The COVID-19 pandemic impacted several industries in different ways with some sectors such as e-commerce benefitting whilst sectors such as entertainment and hospitality suffered. An area that came under intense strain during the pandemic was logistics as many companies had to adapt and find ways to get goods delivered. Many companies in the space suffered and in some cases ended up closing down but a few managed to come out of the pandemic stronger. One entrepreneur who managed to grow his logistics business during the pandemic through pivoting parts of his business model is Adam Sabbagh, CEO of Pharaon Logistics.
Sabbagh had a very international experience growing up living across many different countries which gave him a broad view of the world and an appreciation for different cultures. He then went to study international relations at university in New York. Upon leaving university having learned relevant academic skills, an ability to speak 4 languages, and some experience as a professional horse rider competing internationally he joined his family’s business. He spent many years developing his business knowledge there in various roles across their portfolio of companies that includes Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Shipping, and Logistics. In 2019 he was promoted to CEO of a new area the group wanted to venture into which was inter-state logistics in the U.S. The company he became CEO of and helped start would be called Pharaon Logistics and would leverage the networks and experience the wider group had developed over several decades.
Building Pharaon Logistics
Building out the platform at Pharaon Logistics got off to a smooth start. Sabbagh and his team set up innovative tools and systems utilizing their network and experience to offer best-in-class service. However, in early 2020 as the business started to grow the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In the months that followed most of the U.S. went into lockdown. Almost overnight many retail outlets closed, freight options became restricted and suddenly their company had a whole new set of rules they had to adhere to.
All of these changes meant Sabbagh had to restructure the business he had spent over a year setting up. As a fairly risk-averse person, he anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic would be around for some time so decided to restructure the business around two key pillars – safety and punctuality. Focusing on safety the company worked on ensuring all staff and customers they were dealing with were safe. Precautions that were taken included testing drivers regularly at several intervals, escorting some drivers directly to terminals, sterilizing trucks and equipment. This proved satisfying to both customers and staff and meant at a time when many companies were struggling to hire drivers due to safety concerns they were able to continue recruiting to ensure they could keep up with increased demand in the months that followed.
For the second pillar of punctuality, in addition to hiring and training the high-quality staff who would go through rigorous testing, they utilized technology to streamline as much of the processes as possible following the guidelines set by the Department Of Transportation as well as creating bespoke tools to track orders and manage operations.
The Results & The Future
With these changes in place, Pharaon Logistics was able to operate through the pandemic without losing significant business and saw expansion in some areas. Companies they were able to serve and work with included FedEx, UPS, Tesla, and Wholefoods. However, what made Sabbagh and his team most proud was being able to offer a high quality, reliable service when delivering medical goods that were very much needed across America during this time. They were involved in the rollout and delivery of vaccines and this aligned with their company slogan of ‘Serving America On Time’.
The team at Pharaon Logistics is now over 500 people and as the COVID-19 pandemic eases they have enhanced their reputation and offering to grow substantially in the coming years which should see them become one of the biggest inter-state transportation companies.