The current economic climate is sending mixed signals. Some believe the recession is over, but layoffs still abound, and hiring is limited to very few sectors.

For many, 2009 was the year of survival. America's top executives continue to cut expenses using conventional means - i.e. layoffs and salary cuts - but still avoid (like the plague!) the "low-hanging fruit"â❠of lowering shipping costs, which continues to threaten their bottom line and perhaps their very survival.

However, those that take the time to investigate new ways to save find them. Yes, the answers are out there, and it is quite possible that I can help you find them, if you are willing to look.

This column will contain information pertinent to your business shipping needs and will encompass the knowledge my partners and I have gained from helping companies from coast to coast lower transportation costs for more than two decades. I hope you find it interesting, and, more importantly, I hope I can help you. I sincerely want to help you ship better and save money.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I ask myself is, "How can I help someone lower their transportation costs?"â❠I get a thrill with each success story and a rewarding feeling when someone thanks me for my work.

I strive to exceed expectations; I am, if you will, the "Transportation Cost Assassin."â❠It's how I have fun.

Consumers can find wholesale auto prices online and in magazines and, for a small fee, receive a fact sheet showing exactly what the dealer's cost is for the car, along with each individual option. Upon visiting the dealer, those smart enough to do their research are armed and dangerous in their bold attempt to save every penny.

Similarly, when making airline reservations, many travelers visit Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline, among others, to save every penny on airfare. Just put in your origin, destination and travel dates, and voila! Multiple choices are displayed, many that can save you money.

So why don't businesses do the same thing? While frustrating, the answer isn't hard to find. It's about pride, perception and the unwillingness to seek help when needed. I want to change that. This is the challenge I face every day while trying to help my customers, friends and those I haven't yet met. It's the reason I am writing this column.

I intend to present new ways to help you lower transportation costs and have fun doing it. In 15 minutes, I will help you save money!

Let Me Introduce Myself
I began my career at Pitney Bowes in 1984 and worked there for 20 years before joining the Agile Network, a knowledge network of logistics professionals each with over 20 years of experience in the shipping industry. During the last five years, I've helped companies save millions and improve processes. I don't rest until the job is done.

Having been in the shipping/mailing industry for 25 years, I've seen it all. Many people resist lowering transportation costs more than they do those annoying telemarketers. For example, I tried to work with a close friend's company to help lower transportation costs, but I could never get him to work with me. I lamented for years while I watched his company waste thousands and thousands of dollars, all the time knowing I could help.

Thanks to the recession, I finally got the call to action I'd been waiting for. The end result was a staggering savings, an amazed financial executive who never believed someone else could help him save money and a humbled friend. Why did it have to take a recession? Did I perform magic? No - the fact is almost everyone I meet thinks they ship better than anyone else and have the best deals with their carriers. Want to really upset someone? Just tell them you can save them money on shipping!

Jim LeRose is founder of LeRose Systems LLC, Principal of Agile NYC Metro and has been a transportation industry consultant for 25 years. His clients have saved millions on transportation costs. Agile has helped companies such as JP Morgan, Audiovox, Intuitive Surgical, Audiovox, Panasonic Electric, Petco and over 1,000 others. Jim welcomes your comments and can be reached at or 888-214-1763.