Expeditors International of Washington Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that employs a staff of 13,000-plus and has established a network of more than 250 offices scattered across six continents.
But when the Seattle, Wash.-based logistics company opens its newest office next month in Jackson, Expeditors wants to offer clients a small business-type experience, and is banking that keeping it local will be a winning strategy.
“It’s an old-school approach,” said Spencer Errington, branch manager of the Jackson office that has set its grand opening for March 25 at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evans International Airport’s Mississippi Air Cargo Logistics Center. “It’s about building personal relationships — face to face, shake a hand. We’re excited to be in Jackson, and look forward to growing our presence here.”
Expeditors is relying on young executives Errington and Dustin Winkler, district sales executive for the new Jackson location, to pull off the strategy. Both are native Mississippians — Errington hails from Brookhaven and attended the University of Mississippi while Winkler calls Terry home and is a product of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Expeditors currently has offices in New Orleans and Memphis (the Jackson office is a branch of the Memphis unit), but Errington said the Jackson office will offer Mississippi customers a more convenient and cost-effective location.
Expeditors International of Washington Inc. registered as a single-office ocean forwarder in Seattle in 1979. Two years later, executives Peter Rose and James Wang, who sketched out a business plan on a bar napkin, joined Expeditors along with Glenn Alger. They trio envisioned a one-stop shop for transportation and customs brokerage.
It proved successful. In 1981, Expeditors had only six offices, but subsequently grew to become one of the largest U.S.-based air freight forwarders of goods from the Far East. It entered the Fortune 500 list in 2006 with $4.6 billion in revenue. By 2010, revenues were near $6 billion.
Today, it operates regional headquarters in London, Sao Paulo, Beirut and Shanghai, and offers air and ocean freight consolidation and forwarding, vendor consolidation, customs clearance, cargo insurance, distribution and other value-added logistics services.
During the recent recession, Expeditors made the decision to not lay off a single employee. Errington said that positions the company well to meet growing demand as the economy regains momentum.
“Mississippi is growing. The economy continues to strengthen as exports increase due to the volume of manufacturers who have found a home here. We want to support those manufacturers by providing them excellent, local customer service,” said Kimberly Lovell, Expeditors’ regional manager, sales & market development.
“I feel like that gives us a competitive advantage,” Errington said. “We are now ready to meet our customers’ needs today and tomorrow.”
Lovell said, “Expeditors has always grown organically with the belief that local, client-facing business is the strongest kind. While our competitors move into call centers and further away from their customers, we will continue to move into communities and closer to ours. We are thrilled to be here to serve the people of Mississippi.”
Expeditors’ arrival in Jackson has already turned heads. At its grand opening, Gov. Phil Bryant (guest speaker), Mississippi director for the U.S. Department of Commerce and Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith and other officials are expected to be on hand.
The grand opening will be held March 25 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in suite 15B of the Mississippi Air Cargo Logistics Center. The event will offer lunch and door prizes.
For more on Expeditors, visit www.expeditors.com.