HELPS SHIPPING COMPANY
EXPAND GLOBAL REACH
By land, air or water, if it has to do with international shipping, Freight-Base is there.
Located next to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Freight-Base is a U.S. customs broker, international freight forwarder, CCSF security screener and an ICC interstate and intrastate carrier.
To take the company to the next level, president and owner Jack Groat spent over a year developing a unique freight tracking system. The system uses disposable GPS units that allow importers and exporters to track their shipments anywhere in the world from the minute they leave the loading dock. When they receive the shipment, importers can then send the GPS units back or simply throw them away.
The system provides unmatched visibility for importer/exporters, but developing the system took time and money. To secure the funding he needed to develop the technology, Groat turned to Channel.
“The gentleman we talked to was extremely helpful, very quick, very fast,” Groat said. “He was able to get us what we needed in literally 24 hours.”
Groat utilized two working capital loans to pay for research and development, and to purchase some of the uniquely disposable GPS units. Groat said the working capital he received from Channel was absolutely critical for getting the system off the ground and ready for launch.
UNMATCHED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
As a small-business owner, Groat gets bombarded by lending companies all the time. He said he’s experienced his fair share of overly aggressive salespeople and intentionally misleading tactics. When he’s worked with other lenders in the past, Groat said he felt more like a number than a customer.
“Those other companies are so impersonal,” Groat said. “We were a little disappointed because we were nothing to them.”
In working with Channel, Groat said the experience was completely different. Not only was the deal completed quickly, but he felt truly valued as a customer. He said the care and attention he received from his Channel representative helped form a true partnership built on trust and respect.
“The individual you work with is so important, especially in that particular industry,” Groat said. “If we require working capital in the future, or any adjustments need to be made, he’s our first call.”
THE SPEED TO GO GLOBAL
In addition to running Freight-Base, Groat is also the head of two charities, meaning he works seven days a week.
“I don’t want to waste time, because my time is extremely valuable,” Groat said.
That’s why he was so pleased with the speed and efficiency of Channel’s process and service. With only a phone call and a few emails back and forth, he had the funding he needed in less than 24 hours.
“It was perfect, simple and just great,” Groat said. “I have nothing but praise for Channel Partners, for the company and for the individual we worked with.”
Although the new system has been completed, for now, Groat is still waiting on regulatory approval from the government before everything can go live. Groat projects the new system will be a windfall for Freight-Base. But if he ever needs funding in the future, he said it’s comforting to know he has a financing partner he can count on.
“It’s been a wonderful relationship,” Groat said. “I wouldn’t recommend anybody else.”