coffee grows exceedingly well there, and this same climate produces millions of the finest flowers as well.
Did you know: roses grow perfectly straight only near the equator, where the sun shines perpendicular to the plants. How cool is that?
Now that we’ve sourced the roses, how do they get from hot and humid South America to points across the United States before they bloom, wilt and die? To waste the life of a long-stemmed rose otherwise destined for greatness in her eyes would be tragic!!
Talk about time-sensitive, fragile freight!
It’s a big-time logistical challenge with a 10-12 day “make or break” window to go from harvest in South America to a vase somewhere near you. It goes without saying that fresh roses must not arrive too early and be opened too soon. Or even worse, turn brown in the days leading up to this most romantic holiday.
It’s such a perfect balance of the rose’s transition from life to death and the truck, trains, and planes that deliver this annual delight is critical. That only is achieved through the most rigorous logistics standards and reliable equipment.
An exacting refrigeration “cold chain” is a must. It ensures the flowers remain “dormant” in bud-status past the initial delivery to wholesalers. The woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, must then remain in its suspended state long enough to make it to the retailers. Then to the homes and offices of their adoring fans everywhere.
The most classic presentation of the long-stemmed rose is, after all, a tightly-closed bud that will open gradually after reaching its final destination.
So what does the journey of a long-stemmed rose look like, through the experienced eye of the billion-dollar floral industry?
As you can see, it is an amazing journey that long-stemmed roses take, from the first fields to their final stop.
The next time you buy or receive a beautiful bouquet, take a moment to say “THANK YOU!” to the international team of transportation and logistics men and women who make it happen!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
When the month of January rolls around, it’s time for everyone to take a look at what worked and what didn’t. If you’re struggling to find a company that can help you achieve those missed 2017 opportunities, we invite you to see how AAGEX Freight goals for 2018 can help get you there, faster.
If you’re reading this, thank you. We know your time is precious. 2017 was a challenging year, but if you were positioned with the right company, you probably did well.
However, if you struggled and felt like you didn’t have the tools or support to grab the opportunities that came your way, now is the best time to take a long hard look and assess your current situation. 2018 looks like more of the same – increasing freight demand and tight capacity.
Don’t let disappointments from last year spill into the new year. Change is always tough until the benefits of change are realized, then it’s “why did I wait so long?”
We invite you to take look at AAGEX Freight Group.
At your convenience, pick a day and time you’re available to talk. Let’s spend 15 minutes dreaming big and exploring how AAGEX does it better than the competition. We want to hear your story and where you want to take your business.
Sure, we’ll brag about our brand and describe how it is built by the best, for the best, because it is. The foundation of our “corporate culture” is a deep appreciation for your talents and results, and our compensation model rewards your success in real time, as you achieve.
In conclusion, we have leveraged our years of experience, knowledge, and understanding of the freight transportation industry to formulate an opportunity you simply need to hear, and then decide if it fits for you.
Reach out to me when your schedule permits, and let’s talk.
The third in a series of blog posts written by AAGEX President Mike Williams:
Despite continuing attempts to “automate” the freight transportation and logistics industry through advanced technology systems, we remain heavily dependent on people to perform activities, routines, and tasks that only people can do. People are important to our business. For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people tell other people, “work smarter, not harder.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Who would ever disagree? If you see one of these people on your team, that is, someone who would rather work harder not smarter, kick them off (your team). As we have all come to realize from the advent of the internet, the smart phone, and now developing artificial intelligence, (among other tech stuff) technology is the gateway to actually accomplishing the objective of working smarter, not harder.
As the competitive landscape of the freight transportation and logistics industry continues to evolve, trucks, trains, planes, ships, pipelines, and carrier pigeons will remain the physical delivery mechanisms, but technology will be the advantage of the winners. Every business, no matter the industry, is fundamentally challenged by the productivity of its assets and resources – – measured in terms output and return on investment.
In my earlier posts (AAGEX – THE AMERICAN DREAM and YOU; and AAGEX – SECRET SAUCE REVEALED), I placed my biggest bets on people, because people make it happen. Not just people who can fog a mirror, but special people with an incredible self-determined attitude and purpose to continuously deliver a superior customer experience through service excellence.
The future is now, incredibly talented people require advanced technology platforms or they are disadvantaged, no matter how talented. The largest companies with deep resources are making big bets on technology as the difference maker.
