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Bear Down Logistics with Desmond Clark feature #125 of Together Talks

Updated: May 8

"Together Talks" feature #125: Bear Down Logistics presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Bear Down Logistics

Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Bear Down Logistics and Founder, Desmond Clark. Their brokerage division serves all states and their excess capacity needs for our customers. Being an asset based provider in Central Florida and partnering with 30 year old company Quick Trip Express, they understand the need for being dependable and producing at the highest level, both internally for their team, and externally for their customers. They would like to learn more about your logistics needs within your business and see if we can assist you with any of our asset services, or brokerage services.


When did the company begin?

I started the company back in October of 2021. Officially it started on paper then, I should mention, but then I did a little bit more studying for another seven months. But went into operations of May of 2022. That's when I started making my first calls.

Story of how it was created?

I went into full-time speaking and team development coaching at the end of 2019. We all know what happened at the beginning of 2020, everything shut down. I started to get some some speaking engagement on zoom and but it wasn't what I had planned on, coming into 2020 and going to 2021. I was introduced to logistics by a guy who became a friend of mine, and a mentor. He saw what I was doing on LinkedIn as far as marketing and promoting myself and he had some questions. We discussed maybe me coming over and working with him and his business, Andrei Depot. Brian Rice is his name. That's when I started to learn the business of logistics. I was really interested in it because for one, it's a business that will be around forever, because products have to move from one place to another, regardless of what the market is. I like that part about it. I like the process oriented, systematic organic, repeatable process part about doing the job. And then I looked that this was something that if done right, it's very, very scalable. One of the things that I always wanted to do was to find that business that I can actually, test myself, prove to myself that I have the business mind, and the ability to build a business.


This just seemed so perfect once I understood it better. He asked me to come work with him, but after a few weeks I told him I want to go into business for myself. Luckily for me, he said, okay, so how can I help? And that was the start of it.


Meaning behind the name?

If you don't know me, I played 12 years in the NFL. I started out with the Denver Broncos.

In 1999, they drafted me in the six round, I played three years there. Then I played one year in Miami, then I transitioned to Chicago in the 2003 season. There I finished up my last eight years in Chicago and and I truly see myself as a Chicago Bear. I still have love for Denver because they gave me the opportunity. Miami was you know was really quick, I really didn't get integrated into the the atmosphere and the organization as much because I was only there for a short time. But I look at myself as a Chicago Bear and as I was thinking about a name for my logistics company, if you already have a name that's out there, you already have a brand that you can stand on, and what people know you by it only makes sense to leverage that. People knew me from playing football so what better name to have then Bear Down Logistics and just having that that double meaning. In this industry you have to bear down. And it goes back to my days of playing with the Chicago Bears.

Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
What have been the biggest challenges?

I just had to get going and get customers right? So I had the same the same uphill battle as any founder or any broker agent that's trying to get into this business. I have to go and make a million phone calls. I finally broke through and finally got that one customer and they gave me two lanes. It was unbelievable. I didn't know what to do, but then once I got into that flow of having a couple customers and I have some freight coming in, then it became I knew I didn't want to do this by myself.


I wanted to build a business but where do I pivot and start to hire people. So that was one of the things that I don't know if I did it right, but I survived it. I probably could have waited a little bit longer before I started to shell out payroll and get an office, but it worked out. Once I hired my first two employees, the biggest challenge that we had was we're new. The factoring companies, they didn't want to work with a new broker because we were new. You don't want to work with someone because they're new, how do they ever get experience, right?


So as I'm thinking about this, I'm talking to my employees like okay so let's ask that question and we went to those factory companies and we asked that exact question. Yeah we understand that we're new, we plan on being around for a while, but how do we get experience if you guys don't ever give us an opportunity. Give us one opportunity, extend us $2,500-3,000 to move one or two loads and if we do well, keep extending. If we we screw it up then we're done simple as that. That proposition right there started to open the doors for us. And I've heard this a lot because I've said this before on different podcasts, that story has helped people out who were just beginning. They told me, I called and just like you said they extended me a small amount of credit and then we built on that. But those are the toughest three, getting that first customer, when do I hire, and then now we have freight coming in, fighting with the companies to actually let us move freight with their carriers.


Reflect on a goal you set and how it made you feel to accomplish it?

It was just survival, like I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I never had been in this industry before. I'm about to put six figures into this company. I hope I don't lose my money. Being able to pull out 80% of that initial investment was very very satisfying.

Goals for upcoming year + Next phase of the company?

Coming into 2024, 2023 we ended up with 1.3 million in revenue. My goal was to get up to 10 million in revenue. People are like wow, that's eight times!


Yeah, I understand that, but that's what we're going for, we can get there. One of the ways that we're getting there is through our broker agents doubling their production that they have from last year, from 1.3 to 2.5 is what we set that on. But then we added in government contracting at the beginning of the year. It took us a little while to get everything going, our processes and hire the right consultant. But now we're getting to that point where we're consistently turning in solicitations and bids. So now that we're in the government contracting, it only takes a handful of those government contracts and boom, you're at 5, 6, 7, 8 million.


What were your concerns about making this transition?

I love to give people the definition of win, the word. When you look up the origin definition of the word win - it's to gain or succeed by struggling. For me, I always try to look at where am I going to struggle. If I'm going to be successful, if I'm going to win, let me identify my struggles and hopefully I know enough to identify most of the major struggles, right? I had someone who was advising me, thank goodness, and they let me know kind of where the struggles were going to be.


