Brent – 00:00:01:
Welcome to Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast, where we explore the fascinating world of trucking and freight management. We dive deep into the freight industry and uncover why the trucking industry is more crucial to our country now than ever before. Stay tuned to uncover the driving forces behind successful trucking businesses and hear from the hardworking truckers and leaders who keep the world moving. Let’s hit the road. All right. Well, welcome to Freight Nation, a podcast by truckstop.com. Appreciate you joining us today, and we have a great guest for you today. We at Truckstop try to bring the best of the industry to you, the most compelling stories in the marketplace to you. And so Freight Nation is about hearing the story, about hearing how somebody got into freight, how they maintain it, what creates success, where did they fail, what did they learn from, and what can you, as the watcher and listener of this podcast, what can you learn to help improve what you’re doing inside this industry? We really appreciate you joining us today. It’s a cool day. One of my great friends is joining me today, the CEO of Candor Expedite, Nicole Glenn. She’s a pioneer in the industry. She’s been around a long time. She grew up inside of logistics. Now, look, she’s in Dallas, Texas, but she’s from Chicago. So she grew up in the hub of where logistics in the United States started, where all the railroads back in the day, when we were trying to open up the western part of the United States, they all ended and began in Chicago. So that’s what made Chicago the transportation hub. And that’s where Nicole cut her teeth in the logistics industry. So excited for her to be on Freight Nation today and for you to hear her story and to learn from her. Nicole, thanks for joining me today. Thanks for joining Truckstop. Thanks for being my friend. And I really appreciate you being on today.
Nicole – 00:01:38:
Well, I’m excited to be on today. And you’re welcome for being your friend. Thank you for being mine as well.
Brent – 00:01:43:
Absolutely. Well, one of the great things about transportation, I tell everybody new that comes into it and anybody on the outside, is that trucking and transportation is one of the greatest relationship industries in the world. If not the greatest in the world. And it doesn’t matter what automation and what cool tech comes in this industry. It’s always going to be relationally focused because it needs to be. Because that’s really, truly what makes it work. So cool. So, Nicole, you have a really, really cool background in how you cut your teeth in the industry and how you got started. Tell me something. As a little girl growing up in Chicago, what did you want to be when you got older?
Nicole – 00:02:20:
I literally wanted to be a businesswoman. So me and my friends, I didn’t know what that meant. We would play office. And so we would have computers. And this was like, remember the Prodigy like dial up? I mean, this is so far back.
Brent – 00:02:36:
Nicole – 00:02:37:
But yeah, so some of my friends had a lot of computers at their houses bleeding around at the time. And we would sit there with the screens off and type. And my name was always Stacy. So that’s my alter ego, Stacy and the business lady. I didn’t know what that was. I literally thought that I had moved to New York and be in the city and do all of those things when I was a teenager. But I didn’t know what that looked like. So to fall into transportation, way different. And something I never expected to have happen to me for sure.
Brent – 00:03:07:
I love it. Stacy, the business lady. Oh, my gosh, that’s so cool. By the way, did you have certain clothes that you wore?
Nicole – 00:03:13:
Yeah, we would dress up and then we would take like the glasses and be like, their Tyga Bang
Brent – 00:03:21:
I love it. So when you were doing that, did you ever like go on trips with your mom or your dad places and be the business person or go with them on trips or anything? I did that when I was a kid a lot.
Nicole – 00:03:30:
Yeah, we did. But my dad always kept us back, you know, with my mom. But my dad actually was the chairman of the board of a pretty big electric company in Chicago. And so I got to actually meet a lot of individuals that were highly successful even when I was young. So very good introduction to life to be around my dad.
Brent – 00:03:50:
No doubt. That’s a common story you see with people where parents brought their children into their work life. There wasn’t a separate thing. You didn’t go, well, I don’t know what my mom and dad do. So they brought them in and you introduced them to them. I did this to all five of our kids and it was really so fun for me as a dad to say, okay, this is what I do, you know, and learn from it. You know, my dad did that with me. And so it’s super cool or not. Now the other thing before we jump into business. Right. So she’s from Chicago, even though she lives in Dallas. She lives in Dallas because Nicole, it’s warmer down there, right?
