Advanced Transportation & Logistics

Northeast Florida – America’s Logistics Center.

Transportation and Logistics in the Northeast Florida region, offers advanced career opportunities in all four pillars of logistics: rail, air, maritime and highway. Opportunities lie in a wide array of fields including intermodal distribution, third-party logistics, autonomous vehicles and more.

Resources

Advanced Transportation & Logistics Industry Report

Industry Deep Dive

Advanced Transportation & Logistics Overview

Advanced Transportation & Logistics Companies in the Region

Networking is critical. In this industry, everyone knows everyone. You never know who will help you. Be open to opportunity and take on challenges.

Matt RogersSenior Transportation Systems Manager, Kehe

I like knowing I can help. There are tangible results of my efforts. It’s important to know that I’m being useful with my time and that I can have a piece of this huge industry.

Beth WilderMarine Personnel Specialist

Veteran-owned businesses such as Global Freight & Commerce are examples of the talent and dedication of our nation's veterans.
-Marco Rubio

Jesus GarayOwner of Jacksonville’s Global Freight & Commerce

Beth Wilder

Marine Personnel Specialist at TOTE Services

Putting the Puzzle Together: A career transition to Transportation & Logistics

Beth Wilder is a Navy veteran having worked as a mechanic as well as in quality assurance while serving. After transitioning to civilian life, Beth worked multiple jobs to support her three children, one of which brought her to Jacksonville to play football at a top-notch high school. After moving to Northeast Florida, Beth chose Keiser University as she needed flexibility to keep working while pursuing her education. This choice moved her closer to the goal of obtaining a fantastic job that facilitates making worthwhile professional contributions.

Beth chose her studies carefully after considering what mattered most to her and how she can best add value to an organization. Beth spoke with various professors about the transportation and logistics industry and how to maximize her opportunities within it. She heeded their advice to participate in various clubs of genuine interest as well as networking within the industry.

As a result, Beth will graduate from Keiser University with a degree in Business Administration in May 2021 after four years of study and participation in various clubs which provided exposure to employers as well as offered scholarship opportunities. For example, she earned a $2,000 scholarship from Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Northeast Florida which advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry. Involvement in the International Propeller Club, JAX Chapter generated award recognition as well as an interview with TOTE Services.

While still pursuing her degree, Beth obtained a position at TOTE Services as a result of this interview. TOTE Services facilitates ship operations and management of U.S. flag vessels and U.S. government owned vessels. As a Marine Personnel Specialist, Beth processes paperwork ensuring that all people can safely board ships, ensuring adherence to regulations and compliance, and interfacing with the officers to ensure the processing meets their needs. “I love puzzles and I miss the sea. This role is as close as I can get while still ensuring my role as a Mom comes first and still having satisfaction of serving others.”

Beth will start graduate school with a focus on Business Administration in Marketing or Accounting so she can continue career laddering. “I like knowing I can help. There are tangible results of my efforts. It’s important to know that I’m being useful with my time and that I can have a piece of this huge industry.” She also takes advantage of virtual training and educational programs offered by TOTE Services via the Blue Ocean platform.

Trends that Beth anticipates seeing include more ships powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), a move in the maritime industry that began with the company with which she now works and which fueled the world’s first LNG-powered containership in 2015.

She also sees the increase of automated functions with an increased need for specialized personnel to maintain machines. The push for a balanced, happy employee in the industry
is also important, as is instilling confidence and leadership in the next generation of the workforce.

Beth states, “I want people like women and young professionals to feel empowered. Get past the fact that I’m a woman and just think about my abilities. Look at who you are, not what you are. See beyond a demographic.”

Jesus Garay

Owner of Jacksonville’s Global Freight & Commerce

Senator Marco Rubio, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Jesus Garay (pictured left), owner of Jacksonville's Global Freight & Commerce during National Veterans Small Business Week.

After 20 years of active military service, which included 6 combat tours in Iraq and Bosnia, as well as 3 tours in Korea, Jesus Garay started Global Freight & Commerce. Not one to let military retirement in 2014 ease his schedule, Garay has not only started a small business, but lends his time and support to community endeavors. A Jacksonville native, Garay is passionate about investing in real opportunities for the community so that others can have a solid, profitable career. He participates in events such as job fairs, conferences on topics such as Opportunity Zones, and community events like the JAX Chamber's The Longest Table. His abundant energy and commitment to seeing others succeed makes him a valuable entrepreneur in Northeast Florida, as well as an excellent mentor to employees and community members seeking to change their lives.

According to their website, Global Freight & Commerce is a 100% owner-operated trucking company and an industry-freight leader. Owner-operators have the ability to earn above average wages in the industry. Partners include Department of Defense, FEMA, JB Hunt, and Pepsi.

When honoring Garay, Rubio stated, "A member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Global Freight & Commerce is also involved in the community… which provide leadership training to assist and develop the local workforce. Veteran-owned businesses such as Global Freight & Commerce are examples of the talent and dedication of our nation's veterans. I look forward to watching Global Freight & Commerce's continued growth and success."

Matt Rogers

Senior Transportation Systems Manager at KeHe

Formula for Success: Education, Research, Networking, Internships

Matt Rogers, Senior Transportation Systems Manager at KeHE in Elkton, Florida, said, “My Dad taught me that there are three decisions that you can make: the right one, the wrong one, and none at all. “ This advice appears to have guided Matt’s career pathway in the Transportation and Logistics (T&L) industry. Through careful research, making decisions on the educational program most suited to his learning style and area of interest, and being open to industry opportunities and challenges, Matt has found success in the industry in Northeast Florida.

