MODE TransportationAnnounces Appointment of Lance Malesh as President & Chief Executive Officer and Jim Damman as Chairman

DALLAS, TX November 4, 2020 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”), a leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics provider, announced today that Lance Malesh has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Jim Damman, who has led the Company as President & CEO for over 15 years, has been appointed Chairman of the company.

These actions are the result of a carefully planned leadership succession process undertaken by Damman and the Board to ensure the continued success of MODE for years to come.  Damman and Malesh will be working closely together to execute a comprehensive transition plan. Following the transition, Damman will continue to work with Malesh and the Board to drive the strategic agenda for the business. 

Jim Damman was named President of MODE in 2004. “On behalf of the entire MODE organization, we want to thank Jim for his leadership and dedication to MODE’s agent, customer and carrier partners over the last 16 years,” said Daniel Gluck, Managing Director at York Capital. “During his tenure, the Company consistently expanded its agent and customer relationships, more than tripling revenues to over $2 billion. We are excited to welcome Lance to the company and look forward to him perpetuating MODE’s strong growth and leadership in the transportation and logistics industry.”

Lance Malesh is an accomplished senior executive with 20 years of experience in technology, operations, sales, and marketing. Combining his extensive experience, along with a hands-on management style, he has helped companies implement new technologies and business strategies that have driven growth and profitability. Malesh most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer for BDP International and previously was President / CEO of BridgeNet Solutions.

“I am pleased to announce Lance’s appointment to the President & CEO role following a comprehensive search,” said Jim Damman, “It was important to me to find a strong successor to lead the great people at MODE Transportation into the future, and I am confident that Lance will accomplish great things at MODE. I look forward to working with him and the Board in my new role.”  Lance Malesh said,“Jim and the MODE organization have a rich history, and I look forward to working with the team and partners to help build upon the strong foundation that is in place.”

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We areClosely Monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As a valued member of the MODE Transportation (MODE) family, we appreciate the trust you place in us and our people for your transportation services.

At MODE, the safety of our Customers and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are actively engaging the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government agencies as the situation evolves.

We understand the importance of your operations and are working diligently in effort to minimize disruptions associated with COVID-19.   You can rely on us to quickly announce any necessary adjustments to procedures or operations.  Information is more important than ever. We commit to share updates with you quickly, with full transparency and, as always, with your freight’s safety foremost in mind.

Personal Safety Recommendations

We recommend the CDC’s website as a resource for ways that our Customers and Employees can best protect themselves from becoming ill. Most importantly, Customers and Employees are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes if handwashing is unavailable.

Ongoing Updates

MODE is committed to taking care of our customers. In the event we implement changes to operations or procedures, including requiring MODE employees to work remotely, we will work expeditiously to keep you updated with the most current information. Important details will remain available via social media.

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MODE Transportationand SunteckTTS have Combined, Creating a Leading Multimodal Logistics Provider with over $2 Billion of Revenue

DALLAS, TX December 10, 2019 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of SunteckTTS Inc. (“SunteckTTS”).  The two companies are leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics providers that combined will facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate over $2 billion of revenue.

The combined Company will offer a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The Company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper, and carrier communities.

“MODE and SunteckTTS together will create one of the strongest and most customer-focused multimodal 3PLs in the industry,” said Jim Damman, CEO of MODE Transportation.  “We are excited to leverage our combined talent and expertise to bring an enhanced suite of capabilities and creative solutions to our customers, agents and carriers.”

“Since the announcement of the combination of MODE and SunteckTTS, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our employees, agents, carrier partners and shippers. We are excited about our new team and capabilities and look forward to integrating our platforms and gaining the benefits of this industry changing transaction,” said Ken Forster, President and COO of MODE Transportation (formerly CEO of SunteckTTS).

MODE is a privately held portfolio company of funds affiliated with York Capital Management. MODE received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. SunteckTTS is a portfolio company of funds affiliated with Comvest Partners, who will continue to own an interest in the company following the completion of the transaction. SunteckTTS was advised by Piper Jaffray and McDermott Will & Emery.  

