In January 2020, we built out our training team and welcomed our first class of new employees for the year. This would mark the last full training class of 2020 that took place in our 120 N. Racine Avenue office.
By the time March rolled around, change was in the air. On March 10, Forbes named MoLo the #1 best startup to work for in Transportation & Logistics. The next day, our COVID-19 Response Taskforce was formed, and we swiftly worked to ensure everyone had the resources to safely transition to working remotely.
Hundreds of monitors began to stack up in our office space, towering over Katie Richards, a member of our COVID-19 Response Taskforce, who managed the inventory as employees from across the company came into the office to pick up their equipment. “When we sent everyone home, we had no idea that we’d be seeing each other over Zoom for months,” Katie recalled.
By the end of the day on Friday, March 13, every MoLo team member was equipped to work at home. “If we’re going to be who we say we are when it comes to taking care of our people, this is the kind of situation where it’s all or nothing,” she said.
As we began working from home, our people got creative.
Company-wide meetings went virtual, as did our problem-solving, our relationships, and our collaborative environment. Each team found a rhythm that worked for them: some teams met first thing in the morning and at the end of the day, while other managers used FaceTime to call teammates while taking walks around the neighborhood. No matter how they made it work, it’s safe to say that prioritizing our connections with each other—even over Zoom—was a huge factor in our success in 2020.
We also found ways to safely give back together, taking shifts at the Greater Chicago Food Depository to pack emergency relief kits for shelters across our community as COVID-19 rates worsened in the spring.
In April, as panic-buying hit new heights and volumes surged, we found innovative ways to service our customers and get shelves stocked across the country. Our commitment to service never wavered—even if it took late nights and required all-hands-on-deck. This spring, we were honored to receive the Kraft Heinz Highway Heroes Award, which recognizes companies that go the extra mile to feed America.
By May, we were looking for ways to thank our carrier community. Their dedication to keeping supply chains rolling was unmatched in 2020, and we wanted to rally our team and give back directly to the people that take care of us every day. We found St Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF)—which helps provide financial assistance to ill or injured drivers—and pledged $5 for every load moved in the month of May to SCF. These pledges, plus a final round of donations raised internally, came to $62,500.
In June, we spoke out about racism and our commitment to listen, learn, and educate ourselves on ways to make a real impact, both short and long-term, to improve a broken system. We formed our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, which is dedicated to leading the change we envision for our company and the global community. DE&I aims to be a catalyst for change within MoLo and its communities through volunteerism, recruitment, fundraising, and the furthering of education on inequality and social injustice. DE&I meets twice monthly, and coordinates conversations about allyship, biases, awareness, and more.
As we focused on sustainable growth, we also needed to find new ways to safely recruit new team members. We partnered with Handshake, which connects us with over 7 million alumni and students across the country to take part in a diverse range of virtual career fairs. These events have provided us with more opportunities to meet candidates where they are.
Through our first season of remote recruiting, we also trained our managers to help them conduct virtual interviews and shadow sessions, and we even welcomed our first virtual internship class!
This fall brought lots of new opportunities to MoLo! We launched a partnership with Boon, which offers holistic, personalized mental health resources paired with 1:1 coaching sessions to improve resilience, productivity, and engagement.
After months of testing and development with the Mastery team, we went live with our partnership. Their TMS, MasterMind™, is built to solve the supply chain’s most complex issues. MasterMind™ provides us with the infrastructure, functionality, and efficiency that we needed said, allowing us to continue to offer the highest level of service to our customers and carriers.
This November, we raised $1200 for Earth’s Remedies, which supports members of the community in the west side of Chicago. Our donation went towards their November 2020 event, Holiday for the Homeless, which helped to provide warm meals, winter wear packages, sleeping bags and sanitation kits to 75 people facing homelessness.
As we close out 2020, we’re thankful for the resiliency of our team, time after time. No matter how it was put to the test, the MoLo family rose to the occasion.
Reflecting on what this year has brought us, we’re incredibly thankful: for our team, our families, our friends, our customers, and our carriers. 2020 has brought so much into focus, and although there have been ups and downs, we’ve leaned on our values, we’ve grown, and we’ve continued to commit to the highest levels of service to each other and to you.
Here’s to all that’s ahead in 2021!
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