The 150 Business Challenge, a collaborative initiative between Expediter Services and the Women In Trucking Association, continues to demonstrate consistent growth while delivering small business ownership opportunities for women in trucking.

Expediter Services, a leader in capacity solutions and ownership opportunities within the trucking industry, is pleased to join the Women In Trucking Association in announcing that the collaborative initiative between the two organizations to create 150 women-owned businesses in transportation is fast-approaching 75 new trucking start-ups. In reaching the halfway mark in a little more than a year following the program’s official launch at Women In Trucking’s 2017 Accelerate Conference, the 150 Business Challenge has become a proven platform that offers accessible financing as well as operational and business support for women who have an interest in a career path within the trucking industry.

Expediter Services (ES) first proposed the 150 Business Challenge to Women In Trucking last fall. The program, which utilizes the infrastructure and expertise that ES has developed in more than a decade of providing ownership opportunities within the trucking industry, immediately captured the interest of Forward Air and Panther Premium, a Service of ArcBest. These two leading transportation companies became the primary participating carriers for the program, and both carriers have benefited from the addition of non-asset capacity in a driver market that, according to the latest industry estimates, has a shortage in excess of 50,000 people behind the wheel.

The 150 Business Challenge follows the proven working model that ES utilizes in offering truck ownership opportunities and assisting the program participants in establishing profitable small businesses through a variety of support mechanisms found within the ES Community. Professional drivers interested in the ES truck ownership programs, like the 150 Business Challenge, go through a screening and qualification process, including an evaluation period. In addition to looking at work history, it is during the evaluation period program that participants are given the opportunity by ES to demonstrate their attitude, their aptitude and their work ethic. The company’s process for qualifying truck ownership program participants is unique because it places a greater emphasis on a driver’s work history over a traditional credit score. ES offers qualified participants competitive, market-rate financing for professional drivers seeking to own trucks from the leading equipment brands in the industry.

“We believed that the 150 Business Challenge could help to make a difference in our industry, and it’s been amazing to witness what has taken place in the past year. As an organization, we could not be more pleased with the results coming out of this program,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association. “The 150 Business Challenge has become a true source of empowerment and opportunity for women in the trucking industry. One of the obstacles that Women In Trucking is working to address is to get women involved as business owners in the trucking industry, and the 150 Business Challenge offers the ideal launching platform for those women who have the drive and desire to establish or expand their own transportation operations.”

“One of the founding principles of our company is to be of service and to provide opportunities to people. As we developed our truck ownership programs, we took note of the hurdles women have faced in trucking from a financial standpoint when looking to start a business. By working with Ellen and her team at Women In Trucking and by partnering with Forward Air and Panther Premium/ArcBest, we believed that we could help open the doors to more women-owned businesses while bringing additional capacity into the industry,” said Jason Williams, President of Expediter Services. “One of the most rewarding parts of the 150 Business Challenge for our team at ES has been the opportunity to work with the amazing people coming into the program. It’s been a thrill for us to see these small businesses get started, achieve success and grow.”

The small businesses that have been established through the 150 Business Challenge have established a solid track record of success and growth. According to officials at ES, this group of small businesses started through the 150 Business Challenge are generating a combined revenue total well in excess of $1.5 million per month. Participants have their choice of operating their trucks within expedited, truckload or LTL through Panther Premium and Forward Air.

“ES has been the ideal partner for helping us bring the 150 Business Challenge to life and making truck ownership opportunities readily accessible for women. They are providing opportunities and options that best fit a person’s needs. What’s great about the approach that ES takes is that they offer a comprehensive set of services that are dedicated to ensuring the best opportunity for the success of small businesses. ES focuses on the bottom line, providing the kind of support that start-up businesses need to be consistently profitable,” said Voie. “ES goes well beyond financing the trucks and providing access to outstanding network discounts. What makes ES truly stand out is the commitment the ES team has to answering questions and to meeting needs of business owners. They truly care and about the participants and the families in their programs. It’s been very clear to us since the 150 Business Challenge was launched that ES is sincerely invested in the success of everyone involved in the program. ES is dedicated to providing people with the opportunity to improve their lives.”

According to ES officials, while the program closed November with just under 70 total start-ups that have utilized the 150 Business Challenge, the number of deals in the pipeline and the ongoing discussions with professional drivers interested in operating their own small trucking businesses have the program on track to surpass 75 start-ups in early January.

“As we begin our second year with this program, we’re ready for the continued growth we expect to see,” said Williams, who also serves on the board of the Women In Trucking Association. “For our team at ES, this a grass-roots effort that we approach one person at a time, one business at a time, one truck at a time.”

About Expediter Services: A full-service, one-stop support company with expertise in financial services, relationship lending and general business support, Expediter Services has developed highly effective programs focused on creating opportunities for independent contract drivers and owner-operators in the trucking industry. ES features support in the areas of contract driver services, equipment finance, truck sales, management services and insurance services. In addition to serving as the leading provider of capacity in the expedited sector of trucking, ES also has built a strong network of independent contract drivers, owner-operators, fleet owners and partner carriers within the over-the-road, general trucking sector of the transportation industry. For more information on opportunities in expedited transportation, visit ExpediterServices.com. For information on opportunities in general trucking, visit SuccessInTrucking.com.

About Women In Trucking Association, Inc.: Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Michelin North America, Arrow Truck Sales,Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Expediter Services, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.