Spotlight: Neal Saling, EA Hunter Transportation
BY Neal Saling
The founder of a fast-growing logistics firm talks about how he got started in the business.
As told to Sarah Goldstein
Industry Leader: Logistics
Three-Year Growth: 1,244.9%
In 2004, Neal Saling quit a steady job, moved his family to a new city, and launched EA Hunter. Now, the logistics firm is on a tear, adding new services and promising something shippers dream of: 100 percent on-time delivery.
Mother's occupation: Dental hygienist
Father's occupation: Headhunter
Education: B.A. Business, University of Kentucky
Previous jobs: Ran the brokerage division of a trucking company; director of HR at an IT consultancy
Its origins: My wife and I wanted to move to Cincinnati to be closer to her family. I was running the brokerage division of a trucking company, and there wasn't the chance to continue working there. We talked about it long and hard and finally said, "Let's do this on our own." I named the company for my sons Hunter and Ethan Adrian.
What it does: We're a third-party logistics provider -- a broker between trucking companies and customers that need their goods shipped. We also have a capital division, where we offer cash advances to help trucking companies cover fuel costs. A lot of the time, I feel more like a bank than a transport company.
Why it's growing: We have created a software system that allows us to organize our customers' information and track their loads in real time. Then, you have the rising fuel costs on top of already expensive maintenance and insurance, so our trucking partners are turning to the capital division more than they did before.
How I Work
What I lose sleep over: It's probably from my background in HR, but I worry about the people in our company.
The best part of my job: Helping young, motivated people succeed
The worst part of my job: The unpredictability; not being able to control every aspect of a shipment from beginning to end. My wife is convinced I have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
We want to be the single company that our customers come to when they need freight or other types of solutions for shipping. We want to make it so clients have to place only one call -- to us.