2018 Review – 2019 Outlook

Happy New Year 2019!

It’s that time again for my annual year-end review and outlook for the coming New Year. For the past 32 years (although I might have missed the January 1st deadline along the way) this ritual allows me to share some insight and hope for the year ahead.

We started 2018 – 13 months into the JBS/Koch acquisition (December 1, 2016) – with a clear 5-year plan for change and growth (15% – 20%) which is essential in today’s competitive 3PL industry. While the first year was focused on the “Culture Change” of the old JBS (Sam and Alec) with new JBS (Koch HR, IT and a different Org Chart), the 2nd year was more focused on improving our infrastructure and building a solid base.

Coming out of the acquisition, although JBS had the necessary assets and employees for continued moderate growth of around 5%, we knew that in 2018 we needed to make significant investments in people and equipment to achieve our 5-year plan:

  • First: we needed to increase our labor force

We did this by hiring skilled warehouse labor, experienced customer service, and sales development personnel.

  • Second: revisit job descriptions

For example, we have moved away from our Carrier Reps (dispatchers) doing customer service functions like tracing and making pickup appointments.   Now they dedicate their efforts finding the best qualified carrier, while a team of Customer Service Personnel handle inside sales support. We also hired an LTL specialist to help generate business for Koch Logistics LTL common carrier program.

  • Third: we needed to invest in equipment and space

Another significant event in 2018 was the 40% increase in warehouse space we obtained when we took over the 999 Bilter building in June. This included an investment of almost $500,000 in new sit-down forklifts, standups, and racking plus new workstations, computers and -soon to come- new phone system. We also added to our transportation fleet with new tractors and refer trailers.

All of these changes were planned and executed in 2018 – a very busy year!

Turning to 2019 – to achieve our 5-Year Plan of 15%-20% sustained growth, we will focus on 2 things:

  1. Providing exceptional service to our current customer base. Every one of us has a hand in making sure our existing customers are getting the best possible, mistake-free service.
  2. Obtaining new customers. We are cultivating a team of Business Development personnel which will focus their efforts on bringing new opportunities to JBS.

What does this mean to you? As you may know, JBS has adopted a quarterly bonus plan from Koch Logistics that allows qualified employees to share in a portion of the profits that were generated. My goal is to ensure you are getting that bonus 4 times a year!

I am 100% convinced that these new investments along with our dedicated and talented workforce will bring us much success in 2019! I am also very grateful that you have chosen to be part of our JBS team and I wish you and your families much happiness and good health in 2019.

All the Best –



Lobbying Congress, again

In early June, I had the privilege of representing JBS Logistics and Koch Companies at the 2018 Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) Policy Forum in Washington DC. The Policy Forum is an annual event held exclusively for TIA members. The two-day event comprises of current industry briefings, educational seminars and congressional meetings.

The first day was for preparation and information. Chris Burroughs, TIA Director of Government Affairs, provided members with a comprehensive legislative update related to the 3PL industry. This was followed by a luncheon with expert seminars. TIA then welcomed Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13th/IL) to say a few words. Congressman Davis received this year’s TIA 3PL Congressional Leadership Award. The day ended with an exclusive tour and dinner at George Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon.

The next day we hit the Hill for in-personal congressional meetings. The strategy was a local one. As part of the “IL” group – members from 3PL companies operating in Illinois – I was excited to get underway. With meetings scheduled back to back, we walked briskly to and from various Senate and House buildings, all closely surrounding the Capitol. In these meetings, we urged members to support the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act and the creation of a National Hiring Standard. In total, TIA members met with over 160 Members of Congress and their staff.

I had the pleasure to meet with JBS Logistics’ own U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam. Peter James Roskam is a U.S. Representative (R-IL 6th District), serving since 2007. I shared with Rep. Roskam about how important it was to me that small, family-run businesses are given a fair chance to thrive in today’s economy. In a follow up letter, I extended an invitation to Rep. Roskam to tour JBS Naperville.

