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The driver team was a married couple on a mission. For over fifteen hours they alternated shifts behind the wheel. They stopped only to re-fuel and for necessities. The GPS indicated another two hours to their destination. 

Their cargo was cancer medication for a sick child in Florida. As a provider of critical logistics, with same day delivery in North America and beyond, Crossroads Courier’s promises of excellence in service for their pharmaceutical customer was taken to heart by this driver team. 

Whether a Crossroads Courier route is regularly scheduled, dedicated, on demand, or next day distribution; and regardless of the nature of the business–medical or parts delivery, e-commerce or retail distribution, flowers, or many others–Crossroads considers every delivery a critical delivery. The reason? It’s important to the customer and their customer. 

The husband and wife driving team was transporting a critically-needed cancer treatment from Saint Louis, Missouri to the Florida hospital. The goal was to drive 1,024 miles in seventeen-and-a-half hours to deliver the medicine to the patient’s care team. Turns out the dispatcher chose the right team to get this job done.

Medical supplies in delivery cooler

Developing Driver Relationships

Crossroads Courier develops a  relationship with their independent delivery drivers through their time-proven method. 

  • Careful listening – Understanding each drivers’ needs and issues
  • Accountability – Being there for the drivers always, but intensely during the early weeks of the relationship
  • Flexibility – Valuing the two-way street that flexibility truly is
  • Appreciation versus underappreciation
  • Prioritization – Knowing that developing long-term, successful relationships with independent delivery drivers is just as important as developing those same relationships with customers

“We want our independent contractor drivers to be successful,” says Crossroads Courier Vice-President Brad Crank. “If they are not successful, we will not be successful, and the customer will not be successful.”

The goal was the shortest distance between two points with their precious medical cargo.  The mission was serving the treatment needs of a child patient with a serious illness. The drivers and their commitment to excellence made the difference. 

In logistics and the courier business, do we know the true impact a single parcel has on the recipient? It could be just a routine replenishment of household supplies. But it just as well could be the gift from a grandparent thousands of miles away to a grandchild that results in a happy smile and the joy of knowing they are loved, or the potential life-saving results of a new cancer medication. “We never know,” said Brad. “That’s why our promise of excellence-in-service for our customers means amazing delivery experiences. For Crossroads, excellence-in-service is not just a tagline, it’s who we are.” 

The relationship between an independent delivery driver and Crossroads Courier starts with investment in driver success with a focus on the long-term.  Just as the company desires long-term relationships with customers, Crossroads Courier also strives for long-term independent delivery driver relationships.

“It starts with honesty,” Brad said. “From our first conversation, we want to be clear and lay out what they can expect. We discuss the premise that being a courier is an important job and that we deliver critical items each day. A certain ‘weight’ and sense of responsibility is inherent in the job.”

Driver Onboarding

That very first conversation between an onboarding delivery driver and the Crossroads Courier team includes these fundamental points: 

  • Being a courier allows for people with no experience to have flexibility in their schedule and make great money.
  • Being a courier is not without its challenges.
  • Running a profitable independent delivery business (for the driver) requires:
    • Paying attention to fuel spend
    • Proper maintenance of the vehicle
    • Meeting Crossroads Courier’s customer delivery deadlines
    • Dealing with environmental elements and other challenges on the road

The conversation also includes:

  • Being open and transparent about IC earnings
    • What drivers can expect
    • How they can move forward
  • Acknowledging shortcomings when they occur
    • Being clear that we are not perfect, but believe that if we approach the relationship as partners, we will find a way for all to be successful 

Crossroads has a four-person team that engages with their new independent delivery drivers at the beginning of the relationship on topics such as, onboarding help; guidance for proper insurance; earnings reviews and counsel on how to maximize earnings; satisfaction ratings; offering fuel cards for a limited time in the beginning or when higher prices hit in the summer months; roadside assistance; questions about technology; scheduling; and a host of other factors that pave the way for a successful business for the contractor. The onboarding team is a defined focal point for issue management, guided by a ticketing system. 

As IC drivers gain familiarity and confidence in their engagement with Crossroads Courier, their relationship management eventually transitions to the local markets’ operations teams. The corporate team continues to be available to support the drivers as needed. Ongoing solutions support for drivers can include settlement advances to secure new vehicles; settlement advances for repair of existing vehicles; and regular reviews of new or upcoming work which may interest current drivers. 

The team counsels on general knowledge such as how they can be more efficient and profitable in their business and how to find opportunities for new and different work. Crossroads values their driver relationships, and the company culture is high on driver appreciation. There are awards for “Driver of the Month” and “Driver of the Year” for each Crossroads market – Saint Louis, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. The company also celebrates a driver appreciation week. 

