The Custom Companies, Inc.’s First Employee Recounts Early Years

The Custom Companies pic

The Custom Companies

As the founder of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera provides coast-to-coast transportation solutions spanning air and land. Perry Mandera’s firm celebrated 30 years in the business in 2016, and the company newsletter featured an interview with him and the firm’s first employee Dianna Ryan.

Joining the company in 1986, Ms. Ryan was there as operations expanded from a small freelance basis to more than 600 employees. She recalls that there was on ethos of accomplishing everything necessary “to get the job done” in the early days, even if that entailed 14 hour workdays.

There was a tight-knit aspect of operations, where personal competencies were strongly valued, and she worked to create company norms and best practices from the outset. Ms. Ryan has witnessed firsthand the organization’s transformation into a departmentally structured company with checks and balances at multiple levels. She speaks about her position remaining extremely challenging and values how Mr. Mandera encourages thinking outside the box.


The Custom Companies, Inc. – Three Decades of Sustained Expansion


The Custom Companies pic

The Custom Companies

As president of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera leads a trusted provider of transportation services throughout North America, as well as Hawaii and Puerto Rico. A recent company newsletter focused on Perry Mandera’s success in growing the company over the past three decades.

Established in 1986, The Custom Companies began as a two-door Elk Grove Village operation and grew sustainably through its focus on quality service that fully delivered on client expectations. Organic growth has been supplemented with strategic acquisitions, beginning with CDN logistics, an over-the-road carrier, in the late 1990s. In 2001, the firm added Custom Global Logistics’ air freight services to its family and in 2012 it acquired ATS and Circle W, which added refrigerated and flatbed transportation capacities. In 2015, Tri Air Transportation was added to the corporate footprint.

Today The Custom Companies maintains a nearly 500,000-square-foot facility in Northlake, Illinois, that has 400 dock doors. In addition, it has a 250,000-square-foot facility in Santa Fe Springs, California, that ensures highly responsive service across the West Coast. Mr. Mandera describes his future vision for the company as strategic expansion that conforms to economic and industry trends.

The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation By Perry Mandera

Founded in 1985, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF) honors Lynn Sage, a Chicago-area woman who died from breast cancer after fighting the disease for six years. Today, LSCRF maintains affiliations with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

LSCRF provides donor-supplied funding to research projects that are designed to improve understanding of the causes and treatments, as well as potential cures, for breast cancer. In addition, LSCRF dedicates a significant number of resources to educating the public about breast cancer prevention.

Since it was launched by 17 of Lynn Sage’s friends, LSCRF has grown significantly with a board of more than 84 people. The organization has collected more than $27 million for breast cancer research. LSCRF raises much of its money through four annual events held throughout the calendar year and relies on corporate sponsorship to maintain its nonprofit status.

About the Author

Chicago-area businessman and philanthropist Perry Mandera launched his first business in 1980 when he was just 23 years old. Today, he uses the profits from his various business successes to support several charities, including the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.

Tips for Freight Transportation Perry Mandera

While freight transportation can entail complications, you can streamline the process and make efficient use of your time by planning in advance.

Here are a few tips to help you during planning:

1. Because it may involve multiple geographies that span cities, states, and countries, freight transportation has a lot of paperwork. Make sure that you have collected and documented forms for all possible ports. Also, make sure that you train your staff on not only the forms but also on freight-related questions via mock interview sessions.

2. Fees are a function of the goods being shipped. Thus, custom fees increase with the value of the transported goods. In addition, certain countries also impose special fees known as tariffs on products. Make sure that you have educated your staff about all fees applicable to the goods being shipped.

3. The delivery time for your freight largely depends on final destination. For example, items shipped domestically generally arrive on time and do not involve cargo containers. On the other hand, products shipped to international destinations may be delayed as they involve multiple transit points and forms of transport. It is always helpful to communicate expected dates of shipment and delivery to the receiving party.

About the Author
Perry Mandera is the managing director and founder of The Custom Companies, a freight transportation company with headquarters in Northlake, Illinois.