About MODE Transportation

Founded in 1989, MODE Transportation is a leading North American third-party transportation and logistics company. MODE serves more than 3,500 customers across a diverse set of end markets and modes of transportation. MODE has relationships with over 35,000 carriers and operates from over 100 offices throughout North America. The Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX.

About York Capital

York Capital Management is a global private investment firm that was established in 1991.  The firm manages approximately $18 billion in assets across public and private investment strategies, including its private equity platform, the York Special Opportunities Fund.  York Capital employs approximately 60 investment professionals and 200 total employees globally, primarily in New York, London and Hong Kong.

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $4.7 billion. Today, Comvest’s funds have over $3.7 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance.

For more information about MODE Transportation, visit www.modetransportation.com

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MODE Transportationand SunteckTTS to Combine, Forming a Leading Multimodal Logistics Provider with over $2 Billion of Revenue

DALLAS, Nov. 18, 2019/PRNewswire –MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”) and SunteckTTS Inc. (“SunteckTTS”), two leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics providers, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the transaction, MODE will acquire SunteckTTS, with both businesses operating under the MODE brand name going forward. The Company will facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate over $2 billion of revenue.

The new Company will offer a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The Company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper, and carrier communities.

Following completion of the merger, Jim Damman, President & CEO of MODE, will serve as CEO of the Company and Ken Forster, CEO of SunteckTTS, will serve as President & COO. The expanded leadership team will include senior executives from both MODE and SunteckTTS.

“In today’s increasingly competitive logistics market, the importance of scale, service diversity, and technology cannot be overstated. The combination of MODE and SunteckTTS provides new and existing agents, shippers, and carrier partners a significantly enhanced platform positioned for the future,” said Ken Forster, CEO of SunteckTTS.

“We are very excited to announce this transaction with SunteckTTS. Our two companies are built on a similar culture of outstanding customer service. The addition of SunteckTTS’ robust agent, product and customer base further strengthens MODE’s broad diversity of service offerings, while continuing to position MODE as a premium provider of technology-driven logistics,” said Jim Damman, CEO of MODE Transportation.

“This transaction represents an important milestone in MODE’s history,” continued Damman. “A year ago, we launched an initiative to identify strategic acquisition opportunities that would strengthen the MODE platform and enable us to continue to improve the best-in-class service and capabilities we provide to our customers. We look forward to welcoming SunteckTTS as we continue to execute on this strategy going forward.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close by the end of December.

MODE is a privately held portfolio company of funds affiliated with York Capital Management. MODE received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. SunteckTTS is a portfolio company of funds affiliated with Comvest Partners, who will continue to own an interest in the company following the completion of the transaction. SunteckTTS was advised by Piper Jaffray and McDermott Will & Emery.  

About MODE Transportation

Founded in 1989, MODE Transportation is a leading North American third-party transportation and logistics company. MODE serves more than 3,500 customers across a diverse set of end markets and modes of transportation. MODE has relationships with over 35,000 carriers and operates from over 100 offices throughout North America. The Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX.

About SunteckTTS

SunteckTTS operates as a multi‐modal transportation solutions provider through a network of sales, operations and capacity specialists. The company offers a business process outsource program through which independent agents represent SunteckTTS in the freight transportation marketplace. This agent network services shippers throughout the United States and Canada.

About York Capital

York Capital Management is a global private investment firm that was established in 1991.  The firm manages approximately $18 billion in assets across public and private investment strategies, including its private equity platform, the York Special Opportunities Fund. York Capital employs approximately 60 investment professionals and 200 total employees globally, primarily in New York, London and Hong Kong.

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $4.7 billion. Today, Comvest’s funds have over $3.7 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance.

For more information about MODE Transportation, visit www.modetransportation.com.

