Monday, December 14, 2009

The Many Sights of the Season

We are deeply entrenched in the holiday season, which for me is highlighted by the smiles on the many faces of our children. This year American Expediting is expanding our normal charitable efforts, and has donated our services to an incredible organization called the Kids Wish Network. Through this network, we supported the “Holiday of Hope” program at The Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. This event helps to cheer up between 250 and 300 patients and their siblings, and includes toys, food, and lots of fun.

At American Expediting, we helped to put the smile on faces of many children!

Here are pictures of some of our own children. Let's wish they all remain happy & healthy, and that they sing with joy when they see their holiday gifts. How many company employees can you match to these smiling faces?



KYLE Alana, Jacqueline and Rihanna Victoria, Justin, David jr. Andrew, Zackary, Anthony, Brittany

Cole Nick & Joe Angelina

Monday, December 7, 2009

Customer Service - REALLY?!?

(Substituting for Seth & Amy this week are Glenn & Arlene)
Are there times, in your maddening sleeplessness, that any of you insomniac’s out there catch the Saturday Night Live segment “Weekend Update?” They often run a segment entitled REALLY!?! to express their disbelief and incredulity about the behavior and actions of select celebrities and politicians.

This week’s blog is our take on this skit.

Oftentimes a potential customer will ask “so what makes your company better than your competitor’s?” The answer typically given is “better customer service.” REALLY!?!

What exactly makes it “better?” Are the people answering their telephones friendlier, more courteous? Are they more knowledgeable about the business and the needs of its customers? More helpful?

Every courier business in the world will claim that they and they alone have the best customer service. Now really, is that possible? REALLY?

Of course not, but there is exemplary service, the type of service practiced by American Expediting. We, herewith, offer you two REAL WORLD examples of that exemplary customer outreach.

The first: one of our large warehousing customers arranged to have nine pallets of toys delivered via a local trucking company to our New Jersey site for our later distribution. The delivery arrived late in the day, later than scheduled. It also arrived in a 53-foot trailer rather than a truck! The hat trick came when the unloading began: the nine pallets destined for our warehouse were buried deep behind 40 other pallets!

What this meant was extra hours of labor for Jenn Dillon, the Operations Manager, who was also pulled away from her usual day’s work. For Dillon and staff, it turned into a very late night, but when asked, “what is the billable surcharge for your additional time?” Dillon answered, “nothing. It wasn’t the customer’s fault.”


Another example of American Expediting exemplarity involves a key customer with an urgent request called in at 10 p.m. His retail display had to be delivered to a shopping mall that night…two nights before the year’s busiest shopping day of the year. It required loading a 10-foot long, 6-foot wide and 5-foot high skid loaded onto our truck and then unpacking it at its destination, piece by numerous piece and hand-trucking each into the store.

The challenge was finding a driver who had not exceeded working the maximum hours allowed for the day, and also one who was available late at night and able to deliver out of state. Philadelphia Operations Manager, Michael Murphy, quickly developed and activated a plan to have a fresh driver pick up a truck from a driver who’d met the maximum work hours. The new driver then drove to our NJ-based warehouse for the display, which he subsequently delivered to a Delaware store. When most competing courier companies were deep in sleep, American Expediting was on the road tending to our customer’s needs.


This is true customer service exemplified, not just verbalized. This is why for over 27 years American Expediting has expanded from a single location in Philadelphia to a national organization serving customers from Coast to Coast.

It is why we receive emails from customers like John Paiva at Fast Trac Transportation, who wrote:
“Mike pulled out a last minute miracle on the mall job last night that really
impressed my customer. Please thank him for me as I know you were short-
handed and he really had to put some extra effort in to get it done. I really
appreciate it!”

But that IS what American Expediting does…makes the extra effort on a daily basis to help our customers complete their deliveries and keep their businesses as profitable as possible.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble, Gobble


As we sit at our Thanksgiving feasts, and ponder all that we are truly thankful, let’s not forget what truly makes us happy. Is it family? Your friends? Could it be your job? How about the fact that you are not one of those 10% of American’s that don’t have a job?

