HNM Global Logistics
We are logistics
Business View Magazine interviews representatives from HNM Global Logistics, as part of our focus on the transportation and logistics sector.
HNM Enterprises LLC, doing business as HNM Global Logistics, is a minority-owned company that provides transportation and logistics services worldwide, and offers a holistic approach to supply chain management, including: air freight, ocean freight, domestic road and rail service, customs brokerage, warehousing and distribution, project cargo, charter, ITAR/EAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations/Export Administration Regulations) services, as well as hand carries, trade show, and white glove services. The company serves the aerospace, automotive, chemicals, defense, electronics and hi-tech, energy, health and beauty, perishables, and pharmaceutical sectors.
HNM Global Logistics is based in Orlando, Florida. Its CEO is Tony McGee, a former professional football player who spent 11 years in the National Football League. “We started back in 2010,” McGee recounts. “Our first contract was a small one with the Orland Magic’s arena. We were doing FF&E, which is furniture, fixtures, and equipment. That’s not the primary line of business that we do now, but that’s how we got started. From there, we were able to secure contracts with Disney, doing FF&E, as well. Most companies start with smaller opportunities before they get the larger ones, but we got a larger opportunity with a bigger company in the beginning and that was through sheer luck. But we had the opportunity and we made the best of it. From there, we found our niche, which was, primarily, in freight forwarding. We brought on a group of diverse professionals who had been in the business for a number of years.”
“We had explosive growth the first two years and then we plateaued,” McGee continues. “Now, seven or eight years into the process, we really defined who we are as a service provider. Simultaneously, our customers and our partners understand that we are a premium service provider, and we pride ourselves on being customer-centric. That’s given us the opportunity to continue to grow and develop. Today, we cover the world, because we have agency agreements across the world with different companies.” In addition to its Orlando headquarters, the company also maintains a warehouse in the Los Angeles area that it runs in conjunction with its west coast partners.
“We had a tremendous amount of growth since 2011,” adds Company COO, Darrell Gajadhar. “Inside that growth there were varied opportunities, but in logistics, things change; markets change and the way the business flowed, changed for us, as well. I think we did a pretty good job in trying to hold those numbers and keep growing, but our core business has changed dramatically. Our real bread and butter, today, is the freight forwarding piece, the import/export on the foreign side. And with the imports, that includes the customs brokerage.”
With all of the current upheavals in the realm international trade, McGee believes that HNM’s services are now more important than ever. “We’re going into an unknown,” he avers, “unchartered waters, so to speak. But, from that standpoint, that’s where we come in to service our partners, because we’re working with them across the board on a day-to-day basis to help them to plan and to mitigate the different things that are happening. We’re also providing them with compliance as it relates to tariffs, and the best way to move their freight around the world. So, we become that much more valuable in this geopolitical climate because we’re the one that our customers and partners go to, to help them work through these problems and issues.”
“From our clients’ standpoint on the import side, it’s a big nut to swallow,” says Gajadhar. “When they’re going to pay from 10 percent to 25 percent more on their product coming in from China, primarily, that affects their business; especially if they’re only making, say, a 30 percent profit or a 20 percent profit and they have to pay 25 percent more in duties. That’s a shutting-down-business type of situation.”
McGee adds, “So, we will help them source other suppliers from other countries that aren’t affected by those tariffs and, once again, we’re getting them the pricing, we’re helping them understand how that flow will work, what the time frames are to get that product into the country, and how to streamline the process so their business can be as unaffected as possible by things going on that are out of their control. That’s our value proposition to our partners and customers.”
“Every customer’s situation is different and there could be a different solution for each one of them,” Gajadhar explains. “Sometimes we have customers that bring in parts from overseas that are going to be incorporated in something else that’s going to leave the country. That could be an FTZ (Free Trade Zone) situation or a drawback situation where they can get reimbursed for their duty. Sometimes, they want to bring it into a bonded warehouse, where they only pay duties when they sell the product, so they’re not carrying that debt until it’s off the shelf. So, everyone’s situation is pretty much different when it comes to duties.”