I had a lot of doubt because the biggest doubt was I am starting a business that I have absolutely no experience in and the doubt was am I going to be able to learn enough at the outset to not have this passion burn. So I had to put a lot of study into it and then once I actually launched it, when I'm making all those calls at the beginning and nothing is happening, right? First two months, the insurance still has to be paid. Luckily I was just working out of the house then but now I got the TMS that has to be paid. I mean I have bills now and after two months I'm like did I make the right decision because nothing is happening.


I thought, if I made these phone calls and there would be at least something. But I was grinding and you feel like when you're grinding so hard, you should get something out of it.

At the beginning, it was nothing. And I called a few people and asked them what am I doing wrong? Like, what should I be doing different? They all advised me to just keep doing that, just keep going.

How have you learned to be the face of the company?

I don't know if I had to learn it. I just became it.


I've been in the public eye for a long time now. So, that part wasn't hard. As a speaker, I'm used to being out front in front of people. So, now, how do I tell this story, right? And then that's what I started doing. I started telling this story.


Describe the journey of being an entrepreneur?

This is my first time having to hire people. when you hire people, you're not just hiring that person, right? You're hiring their family also. That's a huge responsibility. But it's a responsibility that I love also. Because I understand the impact that can be created, that I can have on people. If someone was asked what business are you really in? I wouldn't even say that I'm in the logistics business, I'm in the people business.


But I have to to have the systems, the logistics platform for them perform their jobs. I was just asked this two days ago, when you get to a hundred million dollars and you're no longer pushing all the buttons, what would your job position be? I would love to have an office and not be all remote so when I walk in the door see me. Because they know when I walk in I'm going to get people super motivated, I'm going to get people super excited. I want my ultimate position to be chief motivational officer.


Share a mistake and what you learned from that experience?

I almost lost the company. In October of 2022 we had our first hundred thousand dollar revenue month. Then we had another one in November and then we had another one in December. I had my two employees then and now I'm thinking okay the ball is rolling now let's go. I hired more people, thinking it's just gonna keep building, I hired five people to begin in 2023 and by April of 2023 I was seriously thinking I may be going out of business.


Luckily, one of my agents hit a home run in April of 2023. A home run that really saved the day for me and the company. But I had to cut and keep us leaner. April, I had to make the decision to cut two out of the three agents. They were doing their job, but that was the biggest mistake that I made of not hiring correctly. Not doing my due diligence of hiring and thinking that I was just about to grow like a weed now, just because I put people in seats.


Do you have a moment that brings you the most joy?

I think I had one of my more more inspirational talks with my team yesterday. I got through to them on a level that I don't think I had prior. It was something that had been on my mind.

I talked about the tower of Babel and when everybody got together, it was only one language on earth. It was this one community and they said, let us come together and build a tower that reaches up to heaven. Before God destroyed it, he said, now that they have one language and they have united together with one vision, there's nothing that could be withheld from them.


I was like, I believe this because if you look at our communities, even within our households, when we come together and we're united under one vision, one kind of voice that's all speaking the same language and all in the same direction things tend to usually work out. When we're divided things falls apart.


So, I created a whole message around that yesterday and I gave it to my team and I was so passionate about it. I didn't know I was going to come with that much passion and I think it hit home. I actually had one of my guys text me like that it was truly special to him.


Piece of Advice

It was the same thing I was telling my son today. That life is freaking tough. Life is hard.

Life is going to throw a bunch of shit at you, a bunch. It's up to us to build ourselves into a being that can withstand. Me and my son were working out this morning, we can work out because your outer shell needs to be hard. It needs to be tough. It needs to withstand some pressure. I told him get up get up on this bar. He's 12. He's little, his nickname is Sticks. I'm trying to get it into his head right now. You're going to do these squats and we're about to attack this. But it's not about the squats. It's about our mentality.


It's about how we attack stuff because later on in your life son, there's gonna come a time when life gets hard, but you're gonna be ready for it because you already put yourself through these tests, right? You already built yourself to be hard. You already built yourself to weather these storms. As we were coming home, I told him, it's not all about the physical, but also mentally and emotionally. You have to prepare yourself.


You have to be ready to go out and attack. Just like you got up this morning you say dad my stomach hurt and I told you I don't care, we want to work out. And I said that for a reason because there is gonna be times when you just don't feel it but you still got to go son. You still got to go out and get it, nobody will care about your stomach hurting. I wanted to show you that today you had a kickass workout, you went in and you dominated that workout and now you're not even thinking about your stomach. He was like no, I'm not. I was like that's what type of person that you have to be.


We have so much more within us than we give ourselves credit for, if we just stop punking out and stop wanting to take the shortcut and stop wanting it to be easy. Because if you take that shortcut somewhere there will be a longer path that you have to be willing to go through. That struggle, be willing to build yourself into a being that whatever comes my way whatever I have the courage to go out and get it done.


I want to tap into your vision and help you get there with that one voice. You lead me on the way that you need me to help you. And then I'll lead you on the way that I need you to help me. And then there's nothing that can be withheld from us if we all operate in that type of spirit, and there's nothing that can be held from us. So getting back to that brotherhood, , getting back to that, I want to see you do well. That has nothing to do with me doing well or not, but I want to see you do well. How can I help you do well? And I want to be able to ask you for help also. Getting back to that type of ideology. Anybody seeing this, let's get back to that. Come help me. I'll help you. And let's go out and build, build our tower of Babel for the right reasons.


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank Bear Down Logistics and Founder, Desmond Clark for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Bear Down Logistics feature #125 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Business Resources!

Look at our new page HERE designed to provide excellent opportunities that may be of interest to you. These are a compilation from our chats within our "Together Talks". If you have any suggestions please let us know as we would love to provide more valuable insight to our community!

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Bear Down Logistics feature #125

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!


Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.


Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.


Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.


Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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