National Women’s Small Business Month Series: Jennifer Behnke
National Women’s Small Business Month Series
Q&A Featuring Jennifer Behnke of United Federal Logistics & UFL Services
October is Women’s Small Business Month in America! To celebrate, we’re featuring Cherokee-based women-owned businesses all month long. These inspiring stories will shed a well-deserved light on their incredible leadership, business acumen, and resilience.
This week, we’ll hear from Jennifer Behnke of United Federal Logistics and UFL Services – a trucking company based in Canton. With years of business operations experience, this powerhouse female trucking executive is certainly in it for the long haul.
Follow along on cherokeega.org and via social media to like, follow, and share.
What services are provided at United Federal Logistics & UFL Services?
United Federal Logistics Inc. was started in August of 2015 carrying packages exclusively for FedEx Ground under their Department of Transportation (DOT) Authority. We then launched a second company, UFL Services with its own DOT authority in October 2021 to carry freight outside of FedEx Ground. This allowed us to pivot from a changing driver market and the aftermath of the pandemic. With UFL Services having its own DOT authority, this gives us a lot of flexibility to haul for many shippers, including Amazon, Target, Ford, and others. Now, UFL Services even has an owner-operator division. My husband Kyle and I have grown United Federal Logistics from 3 tractors and 6 employees to 24 tractors and 35 employees. Together, both companies give us a diversified portfolio of the same size, and we are still growing.
What advice would you give to other women who are wanting to pursue a career in the trucking industry?
Go for it! Learn as much as you can about the industry and don’t be afraid to try something new. The trucking industry has changed so much, even in the 7 years we have been in business! It has been a lot more accepting of women regarding the respect they deserve and tractor features that make things easier physically.
Find organizations like Women in Trucking that promote women in the trucking industry. They encourage the success of women, bring about comradery, and unite women in all areas of trucking through a social media platform. Their annual Accelerate conference in Dallas, TX is a must-attend! Shameless plug – we have recently been honored for the 4th year in a row as one of its “Top Woman-Owned Businesses” from Women in Trucking. It is completely a team effort, and we all share in the success and honor!
What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned as a business owner?
Be ready to work hard and wear many hats starting out. If your industry or market conditions change, be ready to change your operations or pivot to a different model. Always check and run the numbers to make sure you are staying profitable. Treat everyone well and fairly and you will keep a loyal staff. Hire people that you can trust and can help you grow and expand your business. You can’t do everything yourself!
How has being in Cherokee County helped grow your business?
Cherokee County is a great place to do business! The staff at the county offices are knowledgeable and nice to work with during everyday interactions. There are great people that live in this area that want to work close to home. There are a lot of awesome business networking groups – especially through the Cherokee Office of Economic Development. They offer groups like One Million Cups and NAV Mentoring (North Atlanta Venture Mentoring Service). Be Pro Be Proud is also a local non-profit that does a lot of great work getting young adults into trade careers, which is a desperate need! Even the Woodstock Mayor, Michael Caldwell, is very involved in local economic growth.
What is a fun fact that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I went skydiving 2 weeks before our wedding! I am definitely a risk-taker…
To learn more about this growing trucking company, follow them on social and click here.