Nicole – 00:04:20:
It is warmer down here and they are more tax friendly. That’s always a positive too about life. Yes. Where are taxes better? So yeah, I had a lot of customers down here. So I went jokingly like, hey, I knew I was going to start another branch. And so I went, hey, let’s look at this jokingly going, why don’t we do it? Why don’t we go down there and be the branch runners of this one as well? And said yes. And before we knew it, we moved down here. It’s been four years now.
Brent – 00:04:51:
Fantastic. So you’re a young professional. How did you get into freight transportation, logistics, trucking? What motivated you to get in?
Nicole – 00:05:00:
Well, it wasn’t a choice, really. It wasn’t like I did some research and went, you know what, I want to be in transportation trucking. I was working retail and I say this, if anyone’s ever watched me or heard me on anything else, I like to say I was in freight when freight wasn’t cool. No such thing as supply chain degrees that were really known. I’m sure they were happening somewhere, but it was never really known. Nothing was ever talked about. And so I worked retail and this guy came in to the store where I was working. I was cashier and also I ran the parts counter of an automotive store. So he came in, he needed a part. And so I helped him get his part. And I remembered something weird about his order. And he’s like, “you have a really good memory”. And he hands me this like perforated round the edges business card. And I’m like, he’s like, “call me. I have positions open at my company”. And I was like, “okay, this is weird”. It’s not even a real business card. It’s like he’d free it. And like, I was very, very unsure of that. And then I don’t know, I got interested to go, “okay, what is that really?” And I’m so glad I did. I took his card, had the address on it. I drove to the business. I did the whole like look in the window.
Brent – 00:06:11:
Did you really?
Nicole – 00:06:12:
Because it was a house, Brent. It was a house. And so I could see there was signage and it was a house turned into a business. And there were different businesses there. And so I was like, I’m going to give this guy a call. And he offered me $10 an hour. And I was like, sold ten bucks an hour. I was 18. You know, I was going to school at night and reached out by day. And so I went in and I had no idea. And I was just filing. And I mean, we had a T-card system. We didn’t have computers yet, you know, so we were handwriting rate cons and faxing and getting the debt daily via fax. And there was a debt computer. It didn’t do anything else but deal with the debt. And so it was just one of those things that over time, you know, I started doing more and more at the business and helped him get computers and got on Excel and made our first reconfirmation that we actually printed and did accounting from handwritten receipts to getting an accounting software. And this is in 2000.
Brent – 00:07:15:
So you have seen the industry evolve then quite a bit.
Nicole – 00:07:19:
Significantly. And that’s what I love about it is it never sells, you know, and everyone gets afraid of these new changes of things coming. And I’m like, “bring it. What else we got?” Because, I mean, that’s where the beauty of what we do comes in, right? And so did that. And then obviously just went on and I really did every role that you can really think of. I was a backhaul dispatcher. I’d find loads for our drivers when I worked at a different company. We had owner ops, loved that, loved actually knowing the drivers. And then went on to another company where I was just in sales and they were a small expedited company who didn’t do any truck load, didn’t do anything just outside of a sprayer van street truck local. And I was like, “we can do a lot more”. So my boss would go, “we don’t handle flatbed”. And I was like, “well, now we do because I know how to do that”.
Brent – 00:08:12:
Now we do.
Nicole – 00:08:13:
So I’m 23 years old.
Brent – 00:08:17:
Right, right, right.
Nicole – 00:08:18:
And it’s one of those things where I started booking my own truckloads and then all the sales reps and managers kept coming over going, “hey, I have this truckload. Can you cover it for me?” So I was in sales and doing that. And I really fell in love with sales, too, because it was a spot where I got to go meet people. And that’s what I’ve come to learn is something that I just I get giddy. You know, I love growing my network and doing all of that. Really climbed there. And I went from just sales rep, operational leader, manager, national sales to then like vice president, president of the company.
Brent – 00:08:56:
You’re all less than 30 years old doing all this.
Nicole – 00:08:59:
Brent – 00:09:00:
You were less than 30. So in the most worlds, you know, you don’t really get good at anything till you’re about 30 years old, but you were really getting good at 20.