On behalf of JBS and Koch, I would like to thank the TIA and members of Congress for the opportunity to take part in such an astounding event!

On June 6th, The Illinois team met with the congressional offices below:

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL/8th)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL/6th)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)


Joseph Gizzi

JBS Logistics & Warehousing, Inc.

A Division of Stan Koch Trucking

*TIA is premier organization for third-party logistics professionals doing business in North America. TIA provides resources, education, information, advocacy and connections to establish, maintain and expand ethical, profitable and growing businesses in service to their customers*.

2017 – A year in transition

_DSC5302-01After completing the sale of “old JBS” late last year, we knew 2017 was going to be a year of transitioning.  It has proven to be that and more.  Starting with the retirement of my long-time partner and good friend Sam DiMaio, we headed into 2017 a little anxious but no less excited about the “new JBS”.  The overall culture of our new parent company (Stan Koch & Sons Trucking) is more similar then different from ours, which made the transition much easier to accomplish.

To help us through the transition, I laid out 3 key objectives:

  • Expanding our sales to include the new services available to sell with Koch Logistics.
  • Integrating our IT and software programs
  • Implementing new policies (HR and Work Safety) that could guide us through the next phase of growth.

For the first objective, Dan Mastropieri was promoted to direct our sales efforts.  Koch’s additional services such as LTL, Maritime, and Air Freight required someone with Dan’s experience and knowledge to lead us through the expansion.

IT integration proved to be the most challenging objective as we switched TMS and accounting systems in the second half of the year.  Just ask Penny how difficult it was moving from our homegrown easy-to-use TMS to the more complex TruckMate.  Still to come in 2018 is a new phone system and moving our servers to Koch Logistics in St. Paul.

One of the most noticed changes involved the last objective.  We created 4 new committees that included; Work Safety, Security, Food Compliance / Safety, and Social.  Each committee has been very active in achieving their goals and making JBS a better place to work.  A sincere Thank You for everyone involved on those committees.

There have been many other great successes throughout the year including adding a net-gain of 17 new warehouse customers, hiring 11 new employees, and the creation of an 8-person management team spearheaded by veterans Tom Keller (warehouse) and Steve Krisch (Transportation).  Speaking of Steve, he celebrated his 25 year anniversary with us in February, Congratulations!!

Like any other successful business, we have had a few stumbles along the way too, but we learned from those only to be stronger as we head into our 32nd year of business.  Speaking of 2018, I am excited to announce the start of a “Quarterly Bonus Program” for all qualified employees.  More details to follow but it will be based on the overall profit generated during the 3-month period.

Finally, to all our employees, vendors, and customers, we say Thank You for all your hard work, dedication, and loyalty shown in 2017, and we hope that the New Year brings you many blessings and good cheer!



CIACO Thanksgiving Baskets

Every Fall season, JBS Logistics joins forces with C.I.A.C.O (Chicago Italian American Charitable Organization) and turns it attention to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need.   Extensive fund raising and outreach secures the money to purchase specific food items and food donations from generous manufactures and distributors in the Chicagoland area.

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, hundreds of members, families and friends gather at the Renu facility in Glendale Heights  to assemble the “Baskets Of Love”. Each box weighing over 60 lbs is assembled and distributed to families in need all over the Chicagoland area.

The event started in 1995 with the decision to forgo the 50 Turkeys given to our members and pass them on to those less fortunate. The need has grown steadily! 350 boxes were assembled in 2008. 500 boxes were assembled in 2009. This year, more than 600 boxes were assembled and distributed! JBS Logistics had the honor and privilege to help once again. On Friday November 17th, JBS refrigerated trucks picked up pallets of donated food items such as the 600 frozen turkeys, Pasta, Coffee, Ketchup Bottles, Rice Pudding / Gelatin products and more. JBS also provided several sections of roller conveyors for the actual assembly line.