Getting to know my co-workers over the past months has been a fascinating experience. We have incredibly talented individuals, both at work and in their personal lives. Whether they are giving up their holiday to make sure that critical medical packages are being delivered, or they are volunteering in their local soup kitchens to feed those less fortunate, the American Expediting team has much to be proud.

In honor of my co-workers, I am making a $500 donation to a local charity. Your help is needed to determine the recipient, so anyone who reads this blog over the next 5 days, please email me your choice from the following; (1) Philabundance – Local Soup Kitchen, (2) Ronald McDonald House, (3) Make-A-Wish Foundation, (4) St.Judes, or (5) Equally Split amongst all four.

Thank everyone of you for your support and friendship!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Helping to Save Lives

This article was originally written 2 weeks ago, but has been delayed because I came down with the Swine Flu, which led to Bronchitis. There was a time that I was so sick that I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. In the back of my mind I knew about the experimental drug that is spoken about in this blog, which did give me a sense of comfort.

You can always tell the visitors to Manhattan, especially in the area of Times Square where flocks of tourists gawk bright-eyed at the glittering avenue of lights, stiff necks craning to see it all. It’s a fascination I understand. Even though I’ve lived in that city, I still find myself captivated by the spectacle, especially by two of the present-day signs of the times: The National Debt Counter and the Carbon Counter.

In my crazy mind, I see another disturbing tickers among those tracking the national debt and deadly carbon levels; a running tally of the numbers of victims from the H1N1 flu here and around the world.

With the arrival of the fall season and the subsequent onset of the much-feared H1N1 Flu virus, some of our more vulnerable citizens are finding themselves critically ill and unable to fight off the disease. On October 29th, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed over 1,170 deaths worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States reports over 600 victims to date.

There is an expression stating that “if you saved one life, it is as if you have saved the world.” For those of you unfamiliar with American Expediting Company, this sums up a large percentage of the deliveries we’re called upon to do. As of November 9th, we have helped to save 36 lives this month alone. It is a task we perform on a routine basis.

Over the course of our 27 years of operation, we have carved a niche for ourselves in the “medical” transportation industry. Our portfolio of customers includes the country’s best known and most respected hospital systems, blood banks, medical equipment companies, and medical laboratories. We have rushed a replacement heart to a surgical center, as well as blood to avert a national crisis. And, much like an emergency room team, when we are called, we activate with speed to ensure a quick, secure delivery.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed to the “emergency” use of a drug for certain hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected H1N1 influenza. This is an experimental antiviral drug to treat severe cases of H1N1 or Swine flu, and is being tested by the FDA for their approval.
So, how does American Expediting Company fit into this picture? How does it jibe with our slogan that “we help save lives?”
Along with our transportation partner, our offices in both Baltimore and Philadelphia are picking up this life saving medicine from health services facility in Perry Pointe, Maryland. We are required to either rush directly to the airport to get packages onto the next flight servicing hospitals across the country, or directly drive them to hospitals without immediate service from airports. Whether it be a late night drop off to Northern Rhode Island, or a remote West Virginia hospital not serviced by an airport, we deliver safely and as fast as is legally possible.
Next time you find yourself in the Big Apple, look up at those billboard counters, and imagine among them yet another tally board with ever increasing numbers counting the number of people saved, and the slogan beneath it proclaiming “AT AMERICAN EXPEDITING, WE HELP TO SAVE LIVES!”

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.

When meeting with our potential customers, the question inevitably arises, “so tell me about American Expediting.” I find this an incredibly difficult task, because we are so much more than a 26 year old company started by an entrepreneurial Wharton graduate. We are over 30 individual corporate owned offices with 100’s of individuals working hard to take care of our customers. To truly know AE would mean to delve into the hearts of each one of these individuals. The first person that I would like to introduce to you is Mr. Bob Caraballo, Operations Manager for our Orlando office.

