All throughout the month of February, we’re highlighting Black-owned freight brokerage, 3PL, carrier and owner operator businesses in celebration of Black History Month. We recently had the good fortune to speak with Shay L. Dixon, co-founder of SCALE Logistics. Prior to launching SCALE Logistics last month, Dixon was the CEO of Atlanta-based Allegiant Logistics. Dixon got her start in the logistics industry in 2006 when she worked for a polyethylene foam insert manufacturer in the company’s warehouse. After working for the manufacturer for several years, Dixon left logistics to work for Navy Federal Credit Union, but quickly found herself being drawn back to the logistics industry. Following stints as a senior strategic buyer and national account coordinator for two leading logistics companies, Dixon was named the CEO of Allegiant Logistics in 2020.
Read on to learn more about Dixon’s journey in logistics and about her new 3PL, SCALE Logistics.
Focus on White Glove Services for High-Value Cargo
“Allegiant Logistics originally started in June of 2020 and we had our grand opening in October of 2020,” said Dixon. “I knew from the very moment that I started that I wanted to specialize in the transportation of high value cargo and manufactured goods.
Our niche from the very beginning has always been servicing the aerospace, avionics and manufactured goods industry. We’ve been able to build a team of certified logistics experts that understands the complexities of moving specialized and high value freight. Our focus has been to build relationships that the aerospace and manufacturing companies can leverage to transport their products in a timely, safe and highly visible manner. We provide that white glove, hand-held service, which a lot of customers want. They want someone who’s going to be their go-to person that can not only provide solutions, but who can get the job done and with excellence. If I don’t have the capacity, I can clearly say, ‘Hey, I don’t have the capacity, but I will build this lane for you.’ That has worked very well for me, just being really transparent in my capabilities and then also delivering.”
Allegiant Logistics is in the process of transitioning into becoming SCALE Logistics. SCALE is an acronym for Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence. During this time, Dixon and her SCALE team have started providing services out of the Ports of Mobile, Savannah and Charleston and also are offering warehousing and air freight forwarding services. According to Dixon, 95 percent of SCALE’s aerospace customers are aerospace repair facilities. SCALE is servicing the aerospace facilities that are getting the parts in, fixing them and then sending them back out to different companies. SCALE is an asset-based 3PL that has an extensive network of vetted carrier partners.
“I think we have about a 92 percent retention rate with carriers,” said Dixon. “So the same carriers that are onboarded to run a load usually are the same carriers that continue to run those lanes. That’s how we’ve structured the business. Because it’s high value cargo, I pay my carriers well so that it’s sustainable for their businesses. It feels good to see people add more trucks and drivers to their fleets because they’re growing while we’re growing. I named the company SCALE because our customers are growing, we’re growing and then the carriers are growing — and that’s how this industry should be.”
Victories and Challenges as a Black Female Executive in Logistics
“It’s been very challenging as a Black woman in this industry,” said Dixon. “No one gives you a roadmap or a strategy to navigate that. I’ve experienced a lot of sexism and a lot of racism. People have said to me, ‘Oh, you’re not like other black people,’ but I’m still Black. I try to look at things not so much as an obstacle, but an opportunity. Being a Black woman in logistics, I have found an opportunity to showcase that Black people and minorities can accomplish amazing things. Don’t just give me an opportunity because I’m an MBE. Give me an opportunity because I’m an expert and I know what I’m doing. I’ve been able to change the narrative for a lot of people. I’ve sat at a lot of tables with 50 year-old white men who have stereotypes in their minds and I’ve been able to change those stereotypes, not just with the way that I speak or the expert level of knowledge, but by educating them.”
Dixon worked in a freight brokerage where she was the only Black person and the only Black woman. She said that during her time there, she dealt with microaggressions such as being asked to get male dispatchers coffee when she was in a senior manager role. Dixon told us these experiences strengthened her and helped her be able to handle herself with class and grace. She said she’s also had some in the industry try to use her minority status or her status as a woman to leverage their business or use her for opportunities. Despite these challenges, Dixon sees that the industry is evolving.
“I would like to think that we’re the change makers, that changes are happening right now in the industry because there are some powerful women that are kicking down doors and then pulling other women with us,” Dixon shared. “I’ve learned that I have to create a safe space for other women whether they’re minorities or not.”
To learn more about SCALE Logistics, visit https://www.shipwithscale.com.
Watch the Trucker Tools blog for part two of our interview with Shay L. Dixon.