At AAGEX, we invested in a technology system and platform we believe empowers our sales and operations experts to identify and execute customer solutions with great efficiency, and reserves for people what people do best in a highly productive manner. The combination of leading industry technology systems and our entrepreneurial fueled agent network engine is tomorrow’s necessity TODAY.
If you are a talented sales and / or operations professional who believes in achieving a superior customer experience through service excellence, and you desire to work with a company that focuses on supporting your pursuit of your ideal of the American Dream with leading market tools, and where your EARNING potential is UNLIMITED, please contact us at (888) 622-0006 or visit us at www.agxfreight.com.
The second in a series of blog posts written by AAGEX President Mike Williams:
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ideal of the “American Dream” and what we’re doing at AAGEX Freight Group (“AAGEX”). Today, I’m revealing the “secret sauce” or the “why” we’re having success.
Over the years, I have had the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest, most talented and courageous, transportation and logistics professionals. These individuals epitomize the American Dream. What I admire and respect most about these past and present colleagues is that their foundation, their way of thinking, is committed to service excellence, they each have a personal drive to deliver a superior customer experience, and they arrive every day wired for success. They simply require the support of their team members, honest and transparent relationships, and consistent, reliable information to deliver their optimal performance.
In the AAGEX business model, sales and operations experts are empowered to discover customer opportunities and execute solutions through a central platform consisting of technology, working capital, risk management, sales and marketing resources, and experienced administration personnel. To be sure, not all agent programs are the same. At AAGEX, the relationship between “front office” and “back office” is dynamic, and generates synergy. We don’t take, we give. Potential is unlocked and realized. Producers are rewarded in clear terms – – they are heroes to their customers, their team, and their families.
In a company owned central or branch model, managers and their staff enjoy the comfort of a regular pay check, benefits, and continuous support from headquarters. Bonuses come when they come, but usually at someone else’s discretion rather than directly in the controller of the producer. The trade-off is clear, security and peace of mind in exchange for the fruits of their labor. In consideration for sometimes tenuous security, these high (and some low) performers very likely sign restrictive covenant agreements (non-compete and non-solicitation agreements) that ensure the company owns their book of business, locking them in to a continuous restrictive cycle. Many companies and talented individuals thrive in this model. With minds at ease that accounts are protected, and with predictable weekly income, the company branch team can focus on sales calls and service execution. But what is their motivation to achieve their greatest success? Fear of losing their security? Maybe. A desire to win, and earn more compensation? Let’s hope so.
Interestingly, the company owned branch model has many of the same attributes as the agent model, like a central technology platform, working capital resources, solid insurance programs, and sales and marketing support, so what’s different?
At AAGEX, our agent principals own and retain their book of business, coming and going, and they are rewarded in real time for their results. Day in and day out, our management team and staff work tirelessly to support our network. We know it is all about the entrepreneurial fire of our agent network that drives our business, and we know it is each agent’s pursuit of their own American Dream that fuels us. We arrive at the AAGEX offices each day inspired by our agents – – like trapeze artists who perform without a net. Our model instills a “must win” culture at the point of attack, in the field where competition is fierce and unforgiving. Our agents win because they’re capable, it is inside each of them, and because they have to achieve success, and we support them every step of the way. So what is an AAGEX agent’s motivation? Fear of losing their security? Not a chance. They are motivated by their freedom to WIN and earn an unlimited paycheck as they chase their ideal of the American Dream!
The AAGEX business model is designed to maximize the individual talents of our agent network by supporting each individual agent’s own self-determined American Dream. Our approach ensures that varying personal preferences, abilities, and objectives, as well as different market advantage points, are an asset, not a liability. The collective realization of these sometimes disparate pursuits is our secret sauce.
More than 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving every year. Have you ever thought about what goes into getting all of those turkeys from the farm to your table? Like Thanksgiving, logistics is no simple undertaking.
According to the National Turkey Federation more than 730 million pounds of turkey will be consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving, which is around 46 million turkeys. To top it off, Thanksgiving kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year.
Retailers plan up to 6 months in advance to ensure they have everything they need in stock when Thanksgiving rolls around. This means creating contracts, arranging transportation and deliveries from producers to grocery stores.
These intricate supply chains aren’t specific to turkey producers. The same logistics problems occur on Black Friday with electronics, on Cyber Monday with clothing and most other retailers facing a large surge in demand at some point in the year. If you found yourself struggling, it may be time to find a partner to help navigate your supply chain.
