Robert Rich III, President of ROAR Logistics, recently spoke with us regarding his companies’ success and told us the story behind that unusual yet memorable name, ROAR. Read on to find out more.
Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?
A. Although ROAR has been in business since the fall of 2003 as a domestic US transportation services provider, ROAR started its international freight forwarding division 7 years ago. This service offering expanded the product portfolio and was in direct response to customer requests that the company provide a more comprehensive global service offering.
Q. Can you tell us a little of the history of ROAR LOGISTICS?
A. ROAR was founded in the fall of 2003 by myself and our current VP of Operations, Tony Barnes. We started with two offices, one in Buffalo, NY and one in Atlanta, GA as Tony didn’t want to move to Buffalo and I didn’t want to move to Atlanta.
Q. How did you come up with the name ‘ROAR LOGISTICS’?
A. The name ROAR Logistics was actually my wife’s idea. Initially, the company was going to be called “Queen City Logistics” as Buffalo, NY is often referred to as the Queen City. We felt that that name would be too regional as our vision was for global growth. She looked at the services we planned on providing (Rail, Ocean, Air, and Road) and came up with the acronym “ROAR.” I always tell people she is smarter than me, because she came up with the name.
Q. What distinguishes ROAR LOGISTICS from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. First and foremost, our people; we have an amazing team of highly dedicated and motivated transportation professionals who contribute so much to our success. Unlike other forwarders in our city or elsewhere in North America, our core business is domestic freight brokerage, including full-truckload and intermodal services. This gives our company a competitive edge on creative solutions for pick-up and delivery of international freight. We find that port-to-port moves, while easiest for a forwarder, are not always the best solution for a customer. Our network of carefully selected carriers ensures secure and timely movement of freight, from the first mile to the last kilometre.
Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in the USA at the moment?
A. Equipment and driver availability. These two issues have been a challenge in the past, but the West Coast ports’ disruption has exacerbated the problem. This is especially a challenge for small to medium shippers as the steamship lines will provide for their largest customers first.
Q. How is the freight forwarding industry tackling these challenges?
A. Many trade organizations, such as the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, (NCBFAA) as well as regional forums, advocate for resolution through influence and legislation.
Q. How is ROAR LOGISTICS dealing with these challenges on a daily basis?
A. Creative problem solving with alternate lanes, modes, and equipment management. Engaging our customers to discuss and develop strategies that will keep freight moving through lanes that are at less-than-capacity.
Q. What attracted you to apply for membership of The COOP?
A. As a relatively new freight forwarder, we were concerned with the challenges of entering a network where partnerships had already been established. Since members of The COOP are all charter members within the last 12 to 16 months, we are confident that the agents in the network will engage with us based on our service and responsiveness. Attending the first annual conference was an amazing experience and opportunity to share information with other forwarders just like us.
Q. If you have been a member of other networks in the past, how does being a member of the COOP differ?
A. This is our first network membership. We are proud to be affiliated with such a great team.
Q. What benefits are you seeing as a member of The COOP?
A. We are approached every day by our COOP partners to provide service and related pricing. For our customers, we are able to offer prompt attention to their requests. Each COOP partner is responsive, detail oriented and eager to help secure business.
The eagerness and enthusiasm ROAR displays with regards to its membership, our annual meeting and its fellow members are just the characteristics we are looking for in our members. Robert and his team have fully grasped that being proactive and cooperative is the key to success in The COOP.
We invite all agents with shipments in Buffalo to get in touch with the team.