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Training Tuesday:Tips for a Great First Impression

The initial approach to a prospect is the most crucial part of the sales presentation.  All the selling skills in the world won’t matter if you don’t get your foot in the door. First impressions are lasting impressions. You can’t win everyone over with a single script designed to handle the first few minutes. Below are some of our top tips for the initial approach.

1.Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can win the prospect’s confidence, you’ll self-destruct in the opening moments of your first sales call. You also must believe in your company and the services you sell. If you don’t have a belief in your services, how can you expect your prospect to believe in what you’re offering?

2. Develop and maintain a positive attitude. Give the prospect a nice, warm, genuine smile. Show that you appreciate their time and willingness to meet with you. Be sincere. Sincerity wins customers – insincerity loses customers and prospective customers.

3. Be professional. Dress professionally and maintain a clean appearance. Shake hands firmly, but don’t overdo it. Make an impression of strength and steadiness, but don’t use an obnoxious amount of force, or shake for an overly long time, as that can make the prospect uncomfortable. Part of this consistent and professional front is also being prompt. Lateness tells the prospect you don’t respect his or her time.

4. Be likeable. Be conversational and use humor early. Likeability is the key to building a connection with your prospect, and that will help you make more sales.

5. Qualify the buyer early, preferably before your first face-to-face meeting. Know the prospect’s industry and business before you make the call. It is important that you know who the decision maker is and make your presentation to

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LTL 101:Reconsignment & Fees

Reconsignment – Here’s a shipping term that you might be familiar with if you’ve ever had a change of plans with your freight. A reconsignment happens when freight that is already in transit is re-directed from one delivery location to another. This charge can vary based on how far apart the delivery locations are. For instance, if the new location is just down the street, the charge will probably be minimal. However, if freight was heading to California and is being reconsigned to Florida, you will be in for a hefty reconsignment fee.

We get a lot of groans when we have to quote people for the cost of a reconsignment so we wanted to highlight the process so you can educate your customers as well:

  1. We have to send written authorization to make the change to the carrier. A Bill of Lading is a legal contract, so any changes made must be in writing. Authorization must be made by the shipper or paying party always.
  2. The carrier will enter the information into their online system and image your authorization.
  3. A rating analyst reviews the request, verifies that we have authorization to make the change, and completes the request.
  4. Notification is sent to the terminal who currently has, or if it is in transit, who will have the freight.
  5. New labels have to be generated and put on the freight.

Typically, your charges end up being broken down into the cost from origin to reconsignment point, and reconsignment point to new destination, and fees for marking and tagging of the freight. If your freight has to backtrack, you will pay for every mile it has traveled.

GREAT EXAMPLE: If it was originally to go from NY to CA, but then once it reached Chicago you turned it back around to PA, you are paying NY to Chicago and Chicago to PA, not just NY to PA.

Important points to note as well:

  • If you are not the shipper or paying party, you cannot use your authorization to make changes to the BOL.
  • If your name doesn’t appear anywhere on the BOL, see #1 above.
  • If the driver arrives and you say that it needs to go to a different address across town, this constitutes both reconsignment AND redelivery. And it can’t be done without authorization, as above.

This process actually represents a significant amount of labor time and fuel. Even a local reconsignment (change in address within a local terminal service area) requires these steps.

All carriers want to make money on this deal. Nothing is done at cost. But time is money, and the cheapest option is to always do it right the first time.

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Training Tuesday:Tips for Stress Management

Selling offers more highs and lows than most other professions. Most salespeople suffer through periods of stress that are direct results of their sales jobs, but salespeople who succeed in the long run never let disappointments get the best of them. They know rejection goes with the territory and learn not to take it personally and instead, they view mistakes and failures as lessons that will help them improve. On the other hand, some very promising sales careers have died premature deaths due to stress. Stress sometimes causes sales people to lose confidence and then fill their day with nonessential activities and hide from their customers or prospects. We’re also faced with lots of rejection on our daily search for success. If you dwell on the negatives, they’ll bury you. You have to lighten up and look for ways to lessen the stress caused by your job.