At AAGEX Freight Group LLC, we handle all kinds of freight. AAGEX is a non-asset transportation services platform company offering freight transportation and logistics solutions through a network of independent branch locations expanding across North America. With our promise of service excellence and professionalism, we provide or arrange freight transportation services, and other value-plus supply chain execution services, to manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The first in a series of blog posts written by AAGEX President Mike Williams:
The “American Dream” is alive and well at AAGEX Freight Group (“AAGEX”). I founded AAGEX with a vision to build a company that would ensure every team member is given the opportunity to achieve their greatest success, not just in terms of compensation, but through their contribution to the team, and to the company’s larger purpose – – making AAGEX a trusted and capable freight transportation and logistics trading partner to shippers, carriers, and drivers.
According to Investopedia, “the ‘American Dream’ is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American Dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance. (Emphasis added). America’s free-enterprise system makes possible the circumstances that allow individuals to go beyond meeting their basic needs to achieve self-actualization and personal fulfillment.”
At AAGEX, our mission is to continuously deliver a superior customer experience through service excellence. In other words, it matters how we accomplish the universally recognized business goal of “customer satisfaction,” or in our case, a superior customer experience. We’re not blind folded throwing darts, hoping to hit the mark. We listen before we talk. We plan before we act. We measure data before we know the answer. We proactively communicate good news, and bad news alike. We bring solutions to problems. We are respectful and professional in our interactions with others. We teach and inform before we expect action. We train and follow an adherence to a “safety first” culture. We achieve our mission because of our preparation, our execution, and our desire to win.
Identifying the winning team requires more than comparing the bottom line to peers and competitors, but don’t misunderstand the point. This is not a Jerry Maguire moment, of course, every winning team must have a strong financial quality, namely consistent positive earnings and a solid balance sheet, but a sustainable winning team will demonstrate a passion for doing the right thing for their stakeholders, and always demonstrate a relentless effort to complete today’s tasks, weekly goals and monthly targets, and to beat the annual budget and plan.
At AAGEX we lead with the mantra – – NEVER doubt your ability to achieve your greatest success NOW and TOMMORROW, and PURSUE your ideal of YOUR American Dream. CHASE it, MAKE it happen!
Stay tuned for our next installment – “AAGEX: Secret Sauce Revealed.”
No one will ever forget where they were when they heard the news of September 11, 2001. It was one of the darkest days in U.S. history, one that impacted not only the course of our history, but also our nation’s psyche. On that day the country stood still to collectively mourn this tragic, unexpected event.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Days like today remind us of how connected we truly are. Like the roads our drivers use every day bring us together, this tragedy brought together everyone in the nation.
The impacts were felt in all industries. Trade security became a priority in the supply chain industry. Various initiatives were introduced in the years that followed stressing the importance of protecting each part of the supply chain against the terrorist threat.
As a nation we say, “We will never forget.” And, we won’t.
AAGEX Freight Group remembers all of the people killed in the attacks that took place that day, and honors the first responders that became heroes.
Here at AAGEX Freight Group we believe that moving at the speed of business is what separates us from our competitors. Our customers do not want to wait around for us to “get to them” nor do they want to waste time. When they have something to move, they want it moved now!
Our track records set us apart from our competition. If there is one thing we believe in at AAGEX Freight Group, it’s speed; Speed to qualify new customer credit, speed to settle commissions, and speed to on-board our new carriers.
What We Believe
At AAGEX Freight Group we believe that even though we may be relatively new to our industry, we offer experience when it comes to transportation. We provide full service shipping and transport services ranging from full truckloads and flatbeds to partial truckloads. Here at AAGEX Freight Group our agents, customers, carriers and employees come first. We believe that if they are happy, everything else will follow and fall nicely into place.
We are building an experienced team by balancing our own growth and execution with risk management. Our company culture thrives on the passion of the entrepreneurialism of our agents – something other companies may take for granted. We believe in hiring the best partners our industry has to offer, which is significantly what sets us apart from our competitors. Our operating entities include:
- AGX Freight Logistics, LLC for our brokerage division, in business since 2014.
- AGX Freight Carriers, LLC for our asset-based division, in business since 2008.
We offer our drivers, agents and all of our employees the best in ongoing education, with a major emphasis on safety; safety on the road, safety in the workplace, and overall safety in our day to day living. Being a member of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) sets us apart to both shippers and carriers as being among the best and most ethical in the industry. The TIA also provides us with state-of-the-industry educational opportunities, and at AAGEX Freight Group safety and education is a way of life, making us an ideal choice for anyone needing shipping and storage logistics assistance. When you put your shipping needs in the hands of AAGEX Freight Group, you are choosing the best in the business.