Matt works for KeHE, a national company with a location in St. John’s County. KeHE specializes in order fulfillment and distribution to 30,000 stores in North America with continuing acquisitions. With 550 trucks and 15 North American distribution centers, KeHE is able to provide fresh, natural, and organic specialty foods to companies such as Publix and Sprouts. They serve big box stores to smaller family-owned operations.

Matt’s current role will allow him to improve route visibility. This industry trend incorporates technology and is the result of “The Amazon Effect.” The expectation of knowing when delivery will take place is a customer service issue that also allows businesses to be more responsive. Due to the distance trucks travel to each their many locations, an estimated time of arrival may change depending on traffic, accidents, or a variety of other factors. Matt’s work will involve a device in trucks that provides customers with real-time data and a notification when the driver is 30 minutes away from his or her destination. He previously worked for other regional companies such as Shoreside Logistics, Interstate Distributor, and Interline Brands.

After relocating to Jacksonville in between his junior and senior years of high school, Matt obtained his Associate of Arts degree at FSCJ and attended University of Florida until his Junior year. Matt began investigating the program at the University of North Florida (UNF) and was attracted to the smaller class size. He also realized that he needed to distinguish himself from many other students pursuing a business degree. Matt also realized that his hometown of Jacksonville was a major site of T & L activity encompassing road, rail, sea and air.

In 2008, Matt graduated from UNF with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Logistics and Transportation with a minor in Economics. Studies in this degree track at UNF qualified Matt to register for free and bypass the exam for the Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL), an internationally recognized industry certification.

Matt finds the industry interesting because “It’s so broad. The general public doesn’t understand how T & L impacts everything. The goods that reach families have a supply chain behind it.” Also, the industry is fun because “It’s always different.” Technology changes lend excitement to the industry as well. For example, on the warehouse side, KeHE’s Pick-to-Light capacity means that a light guides a picker to carious aisles and rows that house goods needed for multiple bins. This replaces print-out sheets of the past. Also, voice-to-pick technology provides opportunity for ESL workers, as the system can read orders in their native language.

Working while in school was a key to Matt’s success. In high school, he worked at Publix and realized how close and vast their warehouses were to the region. While at UNF, Matt worked at Medtronic, an opportunity secured through networking. While there, he was able to learn many aspects of the business including warehousing, purchasing, and customer service. This provided valuable cross-training and exposure in the company.

Matt cites the primary characteristics of people who are successful in this industry include thriving in a non-repetitive working environment that is deadline and time sensitive. Someone must be able to pivot quickly and realize that despite planning and strategy, not everything goes according to plan. “You can’t take it personally despite being invested. If something doesn’t work out, learn from it and move on.”

When asked what kind of helpful advice he’d share with individuals seeking to get into this field, Matt said, “Networking is critical. In this industry, everyone knows everyone. You never know who will help you. Be open to opportunity and take on challenges.“ He would encourage students to “work while you’re finishing your degree or secure an internship. If you can reduce debt while in school by working or using Bright Futures, it will pay dividends down the road.”
Clearly, Matt has made many choices and taken specific actions to reach this juncture in his career pathway. Now, you have more information equipping you to do the same.

Joanne Kazmierski

Founder and CEO, Global Business Logistix

By demonstrating determination, perseverance, awareness and belief in herself, entrepreneur Joanne Kazmierski, CTL, is in the driver’s seat of a thriving career.

Kazmierski is CEO of Global Business Logistix, LLC. She founded the Jacksonville- based company in 2014 after working in the port, logistics, supply chain and transportation industries.

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in marketing and transportation/logistics, she established the company to provide project leadership in the international trade and logistics industry with a focus on workforce and economic development. Her customers include nonprofits and educational institutions.

“I love what I do – transportation and logistics feeds my soul,” said Kazmierski, who was named JAX Chamber’s Transportation & Logistics Council’s 2022 Small Business Leader of the Year.

The industry offers dynamic, challenging and fulfilling career opportunities with a wide variety of career trajectories. Transportation focuses on the movement of people and products via road, air, rail and water. Logistics covers a broader scope of activities that facilitate the management of product movement within the supply chain.

Kazmierski earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and initially managed successful multi-family communities. While working to bring bus services to one of her communities, Kazmierski became intrigued by the transportation industry.

Kazmierski spent more than three years as marketing coordinator for Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), the independent agency responsible for public transit in Jacksonville. She then spent 11 years as a community outreach manager at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), Florida’s largest container port by volume and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports.

Kazmierski operates Global Business Logistix as a “solopreneur,” utilizing subconsultants for special project needs. With a global-thinking focus, the consulting company helps businesses and organizations achieve the growth they desire. Global Business Logistix is known for its work with the Florida Supply Chain Summit and offers state and federal grant writing and administration. Diversifying and offering niche services has provided opportunities for the company’s success. Kazmierski to date has written and administered more than $42 million in federal and state grants that serve nearly 10,000 children in Northeast Florida afterschool, summer and food programs.

Global Business Logistix has enjoyed consistent growth over the past eight years, thanks to Kazmierski’s focus on accreditation and professional development. She
earned the internationally recognized Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL) and attends numerous professional development programs.

“To keep yourself relevant, it’s essential to keep your credentials up-to-date and build on your skill set,” Kazmierski said.

Kazmierski credits her success to tenacious networking and encourages everyone to build and maintain their professional network. Her networking includes keeping in contact with former colleagues and making new connections. She frequently volunteers on behalf of industry organizations and also generously gives her time mentoring rising entrepreneurs.

“If you’re going to succeed in this industry, it is vitally important to nurture your network,” Kazmierski said. “If you don’t succeed, you haven’t done your networking well.”