Below are our top 10 tips to reduce stress:

1.Focus. Focus on what’s truly stressful to you about a situation and why – the idea being that understanding the stress lessens it and gives you some control over it.

2.Put stressful situations in perspective. Is this situation going to matter in 1, 5, or 10 years? If not, try to worry about it in the current time. Don’t allow the problem to feel bigger than it is, and remember that at the end of the day, it is just work.

3. Establish boundaries. Postpone thinking about problems until an appropriate time. Successful people learn how to compartmentalize their thinking. It is important to establish healthy work-life boundaries and stick to them. Don’t allow a stressful moment at work to ruin your off time.

4. Take a deep breath. Size up stressful situations and decide which are worth worrying about. Techniques like meditation or other mindfulness exercises can have a powerful effect on stress levels and general mental health.

5. Take vacations and occasional time off. Having a break from the stresscan allow you to recharge and feel more emotionally or mentally ready to tackle the challenges at work.

6. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Your reaction to a situation is just as powerful as the situation itself, and your reaction and attitude have an enormous impact on your overall mental health and wellbeing.

7. Talk to others about job pressures.  Talking to others who have been in your situation can be cathartic and help you discover new techniques to manage the stress or can just provide a change in attitude that can help put the stress in perspective. It can also be helpful to talk to your supervisor, as they may be able to offer advice or help with a particularly stressful situation.

8. Expect the unexpected. Allow time and reserve energy to deal with the inevitable stressful events that occur daily.

9. Do something for yourself. Take a break from the constant push to be productive and take a walk or enjoy a cup of coffee without constantly refreshing your email. Make the effort to find something small that you can do each day to create a peaceful moment for yourself.

10. Volunteer or do something in the community that is rewarding to you.

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Training Tuesday:Handling Unhappy Customers

Even the best company, with the best service, will occasionally make mistakes. What matters most is how you handle the situation when issues arise. Your response to a crisis or to your customer’s unhappiness can make or break your relationship with that customer.  Below are some of our top tips to best help a dissatisfied customer.

1. If there’s a crisis, make sure you inform the customer as soon as you can – they’re going to find out one way or another – and no news travels as swiftly as bad news. Contacting them first allows you the opportunity to set the tone and break the bad news in the most productive way possible. This also allows you to maintain control of the situation and offer ways that you’re already willing to help fix their issue.

2. Listen first, react second. You can’t solve the problem if you don’t fully understand it. Listening to the customer also makes them feel understood, and that you care for them. If your customer approaches you with a complaint, don’t interrupt. Don’t become defensive or make judgements until you’ve heard all the facts as the customer sees them. Take them seriously, even if it seems trivial to you, and try to empathize with them.

3. Apologize sincerely. A sincere apology will go a long way with most customers. A simple, but genuine apology can prove that you’ve really listened to them, and you understand how frustrating or upsetting the situation is for them, and you’re going to try to remedy it.

4. Find a way to fix their problem that also works for you and your company. There’s no point in playing the “blame game,” because the customer has already decided to blame you and your company, which means it’s time to take responsibility for the problem and solve it. Let your customer suggest solutions or alternatives. Find out their expectations for a solution and follow that if it is reasonable.

5. After resolving the initial situation make sure to follow up. You should always follow up with the customer to make sure that they are truly satisfied with your efforts and the resolution. It can also be nice to do a little something extra for your customer. It shows that you recognized that they were inconvenienced and you’re acknowledging that with something tangible.

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LTL 101:Drop Trailers

From time to time you may run into a drop trailer with one of your LTL shipments.
 
A drop trailer is a trailer that is left at a location for an indeterminate amount of time. It’s “dropped,” and picked up later. Most of the time, a drop trailer is used at locations that ship or receive often enough to fill up or unload a full trailer in a week or even a day, depending on production. The location doesn’t matter as much as the amount of freight that is moving in or out of the specified location and the agreement in place with each LTL carrier.
 