Nicole – 00:09:08:
I was tenacious though. I think that’s what it was. Then we’ll talk about why I named my company what I’ve named it.
Brent – 00:09:15:
Yeah. And I’ve known you for a while. Have you always been sure of yourself?
Nicole – 00:09:19:
Brent – 00:09:20:
No. Oh, really?
Nicole – 00:09:22:
No, I’m still not. No, there’s still days that I’m like, “I’ll say, should I be doing this? Am I a good leader?” Like, there’s still days. I think if you’re not doing that, you’re not learning, right? And I try to remind myself that too. Like yesterday was I had a ton of things going on and I get like frustrated. I’m like, all right, let’s focus on what we’re grateful for. Let’s focus on what we’re grateful for. Or day over. So no, not. Not every day.
Brent – 00:09:50:
All right. Well, I got, so you moved up all the way. Now you ended that last statement for us. I said, asking you a little personal question there. You said you moved all the way up to being the leader of the business. Tell me a little bit about being the leader of somebody else’s business.
Nicole – 00:10:03:
Well, it’s different than running your own for sure. But it really put me in the trenches with how to build a team. And being a sales rep for a long time, you’re really taught to be greedy and focus on growing your numbers and bring in your customers and move your freight, right? And then that transition, right? So now I have this team of people. We built a fleet as well during that. And so now I had drivers underneath me that would come into my office and I knew them. I knew their families. I saw them. And so it puts this complete different perspective of being an independent in a company versus being collaborative and creating a group of people all towards the same mission. So it was a lot of fun. I mean, it still is hard running someone else’s company. I do not want to diminish that at all. I got exposed to finance, something I’d never really been a part of before, and taxes and things that I just didn’t know, picking a new TMS system. So it’s different to be a leader of that than just an employee of that. You know, you have to be the person that’s cultivating the change, but bringing the comfort along of making the change.
Brent – 00:11:18:
Cultivating the change and bringing the comfort. Can I put that as a Nicole Glenn quote?
Nicole – 00:11:22:
Absolutely. And it’s something you have to do every day. You know, we’re in that phase today at our company, we’re implementing a new TMS and the C word, I would say it’s the worst word, it’s the change word. Or silly F word, the C word, very tough.
Brent – 00:11:37:
It’s always hard on everybody. I’ll tell you what. So obviously you create a success. And look, it all comes with hard work. It all comes with taking risk. It all comes with failing. Now, you don’t always fail completely. You just fail some, right? You see, that’s how we learn. That’s how we get better. But you got all the way to running somebody or somebody else’s. Obviously, you’ve had success along the way, but something inside of you said, hmm, there’s got to be something a little more. And then you took a big leap. So tell me, can you remember the time in your brain where you said?
Nicole – 00:12:08:
Brent – 00:12:09:
Yeah. Tell me about the moment.
Nicole – 00:12:10:
So I was on vacation. And I’m standing at a pool. And I get a phone call while I’m standing there, trying to get in with my twin boys and young daughter. And it’s like, “hey, this is falling apart, right?” And again, it was overdramatic response that was happening from just what was going on in the day. And I paused for a minute. I had to like do some customer interaction. And I went, “you know what? I think I’m ready to make these decisions on my own. I think I am. I think I’m ready to dive into something different and try this”. And so I actually… The decision to leave, I had it then, but I didn’t leave for another seven months because I had such a profound love for the company and the people. And I still do to this day. The CEO of that company is like a dad to me. So it was a really tough decision to leave it. But I was ready for that next challenge. And so to get the courage and to make sure that I was sure. So I was like, I’m going to let this marinate. And then also to get through the seasons because now it’s July. We’re in busy freight season. And again, this shows you how much I loved. I’m like, I could never leave now. We have the rest of the year to finish out. So I waited until January that next year and gave notice and left. And it’s still, I mean, even when I started my own business, I didn’t love it as much as I loved that one. And I said to myself, am I ever going to love my own company more than that? Because now I went from a team, a collaborative team and the people that I knew and trusted to myself. I had no one to bounce ideas off yet. I had no one to talk through. And now my dad, you know, my business dad, he’s gone, you know, and I got to do this stuff on my own. So, at first, it was very nerve wracking to do that. But it taught me so much by taking the leap. And I’m so grateful. And I’m so grateful for those experience that I had. It was just wonderful.