Dan Mastropieri
Director of Sales National Accounts
JBS Warehouse & Logistics Inc.

JBS 2016 Year in Review

So many accomplishments and changes highlight the year 2016 that will go down as one of the top 3 in JBS’ 30 year history (The other 2 are 1986 when Sam & I founded the company and 2012 when we moved into Naperville from Glendale Heights).

Celebrating our 30th year in business, our newly formed social committee (Elvia, Steve, Emilie, Kathy, Joe, Lucy and Penny) was responsible for organizing 2 main functions:  The first was to celebrate our actual anniversary date of June 1st with a company-wide luncheon and picture taking (Christmas card).  We actually closed down our operations for a couple hours that day (1st time ever) to make sure everyone was able to celebrate together.


The second main function was our year end Christmas Dinner Party at Eaglebrook Resort.  A heavy snowstorm didn’t dampen our celebration as many of the party-goers took advantage of available hotel rooms and partied well into the night.

2016 was a challenging year for our business as well.  We needed to replace a couple good warehouse customers who had moved their operations out of the Chicago area. Combined with a sluggish economy, our usual annual growth was going to be difficult. We needed to refocus our business strategy and look for an alternative to expand.  That is when the opportunity of combining operations with Koch Logistics presented itself.  For the later part of the year, I was focused on due diligence merger planning while Sam recovered from his surgery. It was a bittersweet moment when we finalized the strategic partnership in November.

After 30 years JBS now has a new partner; Koch Logistics a division of Stan Koch Trucking of Minneapolis. The new JBS will allow both companies to share best practices and resources that enhance mutual success.

I anticipate an exciting transitional year in 2017. We have plans to:

  • Update our brokerage TMS program
  • Expand our local cartage operation
  • Acquire long term warehousing opportunities that would mean acquiring more space!

With our continued enthusiasm and teamwork, I look forward to the next 30 years!

To all of our employees, vendors, and customers, we say Thank You for your hard work, dedication, and loyalty and hope that the New Year brings you many blessings and good cheer!

Alec A Gizzi

JBS Logistics & Warehousing, Inc


Press Release

Koch Logistics, an operating division of Stan Koch and Sons Trucking, Inc. is excited to announce that it has purchased JBS Logistics and its affiliated companies as of December 1, 2016.

Founded in 1978 and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Koch and its operating companies and divisions provide a variety of transportation services including over the road long-haul trucking, local cartage services, dedicated fleet services, tractor and trailer leasing services and warehousing. Koch Logistics provides full service third-party logistics services including truckload, partial truckload, LTL, expedited, small package and international NVO services.

JBS Logistics and its affiliated companies are based in Naperville, IL and have been in business for over 30 years. JBS is a full service logistics provider with services that include warehouse storage and fulfillment, local cartage, as well as nationwide truckload and partial truckload delivery.

The new entity “JBS Logistics and Warehousing, Inc.” will be managed by one of the previous owners and President of JBS, Alec Gizzi. Mr. Gizzi commented “Sam DiMaio, the other previous shareholder of JBS, and I determined that JBS had reached a point that necessitated partnering with a larger entity to ensure our growth for the next 30 years. Koch’s culture and core values are the same as ours and we felt they were an excellent choice to partner with. I am excited for the growth opportunities that exist for JBS Logistics and Warehousing, Inc. and our dedicated employees”

Jeff Faust of Koch Logistics commented “Alec and Sam have built a very successful operation that we believe is an excellent addition to the portfolio of companies which Koch operates. We are very excited to have them join us and look forward to the continued success and growth of the new JBS Logistics and Warehousing, Inc.”.

Any questions related to above should be directed to Alec Gizzi, Executive Vice President of JBS Logistics and Warehousing Inc. at 630-672-7540 or Jeff Faust, Vice President and General Manager of Koch Logistics at 651-999-8512.