Think about it like this: Let’s say you have a shipment going to a warehouse that multiple manufactures ship to as well. This warehouse has pre-established relationships with a handful of LTL carriers. In order to save time and money they will consolidate and reduce traffic flow to their receiving docks by collaborating with LTL carriers and advise them to only “drop” a trailer at their location when the LTL carrier has a full trailer. This could potentially delay your expected delivery date.
 
There are numerous ways in which the LTL carriers can handle a drop trailer situation, but the main thing to keep in mind is that your shipment may not deliver on time due to it being a drop trailer which may also change the way in which the PODs are received from the consignee. Due to the nature of drop trailers, PODs are usually handled differently and will almost always take longer to receive considering the consignee is unloading a full trailer of shipments from multiple shippers.      
 
Though the use of drop trailers isn’t exactly common, it’s not something to be afraid of when it comes to your LTL shipments. A little understanding goes a long way. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with drop trailers:

Drop trailers can sometimes lead to delays. Before you panic about delays, remember that the manufacturer is often very aware a drop trailer is being used, and so should the buyer. Don’t be afraid to ask if the shipper or consignee have any drop trailer processes in place so you can educate your customer as well. Most drop trailer situations do not revolve around freight that is time-sensitive. If your freight is on a tight schedule, make sure to use a different carrier.

Not all carriers do drop trailers. Just because one carrier uses a drop trailer at a certain location doesn’t mean that EVERY carrier uses a drop trailer there. Trailers belong to carriers, so if you can’t afford to have a drop trailer on a shipment, simply look at using a different carrier. It may not be the cheapest of the bunch, but there will always be options available.

Stay away from perishables. For obvious reasons, if you’re shipping perishable items, make sure you’re not dealing with drop trailers.

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Training Tuesday:Tips for Cold Calling

Cold calling can be intimidating, frustrating, and uncomfortable. It is important to remember that you aren’t trying to make a sale via this first cold call – your only objective on a cold call is to schedule an appointment.  Never attempt to sell at this stage.  The purpose of the initial call is to set up a time for the prospect to hear your presentation. Then when you have that official presentation, you can begin the sales process. It is important to remember that this cold call is your chance to make a great first impression with your prospect – and without it, you may not get the follow up appointment that you need. Below are some tips to make the cold calling process easier and more productive.

  1. Research, research, and more research. Know the decision maker’s information and how you obtained the lead. Never call a prospect without knowing his or her name in advance. Also make sure that you know enough about their company to be confident in your ability to help them. Research the best time to contact your prospects – this can help you ensure that your call will be answered and that the prospect will give you the proper amount of time and attention.
  2. Assume control of the conversation but remain polite and friendly. Practicing a script of sorts can be helpful with this as it allows you to have specific talking points and plans for redirecting the conversation where you want it to go.
  3. Speak with conviction. You have to believe that you and your company can help your customer. Be well prepared with answers to common questions and objections. Make sure that your tone of voice is confident, friendly, and engaging.
  4. Focus on your call. Many people are reluctant to dedicate the proper amount of time to cold calling, but setting aside time to practice what you will say on the call, and then designating distraction-free time for the calls themselves is a great way to improve your success with cold calling.
  5. Keep your goal in mind. The cold call is an unavoidable part of the sales process, but it is also a crucial tool for getting an appointment with a qualified prospect that will lead to a sale. When you are making calls, set goals for yourself for how many calls you’ll make in that time frame. Remember how this task contributes to your overall goals for the day, week, or year and use it to motivate you on each call.

It’s a matter of how you see and carry yourself.  You must always keep in mind that your objective is not to leave the decision in the hands of a third party screening the prospects’ calls.  Your prospect’s decision on who they trust to ship their goods is one of the most important decisions they make. Be persistent.  Make sure they get the opportunity to enjoy the benefits that only you can sell them.

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