Brent – 00:14:24:
Yeah, you should be building everything in your life on the previous experiences. And those are the ones that you feel like were successful and some that you feel like weren’t successful. So I think I find really cool about what you said about you took seven months to exit the company that you dearly loved. It tells me a lot about you. It tells me that you care about relationships. You care about doing things the right and honorable way. And super important because we’ve all got one life to live and we all have one character to put forward in our life. And so you got to live with yourself.
Nicole – 00:14:53:
Mind integrity. Integrity is the most important thing to me.
Brent – 00:14:58:
Yeah, without a doubt. And so you left your comfortable, somewhat predictable environment to say, I’m going to go do something on my own. I’ll put my flag in the ground. I’m going to do it myself. So you started Candor Expedite. So first off, tell the watchers and listeners about the name and then tell about those first few days, first couple of weeks, first couple of months and what was going through your head. Because a lot of people are going to watch and listen to this. They’re going to go, okay, well, I want to get into this and they’re going to find inspiration in your story. So tell a little bit about that.
Nicole – 00:15:31:
Well, as everything I just said to you, I mean, everything I always say is pretty blunt. So that’s really the focus on the word. I’m like, okay, I really like the idea of challenging status quo. And when you’re talking about transportation of an industry that’s been doing it this way forever, it needs to have that bluntness to bring that change and that being forthright to say, hey, I realize, you know, this is how your supply chain works, but have you ever thought of this, you know, and trying to always challenge that. But the word Candor also means candid, honest, truthful. And so, being in the industry that long and being in operations and dealing with the world that I saw, I’m like, this industry is full of so much just lies, falsehoods, you know, claims of things that people are going to do consistently that they wouldn’t. And so I went, if I start a business, I am never going to lie to my teams. I am never, ever going to lie to my customers. I am never going to lie to my carriers, to my drivers. Like, I wanted to be something that is open and honest. And so even the design of the logo with the C-A-N.D-O-R, if you Google word, you’ll see on Google, that’s how the syllables are. Because I wanted that to really ring true in who we were. I didn’t just want the word. I wanted it to be like, hey, look it up. What does it mean? So that whole concept of standing behind that name is important. And it’s awesome to me that live by that is a core value.
Brent – 00:17:10:
You took the big step. And let me guess, everything was perfect. All the customers lined up. You never didn’t have any problems, right?
Nicole – 00:17:17:
No, it was terrible. Terrible. You’re excited, though. You’re on a different level of a high, right? So now your first couple of days are, I got to find computers and I got to find how I’m going to do my accounting. It’s all about finding stuff during that time. And so I had made a promise, too, that I would not solicit those accounts that I had grown. And so I was starting anew. So I had this sense of excitement, getting all of these things lined up. I had someone alongside of me. I had a business partner start. And I thought, okay, I knew at that time that I was making the wrong decision with the person that I was bringing in. But again, I did. But I felt like this will help me, right? It didn’t. It didn’t work out at all. And so we were together and I was running the business. And he was more of like behind the scenes, I guess you could say. So I lost a good friend in that process because, again, being blunt and honest, I just eventually had to say like, sorry, this is not the way that I want to do business, not the way that I planned to grow a business. And I’m afraid of our future together. So at that point, I had to start over again in 2018. I’d already had a team and he had taken the team with him. And yeah, so I lost a good friend of mine at the time because emotions come into things. I learned so much from you, you know, and lost some of my employees and had to start over. And it’s so funny because I look back at that time and I go, Why didn’t I just at that point go, I’m done? But it was never an option to me. It was like, okay, I got to redo this. Let’s go. I got to redo this.
Brent – 00:19:07:
Well, you’re a competitor. Yeah. Yeah.