Exactly 30 1/2 years ago today on June 1, 1986, Sam & I first opened the doors of JBS (then called JBS Warehousing and Distribution).  We were excited but scared. We immediately found ourselves in debt (each of us with a $10,000 home equity loan) to fund the first few months.  Maybe we were too young (some would say stupid) to realize the path of hard work and sleepless nights we had in front of us, but for the next 366 months we made it work.  It included pouring profits back and increasing our debt so the company could hire great people, purchase new trucks/trailers, invest in IT systems, and buy warehouse equipment which were all required to ensure growth.  I can honestly say we made it work.  We have built successful relationships with great customers and good vendors based on a solid foundation of honesty, integrity, and good old-fashion hard work.

This morning we (JBS) turn the page onto a new chapter.  With it comes the same feelings of excitement I had back in June of ’86 when Sam & I started the new business, but this time I am not so scared.  It is because this time I have many people who will be helping from the beginning and we already have a solid foundation of customers and vendors. And although no one will ever replace Sam who is the best partner anyone could ever hope for, JBS will be able to combine our opportunities with the resources of our new partner Koch Logistics.  A Koch/JBS partnership will provide the solutions required to compete in today’s rapidly changing transportation industry.  Together we will be able to grow our warehouse operations as more and more companies look to outsource their supply-chain distribution.  Together we will continue to grow as a team.

December 1, 2016:  Excited – yes.  Scared – not so much this time.

Alec A. Gizzi, CTB

Chicago Italian American Charitable Organization (CIACO) “Baskets of Love”

Sunday, November 20th 2016

‘Twas the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving, when all through the ReNu facility, CIACO members and hundreds of volunteers – young and older – (consisting of family members and friends) gathered together for a single purpose.


That purpose was to assemble and pack 600 food crates, 50lb each, with items to create a complete Thanksgiving meal for families in need. Items were donated by various companies in the area. Our JBS truck with custom refrigerated sleigh drove around Chicagoland collecting all the items for assembly.  All the fixings were set up assembly-line style on either side of the 100 ft of conveyor sections provided by JBS. As the completed crates came down the line, local churches, shelters and other charities were driving up and getting loaded for final delivery to families in need.


Some of the great items included Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Stuffing, Canned Cranberries, Mac & Cheese, Scalloped Potatoes, Egg Noodles, Pudding Mix, Turkeys, Carrots, Oranges, Fruit Punch Drink Mix, Corn Bread Mix, Turkey Gravy Mix, Hot Chocolate, Ketchup, Bread Crumbs, Canned Corn, Canned Green Beans, Canned Fruit Cocktail, Saltines, Chicken Broth, Cookies, Grated Cheese, Pancake Mix, Pancake Syrup, Brownies, Bags of Flour, Onions, Potatoes, Bags of Sugar, Peanut Butter (Casey’s Foods / Imp. Services), Pretzels, Cookies, Soap, Coffee (Compact Industries / JBS), Jello / Rice Pudding Cups (Raymundo Foods / JBS ) .




Lobbying Congress

Last week I joined 65 other Logistics professionals in Washington DC to tell our stories to Congress. The group organized by TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Association) visited with over 150 Congressional offices to talk about how pending (or lack of) legislation will affect our industry and eventually our businesses. Third Party Logistic (3PL) providers employ 128,000 people in the US with a payroll of over $7 Billion. The $157 Billion Dollar industry has been growing at rate 2-3 x GNP.

The two-day event was well organized by TIA staff, giving us great guidance and information to make our visits productive. I was fortunate to meet with Congressman Peter Roscam (R-IL 6th District) who represents our District.


However, with votes being cast throughout the 2 days, we did not always get to meet with the actual Senator or Congressman/-woman. For example, our group had 10 meetings scheduled but we only had the opportunity to meet 3 Members. This is my 5th time lobbying for TIA in DC and I have learned that sitting down with a member of Congressional staff is just as productive because their job is to inform (and sometimes influence) their boss about issues that are important to their constituents.


