The Impact of Women-Owned Logistics and Supply Chain Businesses

Although there are still too few women-owned supply chain and logistics companies, more women are leading their logistics companies to new heights and improving their communities. DSC Logistics, Kenco, Langham Logistics, and Rush Trucking are part of this new breed. They are all businesses run by women that were established over 25 years ago when women working in supply chain businesses was a true anomaly.

If you are reading this blog, you probably know the Fortune 1000 CEO interest in the logistics and supply chain sectors is high. Elements such as transportation, distribution, supply chain costs, and efficiencies are a quarterly topic in most company boardrooms mainly because of the meteoric pace of e-commerce. These boardrooms are slowly starting to see more women not only at the table but running the show.

The largest female-owned logistics company in the world, Kenco, is a household name in logistics circles. Under the leadership of Jane Kennedy Greene, Kenco has done more than just be among the best; they’ve also revolutionized the market with The Innovation Lab, which seeks out innovative logistics solutions. Aria Logistics is another female-owned enterprise that is pushing logistics further and further. Recently, they’ve partnered with a BiTA to discover and contribute new technological best practices to the industry at large.

Langham Logistics, an asset for warehousing and freight forwarding business owned by Cathy Langham and both a certified Women-Owned Business (WOB) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE), has grossed almost $700 million in revenues with 6,800 customers using more than 8,900 vendors over the last 32 years. They have 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space around the country as well as a fleet of trucks. Langham has impacted more than 650 families. This is a long-standing business that did things the hard way, by bootstrapping the company from the beginning without the help of venture capital. The owners didn’t take salaries until checks were received from satisfied customers and all of the employees were paid.

Langham had some fantastic partners, friends, and team members over the years who invested in, believed in, and helped grow the logistics company into a team that adds value to their customers and makes a difference for their communities. There are tons of instances where someone’s belief in Langham made all the difference. Jerry Carter from Carter Truck Line once leased three dock doors and 700 square feet of dock space to Ms. Langham for $300 per month more than thirty years ago. Harry Kasdorf from Eli Lilly, John Parker from Cummins Engine and Roland Dorson from Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce all believed in Langham Logistics from its infancy. Without their help and support, Langham would not be the company it is today. Langham returns the favor by making substantial contributions to charitable causes and nonprofits in the community. Langham helps their community and customers whenever possible, and also, without even really knowing it, developed a culture of paying it forward and paying it back.

What do all of these successful WBE logistics companies have in common? They are all leading with a focus on the intersection of strategic direction, customer relationships, civic leadership, and community involvement. They are dedicated to driving job creation and building workplace cultures that encourage high levels of employee engagement. While female representation remains low in logistics and supply chain businesses, these women-owned logistics companies give us cause to celebrate.