Nicole – 00:19:10:
With myself. With myself. So it was a tough couple of years, but, you know, I was on the road meeting clients, you know, bringing customers in. I never had my own like space. I always went in with my team and sat with them and worked with them. And so, I mean, it was a lot of work. I had a couch in the office and I would sometimes sleep on it. So I didn’t have to. And I remember I went to Walmart one day and I bought some clothes and I like hid them in a drawer. I’m like, I want people to know that it’s my weirdo owner sleeping at the office without a shower. So, I mean, you know, you’re really, really dedicated during that. I still am. We’re almost seven years in and I still am. But it’s a different level of like go mode when you first going. And you have no money. It’s like the worst. You have no money. You’re working your butt off and you’re not getting paid. It was a challenging time. But again, it totally made me feel humble. Had no money, doing all this stuff. I was like, man, that felt so easy before. Now this is freaking tough. But you cut your teeth and it changes over time. And then that first dollar you actually take home, here’s my paycheck, it’s like, no, here’s my $500 paycheck. Now I can actually afford to pay myself.
Brent – 00:20:33:
It’s so funny. The previous episode seven was Desmond Clark, and he played football for the Bears. And so he talked about, this is a professional football player, right? Who achieved the pinnacle. And he said he was as excited about the very first time a shipper gave him a load to move as he was about scoring touchdowns in the NFL. I just love your story. The common things about people that find success is that no matter what, they just refuse to give up. They just won’t give up. My old CEO of the company I worked for used to say, “you can’t beat a person that won’t give up. You just keep going and keep going”. And my dad used to say, “hey, you’re going to get knocked down. The person that wins is the person that keeps getting up. Just keep getting up and showing up every day”. So cool. All right. So, you mentioned that when you were 23, you worked for a small expedite company. So now you founded Candor Expedite. Now, obviously, it’s in the name. So you’re in the expedite part of the marketplace. And one of the cool reasons why, other than I just dearly love you as a friend and being honest, it’s just fun to talk about business and I want people to be motivated by your success story, is that you chose to go into a different segment of transportation that’s very unique and very difficult to work. It doesn’t have near the organizational level that like full truckload freight does. So tell me a little bit about why you decided to stay in the expedite world and where are the highs and lows in that?
Nicole – 00:21:56:
Oh, man, there’s a lot of highs and lows in that. We have evolved from just now we have a couple of different companies, too. But when we started, the whole concept for me was solving something, you know, solving a problem. And you don’t walk in and you don’t go to your TMS and there’s just all these shipments on there that, you know, are part of your routing guide. And November 19th already, you have shipments to plan and carrier sales to move that. Even though I’d been a part of that world, I really liked the idea of solving a problem and bringing a solution. When you say the low, well, it is the hardest way to get a customer, right? You’re going, hi, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. I don’t know what your business is like. But do you ever have something that you really need someone to trust that you don’t even know me and don’t trust me yet? And I’m asking you to have it, right? So it is hard to break through to the customers on that side of things. And again, over time, you start building your credibility. You have testimonials. You have stories and case studies to show how you’ve helped improve supply chains. So it can be really tough when you’re starting off to do that. But then after you establish and you show that you really are what you say that you are. That relationship spins differently, right? Because now you actually are trusted and you are trusted with the most random and hardest things that a shipper will have. And now you’re their go-to. So I’ve seen it and we’ve definitely done it here that those other businesses that I’m talking about that we have now aren’t really customer driven. I didn’t just go, hey, I want to be in this and hey, I want to do this and hey, I want to do that now. There’s a need. Customers have come to us and said, hey, can you do this? So we built out a whole white glove division. So now we have high touch freight that the crazy stuff, go inside six floor genie lifts and like all of these things that are really challenging for shippers. Same thing, we’ll talk about refrigerated freight. We’re stepping into a new sector there. We became TSA certified due to our customers’ requests for air freight. Yeah, so now we’ve built, and again, I know we say expedite rent, but we’ve built even the concept for a customer with how e-commerce is going and the need for really utilizing smart equipment. So tailoring the equipment to the shipments. So now we’ve built utilizing expedited equipment in a non-expedited nature for a customer with milk runs. So it’s allowing them to have more flexibility in their supply chain. You had truckloader, you had LTL and then you had local cartage, right? Now there’s these sorts, there’s transportation centers and there’s different things where there’s middle mile and there’s final mile and the supply chain’s evolving. And so that’s how we’ve been able to evolve our company is based on those changes. But expedite is really tough, you know, and we’re in this really weird spot. You and I talked about this the other day. There’s some companies, they’re teeny tiny in the expedited space where it might be a one man band or a couple of people. And then there’s the companies that have really made it, everything they do. And they could have hundreds of drivers under them and they’ve built the owner operator fleet and their brokerages as well. So we’re like in this middle ground. We’re not huge, but at the same time, we’re not tiny anymore. And so with that is people go, who are your direct competitors? And I’m like, I don’t know. You know, we have a lot of different people in that space. So again, it is challenging, especially right now on the expedited side. I mean, it’s we had automotive makers all on strike. Who do you think is the first group to feel when freight volumes drop? Hey, yo, we’re here. We’re the exits. We’re the need it now. So when companies are cutting their budgets, that’s the first spot that they go. But again, diversifying your business and again, still staying in your niches, you know, not becoming jack of all trade master of none, but still branching. Here’s your main tree. And then building your branches off of it has really been the saving grace because it’s a tough freight market out there right now.
