For most businesses, transportation and logistics represent an increasingly significant expense. Here, Jim Berlin, founder and CEO of Logistics Plus (LP), headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, talks about how LP has become one of the fastest-growing transportation companies in the country and its partnership with the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) to provide discounted logistics services for MBA member companies.
Logistics Plus was founded more than 20 years ago and now has annual sales surpassing $150 million. Tell us about the growth of your operation and where it is headed in 2017.
Well, actually, after 20 years of revenue growth every year (except 2008-2009) and profitability every year, we are experiencing a major growth surge and expect our business to grow another 50 percent this year! That kind of growth might be pretty normal in the early years of a business, but 20 years in, it’s pretty exciting/exceptional. We now have more than 400 employees worldwide, of which 130 work right here in downtown Erie at the historic Union Station (and we’re still looking to hire more too).
How would you describe the state of the logistics industry today? What are the opportunities?
Stuff moves, and will continue to move, all around the world. That will never change. There will always be a need for someone who can help businesses succeed — for us, this is doing what we do (move stuff) while enabling them to better focus on doing what they do (make and sell stuff).
What are the challenges?
Speed. Visibility. Technology.
The MBA Logistics Program is a unique partnership with LP that can provide MBA members with affordable, reliable transportation and logistics services. Tell us more.
We know that logistics is probably a big expense item for many (or all) MBA members and, oftentimes, they simply don’t have the time or staff to manage it properly. That’s where we can help. We can be an extension of a company’s logistics department (or sometimes we are their logistics department). We can use our expertise to help them so they can focus more time on making and selling great products. In the spirit of local collaboration, we also provide MBA members with some additional discounts for most of our services.
What is the best way to find out if the MBA Logistics Program is the right fit for your business?
There’s information and a request form on the MBA website at www.mbausa.org/logistics. MBA members also can email us directly at email@example.com if they have any questions about the program or the solutions we provide. We will provide MBA members with a free, no-risk quote for any shipment they have or we’ll even provide a complete analysis of all of their logistics activities if they’d like.
Is there anything you would like to add?
We really are world-class at what we do, as exemplified by our roster of customers — some of the top businesses in the world: All managed right out of Erie, Pennsylvania. Thank you to the MBA and its members for their support, whether in the past or yet to come. We look forward to remaining a big part of Erie’s growth now and in the future.