by Amadeus Finlay
It is highly likely that everyone reading this profile has, at some point or another, worked with—or been supported by—Champion Logistics of Northlake, Ill. A market leader in full-service, third party logistics, Champion Logistics is a specialist in the transportation of tradeshow exhibits and retail environments, extending its services across the length and breadth of the country. In fact, a quick exploration of almost any convention center loading dock or marshalling yard will reveal at least one truck belonging to Champion Logistics, and probably more.
“Champion is proud to have a strong presence at almost every major U.S. show throughout the year.” explains C.J. Berg, director of sales, “and is the official carrier of the HIMSS show in Orlando.”
He adds, “Our tradeshow team moved over 25,000 shipments in 2019, and because Champion supports small to mid-size shows as well, we plan on growing that number in 2020.”
Impressive credentials, but the monolith we know today had humble origins. Champion Logistics was established by Lance Lucibello in 1980, equipped with just one truck and a bucketful of ambition. Add a decade of hard work coupled with innovation and exemplary customer service, and the firm quickly expanded. Today, Champion’s Illinois headquarters is supported by six fully-staffed offices located at strategic points across the country, each offering a full suite of logistics services. Nevertheless, despite its remarkable growth, the outfit remains truthful to its modest roots, ensuring an individual, human touch in all it does. It is this combination of effective business practice and attention to client care that makes Champion Logistics the industry front-runner it is today.
“Our clients value Champion’s experience at the marshalling yard and at the show site,” continues Berg, “and they appreciate the level of detail we bring to every shipment, confident we’ll manage their show successfully.”
It’s all part and parcel of the company’s ethos. Champion embraces the multifaceted nature of their business by ensuring quality at every point, always focused on the importance of client satisfaction. The wholly-owned Champion Logistics fleet means consistent shipping practices, with each of three separate divisions, domestic transportation, international freight forwarding, and warehouse/fulfillment, focusing exclusively on the corner of the business they serve. The transportation division also offers specific services to the tradeshow, retail and display industries, with a dedicated team working on the coordination of shipments to special events and stores. This specialist approach means that Champion Logistics can handle global supply chain solutions for companies of all sizes, with local needs fulfilled by next-day cartage services anywhere within 50 miles of Champion’s home office. Whatever the service, all Champion Logistics trucks are equipped with air-ride trailers, complete with e-track, load bars and ratcheting straps
Champion boasts 450,000 square feet of warehouse space, utilized for consolidation, staging and preparation, as well as 24/7 customer service, even on holidays. More than 250 seasoned professionals support the operation, with 30 branded trucks on the road and scores more operated by long-term partner owner-operators. Champion also disputes the notion that one is the loneliest number, with Clutch Global Logistics being their single choice partner for international services. From this partnership comes 136 dedicated overseas affiliates located in more than 90 countries, as well as working relationships with most major airlines.
And then there are special events. With a foot in multiple industries, Champion Logistics has supported high-profile projects including The Masters, numerous NFL Super Bowl and sports draft events, American Red Cross relief, Red Bull entertainment, The U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows and the Nike NFL rebrand. In addition, the firm also offers the coordination and transportation of high-value, time-sensitive freight, with Champion particularly versed in the nuances associated with medical equipment and supplies. Medical clients can rest assured that their products will be transported in temperature-controlled trailers complete with beds equipped for proper bracing.
Outside day-to-day operations, Champion strives to give back to the community in whatever way it can, whether supporting the Chicago marathon, leveraging its position as a member of the Red Cross’s Ready 365 giving program, or competing in the annual Randy Smith Memorial Classic golf tournament. It is this willingness to go the extra mile that helps to keep the firm focused on the human element of operations and emotionally connected to the industry that it serves.
And Champion Logistics does not rest on its laurels, either. The firm stays true to its legacy of growth and consistent refinement of customer service in all that it does, and 2020 promises to add even more strings to an already well-equipped bow.
“We will continue to build our on-site tradeshow team,” explains Berg. “This team manages our client’s freight at show site, and they ensure that everything is accounted for and properly moved from the docks to booth space. By adding to our on-site team, Champion will increase its footprint and begin having a larger show-site presence in 2020.”
Unique in the industry, Champion has a transportation division specializing in the coordination of tradeshows and special events. Founded in 1980, with the commitment to exceptional service, Champion Logistics Group has grown to become a logistics leader. By using the Champion fleet and network of specialized tradeshow carriers, we provide the most reliable tradeshow transportation services in the industry. For more info, visit www.champlog.com.