by Santura Pegram
It is often said that when starting most business ventures, the brains behind any potential endeavor should first consider two critical questions: what is there a need for in the world, and how to address it? For Jeffery Jones, CEO of STS Logistics LLC – dba – Seaport Transportation Services LLC and his partners behind the rising Fort Lauderdale-based company, it was common sense that compelled them to jump into the ocean of business.
Launched in 2014, STS Logistics LLC – Seaport Transportation Services LLC is a fully functional freight forwarding and import-export company that transports cargo and commodities from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world via seaway, airway, railway, and/or ground transportation. These freight forwarding logistics industry specialists are now expanding their reach into the global marketplace by becoming one of the preferred choices for businesses and government departments transporting all sorts of goods into and out of the Continent of Africa. They specialize in moving Heavy Lift and Project Cargo items like agricultural and construction machinery and equipment, in addition to an assortment of other commodities (including hazardous chemicals/materials) via containers. The company is fully licensed, bonded, and maintains state, federal and international authorization in every area that few companies besides UPS, FedEx, and DHL possess. However, the difference is that each of those ‘mainstream delivery service companies’ does not ship equipment, material, or products of any height, length, weight, or width like STS Logistics LLC – Seaport Transportation Services LLC does.
More impressively, STS Logistics LLC – Seaport Transportation Services LLC not only happens to be one of less than ten such companies in the entire U.S. that is fully owned and majority operated by African Americans, but they have a truly diverse team of highly skilled professionals on staff and access to expert advisory team members which includes Jennifer Diaz, Esq., a nationally renowned attorney who specializes in international trade law; Perry F. Sofferman, Esq., who handles complex corporate and commercial transactions; and, Dr. L. Craig Austin, an Associate Professor at Florida International University who earned a Ph.D. in Management, is an expert in international trade-regulations, and holds the rare distinction of possessing the U.S. Customs National Permit, allowing him to transact business on behalf of STS Logistics LLC – Seaport Transportation Services LLC in all 50 states as a customs broker. Three instrumental figures who can assist a customer(s) in avoiding any pitfalls or expediting any unnecessary delays that potentially arise from U.S. Customs or a foreign regulatory agency interrupting a cargo shipment.
When asked about the capabilities and services of the company, Jeffery Jones is quick to remind people of a 2017 U.S. Small Business Administration report which revealed that, “Out of the nearly 29 million small businesses in America at that time, only 1 percent of them were found to export their products overseas. Six years later (in 2023) and despite slight progress that has been made, marginal change has occurred because there are now an estimated 33.2 million small businesses in the U.S. and roughly 1.3 million of them (which still equates to only between 1.3 percent to1.4 percent total) export their products-goods overseas. This means, there is another 98-something percent of companies based throughout the United States still fail to understand the importance of exporting and are not selling their products and services to potential customers who live in other countries. That should be unsettling!”
Despite Mr. Jones’s comments and the proven benefits of increased sales and profits, diversified and expanded markets, and increased market stability as a result of engaging in international business, additional data on exports reveals that “63 percent of non-exporting businesses based in the U.S. still have concerns about exporting; 39 percent say their goods are not exportable; 37 percent admit they do not know how to start the process of exporting; and 24 percent cite regulatory barriers” as their hesitancy to engage in exporting. (SCORE & U.S. Census Bureau, 2017; updated in 2023).
For STS Logistics LLC – Seaport Transportation Services LLC, their greatest hope is that increasing numbers of businesses throughout America (especially small businesses) will begin to explore the untapped opportunities that involve exporting their products overseas for sale, just as most businesses based abroad already understand the advantages of selling the products they make in their country to consumers here in the U.S. and elsewhere. Besides, since it’s been widely reported over the last few years that “95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S.,” there’s an enormous hole to fill in terms of American businesses, government stakeholders, and business advocacy groups opening foreign markets to American goods and services so American businesses will grow and increasing numbers of jobs can be created here on this side of the water.