Brent – 00:26:16:
Yeah, no doubt. Thank you for explaining a little bit about why you went into Expedite, but also how you were enhancing your business by other revenue opportunities out there in the market. So the reason I said that is that for a while, especially during the pandemic, when rates were so high, we had a lot of Expedite people coming in the full truckload marketplace, which is all the freight that’s on Truckstop. And they were moving some full truckload freight because the rates were so high. And so I learned a little bit more about the Expedite part of the marketplace then. I’ve got two of my best friends that are in the Expedite business. And so it’s not just you, you’d be the third one. So it’s just a fascinating part of the market that with the Amazon effect in things, it’s beginning to really build out into a super, super big opportunity out there. So one of the coolest things that you and I got to talk about when we were at the ATA show was about how you really saw an opportunity in a marketplace and you started going into what sounded like just fascinating, but super hard to handle, frozen. I’m going to say frozen. Not the movie Frozen, but Frozen aspect part of the business. You got to tell the watchers and listeners a little bit about this part of your business, because what you impressed upon me was you kept looking for new opportunities and this was a new one. And so you just went right where, I’ll do a hockey quote, right where the pup was going to be. So tell a little bit about that, because that is so cool.
Nicole – 00:27:35:
Well, it was during the pandemic, you know, we service a lot of fast food retailers and a lot of food companies. And it came up often where they’re like, hey, I have two skids of frozen beef patties that I have to move. And we would constantly look for refrigerated expedited equipment. And it exists, but it’s not something that’s commonly available because the percentage of freight, most expedited companies can move their equipment more dry. And the cost of entrance is much lower, right, to have a dry unit. So there’s just not a lot of equipment out there. So I worked with one of my longtime buddies who is in supply chain and we found a product and it was like a wrap product. So we were wrapping skids. We brought the wrap out. We tested it with QA, with a bunch of QA test shipments and it worked, but it wasn’t something that we thought would be viable. Like, if it’s hot outside or it’s Texas or it’s…
Brent – 00:28:34:
You’re talking about a wrap that cools things or keeps it frozen, right?
Nicole – 00:28:38:
And it holds it, right? At least utilizes the temperature of the product to sustain it. And that does work for a certain period of time, but it just wasn’t good enough. You know, I wanted something, again, that that’s the whole thing with me. It’s like I get these like, how can I do this? How can I find this? And so I just head down, just kept doing different things, talking to different people, utilizing my network and have found a solution that’s really going to change the way that we are shipping refrigerated goods. So this is a product that is for pallets as well as smaller quantities. So it’s designed really for the pharmaceutical world, which, you know, has to be precise. And it’s been operating for about 13 years in Europe. It’s a ton of research. The incident ratio is under 1% of things going crazy with it. And you basically place your materials inside of this box. That is maintaining the temperature from a cooling mechanism inside the box. It’s all recycled goods, so it’s all on the sustainable approach. And it’s something that a customer, they just get to rent. It’s not like they have to handle the transportation of it or own the actual unit. We do. And so it’s basically a great way to keep products moving through a supply chain fresh and frozen. So now you can actually have really tri-temp shipments without bulkheads and different things. So we’ve done a handful of shipments for food already in the United States. And these goods without dry ice or anything are holding product at the same temperature of fresh or frozen for five days.