If you are a freight agent looking for a boost in your career working with experienced leaders in the industry, call us today at 888-622-0006 and get your business moving in the right direction! Or, if you are a customer with shipping needs, contact the professionals at AAGEX Freight Group now!
AAGEX is building a world-class freight sales agent platform through which small- to medium-sized domestic carriers and freight brokers can access critical finance, insurance & risk, technology, and marketing solutions, expertise and operational support.
Our sales team represents our financially stable trucking and logistics organization.
AAGEX customers respect our company’s exemplary safety and compliance performance results, our on-time deliveries, and our professionalism. Our platform and capacity network empowers our sales team to offer an asset-based solution with complimentary logistics capacity.
Freight Sales Agents own their book of business and customer relationships. They are responsible for generating customer leads that support our asset-based trucking and logistics divisions, growing existing customer relationships, expanding service offerings, and winning new business.
AAGEX is seeking experienced individuals with their own portable book of business, who have deep pools of leads and contacts to draw from, to join our winning team.
We provide industry leading TMS to support our agents, customers, carriers and employees. AAGEX pays competitive, performance-based compensation with unlimited earnings potential, and we provide the stability and professionalism necessary to launch driven candidates to their greatest success.
A successful AAGEX Freight Sales Agent candidate will have a business owner mentality, and will:
- Have their own properly-equipped dedicated office space – a home office will be considered if it meets our requirements;
- Have phone, fax lines, and internet connection;
- Maintain local worker’s compensation and general liability insurance coverage;
- Be able to recruit, hire, and supervise support staff if necessary;
- Be in compliance with local, state, and federal employment practices and taxation;
- Perform customer prospecting and lead generation;
- Manage customer relationships;
- Be knowledge of pricing methods, including spot markets, and ability to work within one or more technology systems to accurately price freight shipments and related services;
- Be comfortable sourcing and negotiating rates with motor carriers and service providers via telephone, email, and load or truck boards to execute active freight shipment orders;
- Be able to enter all required information related to each freight shipment in a transportation management system;
- Be able to proactively communicate during regular and after business hours;
- Communicate effectively and timely with the company.
To find out more about the Freight Sales Agent opportunity with AAGEX Freight Group, LLC, interested candidates can visit us online at www.AGXFreight.com or call (888) 622-0006 to speak to one of our knowledgeable professionals today.
As families are finishing up their summer vacations and traveling back home, summer is winding down and everyone is switching gears to fall and the new school year. Shopping for new clothes for growing children and making sure the school supply list is checked off. Families are buying the necessary items for the upcoming year.
But, have you ever thought about what goes into getting school supplies from the manufacturers to local stores, schools and our homes? The logistics of the second biggest shopping season takes a lot of preparation. Back-to school is only the beginning of the peak season for road transport, which is from August thru October.
On average, a parent spends over $700 on Back-to-School each year. This includes supplies, shoes, clothes and electronics. In 2016 spending for families with children in grades K-12 is expected to reach $27.3 billion. If you look at college spending too, the total expected in 2016 jumps to $75.8 billion.
Keeping the stores stocked is only one part of the logistics of back-to-school. Over 70 percent of Americans have made a purchase online in the last year. Freight companies also help move product into place for online orders.
At AAGEX Freight Group LLC, we handle all kinds of freight, from school supplies to construction supplies for the newest school in the city. AAGEX is a non-asset transportation services platform company offering freight transportation and logistics solutions through a network of independent branch locations expanding across North America. With our promise of service excellence and professionalism, we provide or arrange freight transportation services, and other value-plus supply chain execution services, to manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
Social media has brought to the forefront of many of our lives nationally celebrated days, such as the upcoming National Ice Cream Day on July 17 and National Hot Dog Day on July 23. Something we don’t think about is that distribution of these products makes our modern lifestyle possible. Without the “cold chain,” the logistics of moving cold freight, perishable foods could not find their way to your grocer, and eventually your dinner table. The cold chain literally provides a safe, consistent, reliable means of transporting perishable items from one place to another, oftentimes, far, far away. The transportation process can sometimes take days to achieve, making cold storage and transport an absolute must. Without the existence of the cold chain, our food choices would be severely limited to foods grown or produced locally.