Bob was born in Brooklyn (GO YANKEE’S), NY the youngest son of a Pastor and mother who worked for the NYC Board of Education. After graduating with a business degree from a local college, Bob began his career working in Transportation/Administration division of Polo/Ralph Lauren. This segued into an Operations Management opportunity in NYC, which he held for 10 years.

In 1994, after the passing of his father, he moved his family to Orlando in order to take care of his mother. With the experience he had in New York City, he easily landed a management position for a local courier. After 10 years of getting to know the local market, building relationships with customers, and drivers, he brought his expertise to American Expediting.

Upon his arrive at AE he quickly grew our fleet threefold and increased business enough to create a need for a larger warehouse facility. He currently manages over 30 drivers on a daily basis with the capacity to quickly deliver anything from a small package to the airport (TSA Approved), all the way up to straight truck deliveries moving 1000’s of pounds.

To truly understand Bob and why he is successful, we need to look into what exactly makes him tick. In addition to being a man with strong family values, raising his two children with his wife Karla, he has recently followed his father’s footsteps and has taken on part time Pastoral duties. In January of this year he was ordained into the ministry, and is now the Pastor of a church in Winter Springs Florida.

If you are looking for a man you can trust, whom always puts others needs in front of his own, and is truly grateful for your business, then Bob is your guy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Evolution of Online Order Entry

Remember the days of the first fax machines? Opening the office door only to find a long roll of paper towel-like paper (better known as thermal fax paper) spread all over your floor? How about running out to buy the newest model because it offered an automatic paper cutter, or a few years later running out for the state of the art machine that used plain paper? Yes, it was only 25 years ago that we were introduced to the first form of online order entry enabling customers to place orders electronically rather than through a customer service representative.

The fax machine still exists but is quickly being replaced with a computerized version known as Online Order Entry and Online Order Tracking.

In the early days of courier customer service, customers wanting to track the progress of their deliveries telephoned a company representative for an update. Today, placing orders and receiving updates from American Expediting is as easy as clicking on our website: .

Not only does this facilitate the placement of orders, it also allows our customers to get vital information on their orders in seconds. As a result, our customers can conduct their work more efficiently and effectively.

Recently, we added incredible features to our online service under the section entitled REPORTS. These value-added features take us to the next level of customer service, specifically:

*Order Summary – displays the order numbers, dates placed, names of callers, quantities, and
pickup, and delivery points.
*Order Charges – describes the type of job, including package weight, vehicle used, mileage, and
cost of each job.
*Delivery Manifest – contains name of assigned driver and special notes on the delivery, i.e. “ok
to leave on front porch.”
*Service Report – offers the expected time of delivery, actual time delivered, and the person
who signed for the delivery.
*Route Activity – details the individual stops within a specific route.
*View Invoices – duplicates the paper or electronic invoice for the job.

We’ve also added a higher level of security for your organization so that only employees with the correct passwords will have access to any or all of these specific reports. You may want to allow your accounting department access to your company invoices, but not your branch offices. With the ability to add up to 60 different Users to your company’s online account, you can also give your customers a unique sign-on to track the progress of their shipments.

While our customers in the medical field have been the first to adopt the online systems, we are quickly finding many new clients insisting on this feature including law offices, production facilities, print shops, office supply distributors and web retailers.

For those that have not yet adopted our quick and easy system, call us about it…we’ll be happy to set you up. Rest assured, we still accept telephone and fax orders although the rolls of paper-towel-like paper have been donated to the Smithsonian Institute for their archives.

Friday, August 28, 2009


A recent advertising campaign featured the tagline “I got people.” Well, at American Expediting, we “got” people too, from the drivers who go beyond deliveries for our clients to our hands-on president, Vic Finnegan who envisioned and created a company driven by customer service. It’s those people and their commitment to that vision who have made American Expediting the respected and reputable business that it is.

We offer the following story from our Cleveland regional office as an example of the seemingly small but very significant and appreciated extras everyone in the company does that make it such a valued vendor among our customers.