Brent – 00:30:23:
Five whole days?
Nicole – 00:30:24:
Five whole days. And our pallets, we did some studies, eight days of not one degree of variance. And the cool part of that is really the technology behind it too. So it’s live. Everything’s live feed on Where’s My Freight, which shippers have to know now. Everybody wants to know, where’s my goods? We all have that from Amazon. I look at my Amazon account going, hey, when can I expect that?
Brent – 00:30:47:
We all do. Yeah.
Nicole – 00:30:48:
Right. So this is to the box or the pallet level. And then you can actually see inside what the temperature is. And then if something goes off course with temperature, you know, we’re all being red alerted to either pull over, get that box or that pallet off the road and make a course correction with it. So it’s just something that’s really state of the art coming to the industry. But that emphasis was seeing a problem and going, okay, I’m going to stay after this. And it’s very exciting to actually have found something and to bring this to the market and to plan on scaling this out on a national level is another new venture for me. You know, a new spot. And I’m learning a ton with it. But it’s just fascinating to see how this can actually happen and change. And it’s all from that concept of who do I know? How can I get something accomplished?
Brent – 00:31:41:
So from the standpoint of the growth of your business, what type of percentage growth are you estimating that this could help your business?
Nicole – 00:31:49:
I actually think it could be off the charts.
Brent – 00:31:52:
Nicole – 00:31:53:
I really do. Because of the interest of it, I mean, we’ve not even really put it out to market yet. We’re going to have a full launch for shippers and manufacturers in January. And we’re already asked by national top 100 brands if we could scale it to a national level. So it’s really exciting to see something that will really impact the supply chain. I mean, think about frozen LTL. So it’s not consistent when you’re talking about planned delivery dates. There’s claims, you know, you have produce, bulkheads. So it’s really eliminating a lot of the issues that are in the marketplace and then also cutting costs significantly. Reducing transit days. I mean, it’s beyond a trifecta of awesome. I think it literally could be where I have to go hang tight because I will never do something that would create an issue for someone. So that can’t always be there to go. Hey, we’re not there yet. But yeah, I think it could be that big.
Brent – 00:32:53:
The pioneers in any part of a growing marketplace, it’s always, you make estimations, you take these risks, you press forward, and then you learn as you go. And you try not to, as I like to say, drive the bus off the cliff. Because you can, with the opportunity, can make you forget to dot your I’s and cross your T’s all the time because you’re growing so fast. That’s one of the problems during the pandemic. People were moving so fast. That was hard for a lot of businesses to grow. So I want to shift a little bit and I want to talk about one of the cool things about you is that you have a real passion to create opportunity for females inside of this industry. And you are always talking about that. And I’m not saying you’re not balanced on, hey, you want to create our opportunity for anyone because it can’t go on in the business as you were before. It wasn’t about one person. It was about creating an opportunity for anyone that wants to take the opportunity because that’s the balance and that’s the type of person you are. But in the end, you are an example for females that want to increase their career, take an opportunity to grow a business or start a business or do those sort of things. So they see you as an example. So you’ve gotten a lot of awards. So you’ve been very well recognized and you’re very well sought after. People want to talk to you and learn from your story. And so I think that’s super awesome. And so I got to say this because it was a really proud moment for Truckstop and with TIA and with Women in Trucking awards you the 2022 Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award. So that was super, super proud moment just for me and for you.
Nicole – 00:34:13:
Super proud moment for me. I didn’t believe that. I was so excited.
Brent – 00:34:18:
Yeah. The past winners of these are all these notable names in the marketplace. And so now you’re one of those notable names in the marketplace. So talk for a couple of minutes about why specifically talking about and encouraging women to succeed inside of this marketplace is important to you.
