Women in logistics see career advancements

Posted by Harriet Mills on Feb 21, 2018 11:00:49 AM

Women at Choptank Transport - logistics careers

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Logistics, along with many other industries, was thought of as a man’s world, from truck drivers to warehouse managers, train conductors and ship captains, but hold on! Women are climbing in the ranks. In 2015, 21.1% of women in transportation earned their way into manager’s roles. Today, even more women are becoming role models in their industry as exceptional drivers, owner-operators, logistics coordinators, warehouse managers, 3PL sales managers and more.

At Choptank, the division between the sexes is close to even, with 52% female to 48% male. We’d like to highlight just a few who have shown exceptional leadership skills in their individual departments, proving that women in logistics aren’t the exception, but instead, a growing trend!


FACT: 37 women / 85 management positions = 44% of women are in positions of authority at Choptank.

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SALES: Charlene Keller, Director of National Accounts

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Bio: Charlene began her career with Choptank in 2007 and has been an integral part of the company’s growth. Previously employed by Perdue Farms in Salisbury, Maryland, she quickly became knowledgeable about supply chain and transportation best practices. Today, in her current role at Choptank, she oversees the national sales team while servicing some of the company’s largest shippers. She also attends over a dozen national conventions and conferences throughout the year with some of the most influential movers and shakers in the transportation and logistics profession. One of her top priorities is to stay well-informed about everything and anything transportation related.

Q: How long have you worked at Choptank?

A: 11 years

Q: In terms of your job, what has been your biggest challenge?

A:  We are in a market driven industry, the peaks and valleys of that market can easily impact moral of newer employees and even established employees. Part of my mission is to keep the mojo and morale high to weather those changes and grow our team. That is the biggest challenge.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the last 6 months?

A:  Seeing our sales team have their best quarter ever in the history of Choptank. It is great working around such highly motivated people; it keeps me striving to be the best I can be.

Q: Has gender been an issue with customers who think transportation is a man’s game?

A:  Very seldom these days, but when it does, it motivates me even more to succeed.

Q: Do you think a woman can be as successful as a man in this field?

A: Absolutely, if they are up for a challenge, driven and have passion.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A: There are no two days alike, which is what’s great about my job. One day I could be out in the field meeting with our customers and the next day brainstorming with our National Accounts team on new ideas to continue to give our customers the best service possible.


ACCOUNTING: Jen Max, Accounts Receivable Manager

Jen Max

Bio: Jen has been in banking for more than 11 years. She started as an operations assistant at Easton Bank & Trust and within the first five years was promoted to an operations supervisor position. She started her career at Choptank in December, 2015 as a credit & collections specialist. Luckily for Jen, she started the day after the company brought on board a new credit agency which allowed her to hit the ground running. She was promoted about a year later to accounts receivable manager, a position which oversees six amazing individuals; three credit and collections specialists and three accounts receivable clerks. Jen explains, “I have really enjoyed working at Choptank. It has a diverse and challenging environment with room to advance and grow, both personally and professionally.”


Q: How long have you worked at Choptank?

A:  2 years

Q: What is the biggest challenge of your job?

A:  Knowing when to take risks whether it's a customer with less than ideal credit or a phone call to collect a payment from a sticky situation. In the end, I need to use the tools that are given to me to make the best decision possible.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments since working at Choptank?

A: I have been given the opportunity to manage an ambitious and talented team of people. This is also the most rewarding experience. I'm very proud of the people I work with and the dedication that is put into their careers.

Q: Give me an example of doing something for a customer or carrier that made their day.

A: Making a decision to assign credit for a customer that is new to the business world or bouncing back from a hard economy. It is a great feeling to know that you have helped them in such a vital piece of their daily operation while maintaining the values of Choptank.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A:  Organized chaos. Our role helps maintain the operational side of the loads and ultimately “book ends” the process. We get to see the accounts grow from assigning credit to collecting the payment and seeing how the sales and logistics teams work their magic. In an ironic twist, there really isn't a “typical” day. Each day we have new customers with unique situations and we work with them to find the best solutions.

Q: When dealing with customers on the phone, has gender been an issue with customers/carriers who think transportation is a man’s game?

A:  On occasion, you will encounter that mentality. I take on the approach that I've earned my seat and will show them that I can help them out of a difficult situation too. We also work as a team and try to communicate as much as possible about special circumstances. This helps to eliminate any doubt about competency. We know you and your situation and here is what I'm able to do to help you!


FACT: 5 out of 9 logistics managers at Choptank Transport are women


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women by industry, over the years


LOGISTICS: Lora Creason, Logistics Manager

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Bio: Lora began her professional experience as a military police officer in the United States Army. Through her service, she gained the drive and determination to see tasks through to their completion. After leaving the military, she began her journey in (household) logistics by raising three children while earning a college degree in human services. Although being a stay-at-home mom was rewarding, she had aspirations to begin a new career. Lora began at Choptank as a carrier sales representative. Gaining the experience and knowledge needed to be considered for a management position, nearly 4 years later, Lora is now a logistics manager, overseeing a team of six carrier sales representatives. Lora said, “I feel like Choptank allows me the flexibility to maintain a good work/home balance, making it easier to achieve my professional goals.”

Q: How long have you worked at Choptank?

A:  4 years in February.

Q: In terms of your job, what has been your biggest challenge?

A:  Time Management. The transportation industry is a multi-faceted, fast paced environment where you can be easily overwhelmed if you don’t have a variety of strategies up your sleeve. Being able to manage the various tasks you have to accomplish within a day can be challenging, but it is one I welcome every day. The fact that no two days are the same in our industry is one of the biggest reasons that I love it!

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the last 6 months?

A:  My promotion to team manager. I have to be honest, when I first started at Choptank I had no real understanding of what the industry was about. However, over time I gained the knowledge and confidence to set a goal I knew I could achieve.

Q: Has gender been an issue with customers who think transportation is a man’s game?

A:  I have been lucky enough, with customers, that I have not had an experience where I felt my gender impeded the business at hand. But, I have had a few instances with carriers. One that sticks out was when I was dispatching, the carrier and I were discussing an issue he was experiencing and he stated that I wouldn't understand because: "my role was to be in the kitchen." Unfortunately, he was completely serious in the situation. Hearing it said was difficult; however, through these instances you have to persevere and carry on. At the end of the day, I know my own importance and know that I do not need to be validated by others opinions.

Q: Do you think a woman can be as successful as a man in this field?

A:  I do! I, as well as all of the other woman working at Choptank are proof!

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A:  Shew, where do I start? Typically when I get in, I start with any lingering issues from the night before. I then move on to looking through the freight the team has for the day; I look at the market conditions in each area and set the rates for the lanes accordingly. Throughout the day, I continue to deal with issues that arise as well as offer support to the team when they have questions or concerns. There are meetings with sales or maybe a conference call with a customer. It is also pretty common for a manager to work with sales to go over rates on lanes or give a customer a direct quote for a lane. The bulk of the day is spent evaluating the market to ensure we are doing everything possible so that our customers’ needs are being met - customer service is very important to me; therefore, I try to ensure that all of my customers are getting the best service from me and my team. And let's not forget, the endless amount of e-mails!

Q: What advice would you give a female friend if she were to start a career in this industry?

A:  Have confidence in yourself! Don't be afraid to have a voice - share your ideas. Don't be afraid to take that seat at the meeting table - lean in and participate. Last but not least, support one another.


Percent of women managers in 2015

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Related links:

3 reasons you should consider a career in logistics




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Tags: Careers & Culture, Company News, Industry News