ICAT Logistics: Twenty-Five Years in the Making

From Humble Beginnings

Since the early 90s, the transportation and logistics industry has morphed into something that is far from what we knew when first starting out. Notepads and pens were the computers and keyboards of yesterday. Customer shipment records were shipped off to be stored in warehouses instead of backed up on servers halfway across the country. What was considered “ahead of times” then would be foreign to most in the industry today.

In 1992, Rick Campbell opened an agency with a small freight forwarding company in the Baltimore metro area. Although this was a great opportunity, he knew he wanted even more: the chance to make an impact in the industry. A little more than a year after opening the agency he decided it was time to start his own company.

“From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.” —Aeschylus

ICAT Logistics was officially incorporated in the fall of 1993. When their doors first opened, business was conducted in a modest, one-room office space that could fit enough desks to accommodate their four employees, one of whom was Rick Campbell, himself.

The office space was in dire need of cleaning, as the past tenant left the place in disarray. Amongst the rubbish of the place was a pot with what appeared to be a mostly-dead plant. Before disposing of it, Rick said, “Let’s see if we can save it.”

The First Agency

A little less than a year after incorporating ICAT Logistics, the first agency came on board. He was a familiar face and former colleague of Campbell’s from the original freight forwarding company.

Dan Cser joined ICAT Logistics in July 1994 as the Detroit agency owner and had the commitment and drive to live by the mission. Throughout the years, Dan and his brother, Chris, had to overcome several challenges. These included tasks such as hiring a solid salesperson, closing major accounts, and at one point, having to lay off everyone at their location in order to stay afloat.

In the most uncertain of times, the Cser brothers came out on top. When business began to pick up in 2010, they decided it was time to expand and re-hire some of their team.

In just the last few years, Detroit’s business and employee base have increased dramatically due to several factors, including the rebound of the automotive industry, a realigned focus, and hiring numerous salespeople, particularly the top salesperson in the entire company.

When asked why he took the chance with ICAT Logistics, Dan responded, “I was looking for that different approach. Twenty-four years later, I am still with the company and growing my business to levels I never imagined possible. ICAT has stayed true to their values and has asked for my personal input on growing the network. It’s been a win-win partnership since the beginning.”

Read the rest of the article here in FORWARD Magazine’s Fall 2018 Issue.

 

The three original employees of ICAT Logistics