Nicole – 00:34:35:
When I first got in, so when we talk about when Freight wasn’t cool, I would go into rooms where it would be, me and 60 men, or it would be me, like conferences, maybe five women and 800 men. And I’m not exaggerating. It was very, very male-driven. And then I did watch some women step into the space and try to be vocal and try to be passionate about the business. And they got blocked, you know, was, ooh, she’s tough or this or that. And it bothered me to see that. It’s considered to be a strong male to walk in a room and have a viewpoint and opinion and make change. And it was a challenge for some women. And then I thought as well, like, this is a great spot for women to grow up. And the industry needs women. You just give different viewpoints and you get different emotional intelligence. You get different planning. I mean, all sorts of differences. And again, that’s very like top level men to women concepts. Everybody has their own individual thing. But I just thought during the pandemic, you know, I wanted to start a podcast. So I started one called Ladies Leadership Coalition. And we brought together five business owners in transportation, all different backgrounds, all different modes. And I didn’t think it would go to where it did so far. I mean, there’s no funding. There’s no sponsorship to this. It’s just all of us coming to like want to lift and tell other women’s stories to keep showing women that they have the ability to press forward in this industry. And it’s their time to do that. And also to shine a spotlight on some of these just badass women who are paving ways and they’re unspoken. They’re not winning the award. And I’m trying to challenge people to start being a little bit more out there, you know, putting themselves out there and being a little bit more vulnerable to this industry, because there’s a lot of women who deserve recognition that haven’t gotten it yet. So I think by telling these stories, by networking, mentoring, really how to like go to business or be vulnerable and ask questions that inspires one person to start a business or to do something that they normally wouldn’t think that they could do. I won. I won because that’s what I’m trying to teach is ask outrageously, put yourself out there. So I love the coaching and mentoring of other women, too. The other day we sat down at our leadership table and My COO went, “hey, we’re outnumbered here”. And again, nothing’s ever intentional. It’s just we’re open to all walks of life. It doesn’t even mean women. It means we are focused on being a diverse company. And I think if you’re trying to teach that, you got to live it too. And so it’s just it’s our time, ladies. Let’s jump in and have some fun, right?
Brent – 00:37:30:
I agree. It’s always been my heart to see people have an opportunity to succeed at whatever they choose to go try to succeed in. Now, look, I will say this. You started out in 2000 in this market and it’s 2023. You worked for 23 years. And so it takes time and it takes patience and it takes gumption and it takes integrity and it takes grit. Another great word. Grit means you won’t give up, right? So even when you have to separate from your partner and start all over and sleep on your couch so that you just don’t give up no matter what. And to me, that’s one of the things that I see your story. And I want other people to know your story is that part of finding success is just the continued dedication to pursuing it. And so to me, that’s really what motivates me and why I appreciate your story so tremendously and why I was so glad just to have you on today and for people to hear the story of Nicole Glenn and her life. And to benefit from it. So it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today. You’ve brought such value to Freight Nation, this near and dear to Truckstop and near and dear to me. And so thank you very much for being on today and being a part of Freight Nation. Anything that Truckstop can do to help you forward your endeavor of creating more opportunity for women in logistics, we’re certainly happy to celebrate and support with you. But thank you so much for being on Freight Nation. I’ll let you close with any final statement.
Nicole – 00:38:51:
I will say that if you are interested in starting a business and it’s something that… It’s been a passion for you and you’re trying to really build up the concept behind, please reach out to me. I would love to talk to you independently and help you in any way that I can to make those changes. Males, females, whatever. I’m here for you guys. Just reach out. I’m always on LinkedIn. So thank you too, Brent, for having me on.
Brent – 00:39:13:
Oh my gosh. It’s been fantastic. Well, that’s a wrap Freight Nation. Let’s all thank Nicole Glenn for being on today. She’s been fantastic. And Freight Nation, we exist to help you learn more and try to find success inside of the freight transportation industry. So thanks a lot and join us the next time. On behalf of the Truckstop team, thanks for listening to this episode of Freight Nation. To find out more about the show, head to truckstop.com/podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. Until then, keep on trucking and exploring the open roads with Freight Nation: A Trucking Podcast.