Flexibility as a strength

Crossroads Courier’s definition of flexibility in the independent delivery driver or independent contractor (IC) relationship is indeed a two-way street. “Today’s post-pandemic environment has accelerated the adoption of the IC and gig-work mentality in those looking to become couriers,” said Brad. “The app-driven rideshare industry has played a major role in that. Our business is dynamic, and our most successful IC drivers are oftentimes the most flexible. Therefore, it’s paramount that we exhibit the same flexibility in the relationship with our IC drivers as they provide us. So, in that respect, we welcome those who are driving for the large gig-work companies as well as those who drive for our competitors. But we think the difference is that at Crossroads Courier, you’re not just a ‘number.’ We’re there for you, to help and support, and we don’t think of our drivers as just part of the app.”

Communication is key

As in all great relationships, communication is key. Crossroads Courier works hard to assure that IC drivers have an avenue to communicate their needs and concerns. The company does its best to help their IC drivers work through obstacles in real-time when making deliveries, especially with the push-to-talk capabilities of Zello. Dispatchers are passionate about helping drivers with route and order issues when they arise. 

Qualities of a great delivery driver

Courier driver hands on steering wheel

Brad and the team look for specific characteristics in potential new driver engagements. Besides the obvious safe driving record, they are interested in developing relationships with drivers who can meet the demanding nature of excellent courier work. This includes persons who:

  • Can meet the expectations of Crossroads Courier’s customers
  • Those that are driven to succeed and are “hungry for more”
  • Those that have excellent communications skills

“Our business is diverse in terms of what, when, and how we deliver for our customers,” said Brad. “Our goal is to provide our potential and existing IC drivers with the opportunities that best fit their needs. It’s a great arrangement when our customers’ needs fit with our IC drivers’ schedules and vehicle types.”

Crossroads courier company culture and values

Crossroads Courier aims to have long-term relationships with IC drivers where the driver’s values, company culture, and corporate values align. “We put a lot of thought into understanding our values and who we are,” Brad continued. “We concluded that whether it’s our approach to customer service, working with each other, or getting the job done, it all starts with putting the customer and the IC driver first. We want to be (and want to have people work with us – and independent contractors driving for us – who are):

  • Gritty
  • Efficient
  • Take ownership
  • Are Solutions driven
  • Innovative
  • Tenacious

It adds up to ‘we find a way,’ and ‘we pride ourselves on getting to the finish line and being creative.” Thus, the values framed in such a way so that it’s easy to remember who GETS IT. Crossroads Courier does by understanding and responding to the needs of its delivery drivers and customers. 

The cancer medication? It was delivered on time as expected and required. The Crossroads Courier dispatchers confidently expected nothing less, understanding the capabilities of the driving team they put to the test. 

Many lives have been improved, even saved, by Crossroads Courier deliveries. The urgent delivery of a heart valve to a hospital, surgeons waiting, patient on the table, a nurse hurrying out of the doors when Crossroads Courier called and said the driver was arriving and shouting out her name for the proof of delivery as she sped back into the hospital.  A packet of a rare blood type delivered for an accident victim. These are the critical logistics calls that have been answered by Crossroads Courier. There’s also the daily delivery of flowers, brightening the day of the person who luckily receives them, or the parcel that is the gift from a far-away grandparent. 

It is all in a day’s work for the great independent contractor drivers who make these deliveries on behalf of Crossroads Courier.

Drive with Crossroads courier

To learn more about driving with us as a courier or independent delivery driver please call (314) 764-2512 or complete our online application at https://crossroadscourier.com/NewDriverApplication.php. We look forward to connecting with you!

Delivery Driver

An entrepreneurial start

Growing up with a salesman dad, professional independent delivery driver for Crossroads Courier, Ginger Theroux-Hough, was influenced by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit. “My dad had a buying service,” said Ginger. “It was one of the first big buying services of its kind in the country. It was for embroidery machines, and he would go to trade shows. I went with him. I learned a lot about sales, how to generate leads, how to close the sale,” she reflected. “I made my first big sale at my dad’s used car lot. I did paperwork, but there was the day that dad was away at a meeting, and a woman came to the lot looking at the cars,” Ginger said. “I was only fifteen, but I jumped at the chance to help her. She was looking to buy a car for her daughter. I sold her a Camaro.” What did Ginger do to close the deal? “After listening to her, I told her that the Camaro was going to be the ‘biggest and baddest’ car around. Her daughter’s car would be the envy of the school’s parking lot,” Ginger said. “I think I can read people pretty well,” she added. The experience was a revelation. “I was extremely proud,” Ginger exclaimed. “Dad was happy. I put the entire deal together. When he came back, all it needed was his signature. It was cool.” From that point on, sales was in Ginger’s blood. Ginger pursued a career in real estate for thirty-seven years. “I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur my entire working life,” she said. Besides her successful real estate sales career, she also helped to substantially grow a property management company. She was her own boss and doing well.