Char Schraibman, a sales representative for PLUS Diagnostics, a pathology laboratory, had a delivery of packages containing the results of time-sensitive specimens which had to reach their New Jersey facility quickly. Deliveries of this type are critical to patients awaiting word on their health and subsequent treatment.

Unfortunately, after the American Expediting driver, Pat Chapman received the package and was headed for the airport, Schraibman discovered that each package had been mislabeled. They were addressed to a new PLUS Diagnostics location which had yet to be occupied. She immediately contacted Lou Flowers, the Operations Manager in the Cleveland office, explaining the crisis. Flowers, in turn, contacted Chapman and arrangements were made for him to wait for Schraibman by the side of the road.

When she arrived with a fistful of correct mailing labels, she found Pat patiently waiting. He continued to wait with her as she painstakingly readdressed each package then he hoofed it to the airport, ensuring all the packages were on the overnight plane to New Jersey.

Was Schraibman appreciative?

Yes, as always, although this latest action was just another piece of the broader service she enjoys daily from the Cleveland people. Service, she notes, in which one driver, Bob Beach, takes treats of candy to her clients during his medical pick-ups and service that includes check-up calls from Flowers to her daily pick-ups when they’ve failed to call. It all adds up to that special, personal touch which enhances the courier experience shared by Schraibman and her clients; a warm experience that induced her to write: “I will transfer over every account I can to American Expediting.”

Are we proud? You bet we are. We too can boast that we “got” people…admirable ones at that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Up, Up, and Away" - Helping to Save Lives

What's that you hear in the distance? Is that the sound of a horn? Many years ago, while working as an intern, my boss taught me an important lesson. Toot your own horn, because nobody will do it for you. Last week, my company provided a service to a customer that bears tooting. Now this customer has a clearer understanding of our company slogan "AT AMERICAN EXPEDITING, WE HELP TO SAVE LIVES."

When Winslow Dialysis in Sicklerville, New Jersey needed a courier in a pinch, they called American Expediting. As their name indicates, Winslow is a dialysis treatment center, a life-saving procedure for renal patients. Days earlier, they ran out necessary solution to perform their treatments. After exercising all of their options for borrowing from any nearby clinics, Winslow's limited supply was done. With patients scheduled for their needed afternoon appointments, Winslow contacted their existing courier at 11:10AM requesting an emergency fulfillment and rush of the solution stored at the courier's location 40 miles away. After being informed that the delivery couldn't be made until 7:00PM, and knowing their clients couldn't wait one more day for their treatment, Winslow contacted American Expediting. We immediately dispatched out of our Westville, NJ office, and had the delivery complete by 1:20PM.

In an email sent by Mr. Joe Peters of Winslow Dialysis following receipt of his package. In it he writes, "It is great to work with a company that has a Can-Do philosophy. Thank you Sherry and your drivers again for saving us from what could have been a very bad situation.

"Imagine now, you are listening to Louis Armstrong belting out his famous rendition of WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD. Beats hearing the bugler playing TAPS any day of the week.
Labels: American Expediting

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

H1N1 Pandemic Precautions


Along with the daily breaking news coming from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and our local medical facilities, American Expediting is preparing for a potential flu outbreak projected to hit in late October. Health officials project that up to 45% of the population will be affected by this virus, fortunately most of us will come down with a minor strain, and won’t even know that we were affected.
American Expediting is adapting from the various health safety policies being adopted by our local health and government offices. Our number one concern is that we will be able to service our medical customers during a pandemic. To do so without delay, and to assure that a plan is in action for covering both daily routes and STAT deliveries we are initiating procedures including;
Stage One:
*All local offices will be stocked with disposable gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer.
*Local Operation Managers will monitor any local warnings and closings of
local schools.
Stage Two: In the event that a local school district is closing, the following precautions occur;
*All company management, sales staff, and support staff will be asked to be ready
to take over deliveries.
*They and their households will be asked to avoid exposure by avoiding crowded
public places, i.e. Shopping Malls, Sporting Events, Airplanes, etc.,
*Most importantly, we require that any employee who gets sick, stay at home.

