May is Military Appreciation Month, and we spoke to Senior Vice President, Operations Jeff Wiedwald to discuss XPO Logistics’ work with the US military in its contract logistics business. Jeff is a veteran who served in the US Army for four years. We are thankful for the many military veterans, like Jeff, who make XPO a great place to work.
XPO employs a lot of military veterans, but many people don’t know that we serve every branch of the US military. In your area of contract logistics, what types of things do we do for the military?
“In our line of business, we have the privilege of serving our customers who not only serve every branch of the military, but – in many cases – our nation's allies as well. That includes everything from military-product manufacturing support, to kitting for military aircraft, to managing critical components for defense systems. Our mission at XPO is the same at every distribution center – regardless of which military branch we are serving – and that’s to deliver the highest level of logistics performance for the men and women who serve our country.”
When our XPO teams work with military agencies and military contractors, how is that different from working with other customers?
“Serving our military customers and the nation's soldiers means ensuring that every order goes out on time and without error. There are special packaging requirements to ensure the products we ship can withstand battlefield conditions. In many cases, what we ship is reviewed and acknowledged by the federal government.”
The field of logistics seems to be a natural fit for military veterans – why do you think that is?
“Logistics is a team sport. It’s a disciplined line of work that is very process-oriented, much like the military. You start each day with a plan and the best intentions, and you must adapt on a day-to-day basis to overcome the challenges that come your way. The people I talk to in my organization who are former military veterans enjoy the ability to serve soldiers in some capacity even after they exit the military.”
What do you find most rewarding about supporting our men and women in uniform?
“The opportunity to continue to serve our nation's warfighters. At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring our military has what it needs to carry out its mission.”
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, XPO is proudly displaying its commitment to military veterans on trucks in its transportation fleet. Colorful vinyl wraps were installed and will remain in use all year. The honor of driving the special trucks goes to XPO drivers who are US military veterans and have driven at least one million accident-free miles. The company’s military appreciation message is on the road in more than ten states around the United States.