a Passion for Riding and doing good

Besides her pride in her family- two adult sons and three grandsons – and in her entrepreneurial career, Ginger discovered another passion. “I ride motorcycles. I recently sold my Harley, and now I ride a brand-new Indian Chieftain. It’s a little more comfortable now at my age,” she said. “I started riding motorcycles at age seven, riding on the back of my dad’s. I had friends who rode, and I wanted to be like the boys. I’ve been on bikes for as long as I remember.” “I’m a member of an association. Not an MC, or motorcycle ‘club’. It’s an association. I’m VP of our local chapter. We do events and raise money for charity. All the money we raise goes to support Christie’s Place , an organization dedicated to strengthening the health and resilience of women, children, and families impacted by HIV/AIDS; and Relentless Pursuit , a community-centered, faith-based organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking and helping to heal and restore survivors and bring offenders to justice. I’m proud of the good that comes out of our motorcycle association.”

At the Crossroads of Change

Despite the goodness in her family life and her charity work, a restlessness was growing inside Ginger in regards to her work in sales. “I woke up one day, AND I WAS DONE, JUST DONE.  Burned out on it,” she said. “I just walked in and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ So, I quit. Just couldn’t do the corporate world anymore. It works for lots of people, but deep-down I realized I wasn’t being me.” A friend in her motorcycle association chapter, Janice Maki, drove as an independent contractor for Crossroads Courier. “Janice said ‘You ride with me, why don’t you try driving with me?’ So, I did, and I loved it from the get-go.” “The first day I drove for Crossroads, I was hooked. It was a great day. At day’s end, the dispatcher asked ‘I know it’s your first day, but we have a ride out to Hays (Kansas). Do you want it?’ That was a  three hour drive, but I said, ‘Why not?’ And it was great. I loved it from the start.” Ginger, who took logistics classes in college, said she knows what it takes for Crossroads Courier to make it all work for their customers each day. “I understand what they do. I was in the corporate world,” she said.

A Culture of Care at Crossroads Courier

For her, it’s the culture of care, cooperation, and collaboration at Crossroads that matters. “I can be me; I can be who I am,” she said. “They love me at the office, and I love them. It’s a team effort.” Driving gives her some alone time. But she says that when she makes a delivery and speaks to Crossroads Courier customers, it’s “two or three minutes, maybe; but “I try to help make their day a little better, a quick hello, a smile. With some of my repeat deliveries, I get to know a little about the customer and help them smile, too. ‘How are the twins doing?, stuff like that.” She understands that in the courier business, one never knows what importance or joy a particular delivery may bring to the recipient, so she treats them all as important. Ginger’s work ethic is embedded in her character. “If you give your best, then eventually you will get your return,” she believes. “It may be way down the road, but if you help people and give your best for them, then good will come back to you.” Her dependability is important for Crossroads Courier. As a contractor driver, Ginger says she believes in common courtesy. She lets Crossroads Courier know when she is working, and when she is taking time to ride her bike. She does “fill-in” routes. “I call myself the ‘back-up girl,’and  I pitch in when there is a dire need, even if it’s something I don’t want to do. Then when good things come along, they give it to me.” Ginger is all about the team, as is the Crossroads Courier Kansas City office. “Even through occasional change in the office, they always have an excellent team,” she proclaimed. “The morale is always high, and they’ve created such a good working environment. It’s amazing. I can pick up the phone and call any of them, and they are so helpful. Brad (Crank, Director of Operations) would be there if I needed his help. They have my back.”

The Rise of Women in Logistics

Ginger is excited and optimistic about the growing role of women in the driving force, whether behind the wheels of trucks or in small vehicles as couriers, and she’s enthusiastic about the rise of women in logistics, in general. “If women want to be in the business, they should give it a shot.  They should ignore the old saying that it’s a man’s industry. There are many roles in logistics and transportation that women can do as well or better than men,” she said. “We all need to have balance, family life, fun, and contributing to the world in our own way. I always wanted to be a part of things happening in this world. It’s important to me.” “For me as a kid, when it came to motorcycles, I was going to show the boys that I was as good as them when it came to riding – if not better. I’m self-supportive. I don’t mind asking for help when needed, but I’m positively self-supportive,” she added. “It’s all about work ethic, and there is no way anyone can just come in and make a fast buck. You must prove yourself every day.”

A Family of All Types

Today, besides her sons and grandsons, Ginger only has her mother left. “I talk to my mother every day.” Her dad taught her how to ride, to camp, to fish, and to be athletic. “I grew up in a man’s world,” says Ginger. “What Dad taught me; I taught my sons, and I’m teaching my grandsons.” Always the salesperson, Ginger is an advocate for the great culture at Crossroads Courier. “Whether you’re an employee at Crossroads Courier or a contractor, we’re a family – a family of all colors and all types. We have each other’s backs, so the greater good of the entire family will succeed.”

Crossroads Courier, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and equal opportunity provider for independent contractor positions. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, veteran status, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state or local law.