Specifically we addressed 3 issues that are the most pressing:

  1. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) vs. Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) fully supports the proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD). The SFD will clear up how safety ratings for motor carriers are presented to the public, and remove the confusion and liability traps that surround the four-tiered rating system. TIA supported the CSA Reform language included in the FAST Act, but the SFD is based on absolute measures and is not directly tied to CSA. Therefore, the SFD should not be delayed until the CSA study, certification, and corrective actions are taken. The entities that hire motor carriers, like 3PLs and shippers, cannot wait any longer for a clear-cut line to determine which carriers are safe to use and which carriers are not. The SFD provides us with that line. Additionally, the SFD would identify and remove the most egregious motor carriers from our nation’s highways, and drastically improve safety.

  1. Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity (PWAO) Act

President Obama announced a final rule on federal standards for exempting workers from overtime pay. The new rule will increase the salary level under which workers are eligible for overtime pay, from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year), and allow for this threshold to be automatically adjusted every three years. Although we agree that an increase is justified, we believe that the over 100% increase is too much for small businesses to absorb.

This proposed legislation (PWAO Act) will nullify the final rule and require the Department of Labor to conduct an economic analysis on the impact that increasing the mandatory overtime salary threshold will have on small businesses, non-profit employers, and public entities. This Act will also statutorily prohibit the automatic increase of the salary threshold that is included in the final rule. The overtime pay threshold has never been subject to an automatic increase before, and it is important that Congress and the American public have an opportunity to carefully consider the impacts on the overall economy.

  1. The National Hiring Motor Carrier Standard (H.R. 1120)

The national hiring motor carrier standard would clarify and standardize industry best practices for hiring safe motor carriers. Currently, industry stakeholders are often asked to second-guess the FMCSA on determining which carriers are safe to operate and those that are not. Congress tasked the FMCSA with evaluating motor carrier safety and empowering them with the sole authority to revoke the interstate operating authority of unsafe motor carriers or otherwise place unsafe motor carriers out-of-service and off the road.

H.R. 1120 would require that before hiring a motor carrier, a shipper, broker, forwarder, and/or receiver ensure that the motor carrier is:

  •  properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA);
  •  has obtained the minimum insurance; and
  •  has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.

H.R. 1120 plays an important role towards improving safety within the transportation industry specifically by establishing a National Standard for Hiring Motor Carriers. Under the Bill, an entity (broker, shipper, receiver, forwarder, etc.) would be required to ensure that a carrier is properly registered, has obtained the minimum required insurance, and is not rated unsatisfactory. Currently, there is no standard or duty of care an entity must take when hiring a carrier and this is a huge step towards removing unsafe carriers from the highways.
All 3 topics were presented and discussed to both Democratic and Republican Members with both sides having their typical partisan views on President Obama’s Overtime Rule. My optimistic view is that a compromise can still be reached before the elections, yet I am not so sure that will be the case. However if we choose to stay home and if we were to not present our side of the agreement, there would be no chance to persuade.

The old saying goes, “In Washington, you either have a seat at the table or on it”.

Alec A. Gizzi, President JBS Inc.



30 years ago JBS opened their doors in a small warehouse in Addison, IL.  (see also: https://jbslogistics.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/how-jbs-started-30-years-ago/)

Since then, JBS has matured into a full service warehouse and transportation company focusing on delivering excellent service at fair prices.  Those services include complete 3PL warehouse operations that allow commercial clients to focus attention on their companies’ core competencies while JBS takes care of their inventory.

On June 1st, the 30-year anniversary was celebrated with an employee appreciation luncheon which included an award ceremony for long time employees.

Pictured below are 6 employees who have been with JBS for 20+ years: From left to right:  Rich Plotke, Nancy DiMaio, Steve Krisch, Barb Grandis, Dan Nitti, and Bill Fiorito