How John Magee is growing a niche logistics company that won’t become all things for all people

John Magee, president, Crane Worldwide Logistics

John Magee, president, Crane Worldwide Logistics

Distribution & Manufacturing

FINALIST

John Magee
President
Crane Worldwide Logistics

After working for a logistics company called Eagle Logistics for many years, John Magee concluded that the business he once knew and loved was no longer for him. He resigned subject to a 12-month non-compete agreement.

Magee and eight other former Eagle executives, all with one year non-competes, decided they would use the 12-month period to develop a business plan, find a financial backer, and then in month 13, kick off a new business.

They found a private equity firm to back them, got seed money from Jim Crane, and went to work developing a business plan that took the best of the management, operations, and back office aspects of Eagle, and addressed those aspects that were in need of repair. Magee and his colleagues launched Crane Worldwide Logistics in 2008.

Launching a new company during the economic crisis has its obvious challenges. Attracting top industry executives and employees from comfortable jobs to join a start-up was the most significant obstacle the leadership team had to overcome.

The vision of the company is the most vital aspect of the business and helped attract talent to the company. Crane aims to be a mid-sized logistics provider. To compete against the largest competitors, the focus is on large, high touch, high value, and high service logistics services where commodity pricing isn’t the determinative factor. In fact, Magee has walked away from several proposals where he believed the margins derived were inconsistent with the Crane vision.

Magee and his team believe strongly in the company’s character statement; CRANE, which stands for Customer-centric, Responsible, Attentive, Integrity and Execution.

Crane’s business is currently about 40 percent air, 30 percent ocean and 30 percent ground delivery. Magee attributes the success of Crane to the 1,200 like-minded employees who share the vision of building a niche logistics company which competes on service ability, and not just price.

How to reach: Crane Worldwide Logistics, www.craneww.com

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