AAGEX Freight Group LLC, whose operating entities include AGX Freight Logistics and AGX Freight Carriers, is one of the leading logistics companies in the United States. The primary responsibility for nearly all safety risks during transportation falls to the shipper, and AAGEX works with the best, most compliant cold and frozen freight shippers in the industry to assure quality control, safety and on-time deliveries.
When it comes to cold and frozen freight, AGX Freight plays an integral role in the cold chain process which requires precise timing and temperature control. A vast network of trucks, rail lines, and storage facilities make up the cold chain.
Many Products Rely on the Process
It is estimated that some 70% of all food consumed in the United States passes through the cold chain at one point or another. When you consider the average American consumes about 2,000 pounds each year, over 440 Billion pounds of food depends on the cold chain process.
Some of the most common foods passing through the cold chain include:
- Fresh Fruits: Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Berries, Melons & Other Fruits
- Fresh Vegetables: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Peas & Other
- Meat & Seafood: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey, Fish, Shellfish
- Eggs & Dairy: Eggs, Milk, Butter, Cream & Cheese
- Prepared Meals: Canned Foods & Frozen Meals
- Some foods such as corn chips, noodles, cereals, etc.; are not fully dependent on the cold chain and are sold at room temperature but stored in cold warehousing. Peanuts, for example, are always stored between 34 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Refrigerated trucks are lovingly referred to as reefers in the trucking industry. Reefers and rail cars, combined with a vast network of cold storage warehouses, processing centers, and packing plants are integral components of the cold transport process. This wide network enables food to get from the farm or production facility to the shelves in your local grocery store.
Food generally goes from the farm directly to a packing house. From there your food enters pre-cooling houses where the heat is quickly removed from the product. This critical step ensures the freshness of your food.
Cooled meat and produce is usually transported in refrigerated trucks. These trucks are constantly inspected and monitored to ensure they are maintained in optimal working order.
When the food arrives at the cold storage facility, it is sorted and prepared for distribution. Oftentimes, the refrigerated warehouse performs as something of a middle man, selling food directly to grocers and manufacturers. This is where a packaged meal provider might purchase the individual components for his end product. After that, the product will again enter the cold chain for further transportation and distribution.
The end of the logistical chain is the delivery to the market where you, the general public, makes their purchases. The cold chain continues at your grocer’s where they store food in walk-in freezers and coolers, refrigerated display cases, etc.;
Contact an industry leader today, AGX Freight for all your shipping needs or simply to learn more about the cold chain and other shipping options.
Everyone in the Jacksonville location for AGX has the ability to work remotely if needed, so service should be seamless. Our servers are hosted in the CSX data room downtown, which is a Class 5 facility and can withstand weather from at least a Category 5 hurricane.
We will be doing everything we can to ensure that all of our customers, agents, drivers and carriers experience no lapse in service due to Hurricane Matthew.
AAGEX Freight Group is proud to be a sponsor for the 7th Annual Children’s Safe Passage Charity Golf Tournament. We have partnered with the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coalition (CSAPC) and the Somer Sunshine Foundation for the golf tournament on Oct. 24 at The Palencia Club in St. Augustine. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the tournament go to CSAPC and the Somer Sunshine Foundation. Since the tournament began in 2010, more than $130,000 has been raised for the mission of preventing child sexual abuse through awareness initiatives and training for adults.
AAGEX President Mike Williams started Children’s Safe Passage, Inc. in 2010 as a way to give back to the community after the heartbreaking abduction and murder of 7-year-old Somer Thompson. Since Somer’s murder at the hands of a child sexual predator, Children’s Safe Passage has been actively seeking solutions to prevent violence and sexual exploitation against children in the Northeast Florida community.
In 2013, the CSAPC was formed through collaborative efforts of Children’s Safe Passage, The Somer Sunshine Foundation, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, Monique Burr Foundation for Children, and Jacksonville Children’s Coalition. The CSAPC trains adults using the Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children program which teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Although it is not an easy topic for discussion, it is very important to confront these issues. It takes courage to speak out against all types of child abuse. If you would like to participate in this year’s Children’s Safe Passage Charity Golf Tournament click here. To get involved with CSAPC in other ways visit their website.
Our Promise is Simple:
Your freight, Our network, Delivered.
Latest News & Events
Ah, Valentine’s Day is coming. The most romantic holiday of all, at least for the 55% of Americans who actually celebrate it. Though nearly half of us DON’T participate in a meaningful way, those who do, apparently do it up BIG. According to Forbes Magazine, consumer...read more
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