“When you do at your taxes, you go to a CPA for help,” McGee notes. “When you’re moving your freight, you come to us as a customs brokerage and freight forwarding company because we help you move your freight, go through the compliance pieces, and help you understand the duties, the taxes, the tariffs, and the best way to plan to move your freight as seamlessly as possible from Point A to Point B.”
McGee elaborates on two areas in which he sees some growth potential, going forward. “The biggest thing is the Amazon effect,” he begins. “What I mean by that is you have all these retail stores closing now, but products are still getting moved to customers and that’s opening up two opportunities for us as we continue to grow and develop our business. First and foremost are the warehousing/distribution and sorting centers that bring product in to be warehoused. Secondly, it’s getting that product out to customers. So, those are two sectors that we’re seeing opportunities for growth because you’re taking one step out of the supply chain – with the retail stores closing, you’re going from warehouse directly to consumer. We can play two parts in that. We can do the warehousing piece, as well as the final mile delivery piece. Amazon has revolutionized this, but everyone else is catching on to it, which starts to leave more opportunities for us.”
In order to achieve that second goal – the final mile delivery – McGee understands that HNM is going to have to put more trucks on the road. “There is some risk to that, because you have more exposure when you have more assets on the road,” he admits. “So that’s something we’ll have to monitor.” Another item on the company’s agenda is finding a home of its own. “We’ve rented for several years, so we hope to own a 100,000-sq.-ft. building where we’re our own landlord.” Another company goal is to continue to develop its domestic offerings. “We have a lot of opportunities in the government space with the DoD (Department of Defense). We support a lot of the military contractors that do modeling and simulation here in Orlando out of Research Park, so we see that as an area that could grow tremendously for us. So, we see a lot of HNM trucks on the road; we see our own real estate offerings; and we also see a growth in the ecommerce section, picking up the warehousing, as well as the final mile, white glove type of deliveries.”
McGee believes that HNM’s continued growth will also be based on its current and future use of technology. “The operating system we use allows us to compete with the billion-dollar companies, because everything is report-driven,” he states. “So, the amount of time it would take ten workers, you can have two to three workers because of the technology. Secondly, as we talked about that final mile piece, when you start looking at all the IPhones, the apps, the Google maps – that’s another set of tools that we can utilize to help us manage that last mile delivery, because you can communicate with your drivers. So, we’re a logistics company that has to evolve into a technology company – one that utilizes and manages technologies, not only internally for us, but externally for our partners and our suppliers and our customers. We don’t want to be Blockbuster in a Netflix world.”
McGee also believes that continued growth will be dependent on HNM’s laser-like focus on the customer experience. “If we walk into the office and the customers don’t have to call and ask ‘Where’s my freight?’ then we’re headed in the right direction,” he avers.
“That’s easily said, but there’s a lot that goes into that for it to happen,” echoes Gajadhar. “You’re talking about employee relationships; making sure that they’re trained properly and treated fairly; that we have a good culture here. We also look at our vendors and partners, domestically and globally, as they are an extension of HNM Global Logistics. We take a look at the way everything operates in this company as far as accounting and administration. A lot of things have to be moving correctly for this to happen and it doesn’t come easy.”
McGee agrees: “We fight complacency, because sometimes your team can become a little complacent when you experience success in a short amount of time. Everyone can start to feel that it’s your right or your privilege as opposed to something that you have to go out and grind and work for. And coming from a professional athletic background, I understand that every day you get better or worse – you never stay the same. And that’s one of the messages we try to convey to the team – every day you have to come in ready to go, ready to accept the challenge, ready to try and get better at, at least, one thing. So, from a recruiting standpoint, we’re looking to develop young, aggressive talent. We want that new generation of workers. And as we evolve into a technology service provider, we want to make sure that our team is evolving, as well.”
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: HNM Global Logistics
WHAT: A company that provides transportation and logistics services
WHERE: Orlando, Florida