Our goal is to keep our organization physically healthy, so that our customers can continue to rely on us throughout the influenza season. If you would like further information on the Pandemic Flu, please visit

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finding Humanity from Inhumanity

Where were you when planes hit the twin towers on 9/11? I bet you know exactly where you were standing, who was with you at the time, and what was the first thing you did afterwards. Did you run to a television, call your family, cry? Shortly thereafter, the American public began to learn of the sea of humanity that arises amongst the ashes. Stories of real people giving of their time to feed the rescuers, philanthropists funding the families, etc.

This past Tuesday, August 4Th, an insane man (unmentioned by name on purpose) entered the aerobics studio of a suburban Pittsburgh fitness center, and decided to seek revenge for his sad existence, by shooting and killing innocent woman. Moments after the last bullet rang out, the news began to spread, so that within minutes, practically every person in the city was aware of this tragedy.

We are starting to hear about the sea of humanity that is born out of this tragedy. I for one would much rather read about these loving and caring people who rise up to give, than about the miserable life of the killer who empowered himself to take away beautiful souls. Here is one that comes directly from my company, American Expediting, that we need to publish.

As one of the largest couriers in Pittsburgh, with a core part of our business serving the local blood banks, we know our way around an emergency. When the news hit on Tuesday night, three individual drivers from our company volunteered to transport blood to the local hospital receiving the injured victims. Knowing that the hospital probably didn't inventory the needed supply of any one blood type, and that time was critical, they jumped into their cars without hesitation. Mark Roberts, Mark Kotarides, and Richard Bailey were not working at the time, but knew that they could possibly make a difference. While driving, they called into dispatch, and asked where to go to volunteer their services.

I for one am proud of these gentleman. Of their instinct to give to others, and their hearts of gold. We will never know if they were part of saving lives, but we do know that they put the concern for others in front of their own, and that these are the type of people we should be reading about. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, next time you see them making a delivery, shake their hand, and thank them for showing their Humanity.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Winning Team

Introducing the Winning Team....our Pittsburgh PA sales office enjoys a lunch meeting in a restaurant owned by Jerrome Bettis, retired running back for the Steelers. Drill Sargent Glenn parachuted into the office last week in order to work with the team on implementing SalesForce CRM into their daily practice. In addition to American Expediting's utilization of technology in Customer Service and Dispatch (online order tracking & order processing), AE recently invested in stepping up their professionalism within their sales team by rolling out SalesForce on July 1st.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I've always liked the public speaker who started off with a laugh, so here we go with a story (or Urban Legend) from the Courier business..........

A Courier was dispatched to the airport to pick-up a regular air shipment of mice for a local testing laboratory. Now for those of you who have been in the business of lab mice, you know that these critters can cost $2,500 each, and up to $10,000. Unfortunately, the inbound flight was severely delayed, so that by the time the driver arrived at the delivery location, the doors were locked. Unable to reach the client for directions, the driver used his best discretion by bringing the crate of 50 mice to his home, where he knew that the controlled climate would best be suited for their survival.

At the crack of dawn the next morning, this conscientious driver checked in on his little friends, and was devastated to see that all 50 had gone to a better place...heaven. Here is where the story gets interesting. The driver takes the 50 mice to his local pet store, and matches up color for color a new batch of mice. Not exactly laboratory grade, especially since he got a deal for under $100.

Thirty minutes later the dispatcher receives a call from the client. "You have to tell me exactly what your company did after picking up our crate." Innocent to the drivers sly antics, he reads off the details of the delivery. "No, you don't understand, a real miracle occured and we need your help to find out how it happened." You see, the driver unknowing picked up 50 dead mice to be tested, and replaced them with 50 live ones.

I've been laughing for weeks. Hope you enjoyed this first post, and invite you to come back to visit for industry knowledge on finding a courier in your market, technology being offered to the courier industry, and also for a few laughs.