In March of 2019, Hope White attended the Georgia Logistics Summit in Cartersville. She was hoping to connect with someone from the Georgia Ports Authority who could help expand her business, HD White Logistics, LLC, a third-party logistics provider specializing in freight brokering and logistics training/consulting.
“I went looking for a source, not knowing I was sitting next to the source,” White recalls of that conference. The source was Hannah Mullins, former Candler County Industrial Authority executive director who was then working in Banks County. Mullins introduced White to Stacy Watson, GA Ports Authority director of industrial and economic development.
White and her team drove to Savannah not long after that initial meeting to learn more about the Port expansions and what opportunities she could find there. She learned that HD White Logistics would be creating a “first” at the Ports. “We are actually the first Certified Minority Woman-Owned third-party logistics provider in this area,” White said.
Fast forward to one year later. Mullins has returned to Candler County’s Industrial Development Authority and Watson suggested a meeting with Hope White (not realizing that they had already connected the year prior).
In the meantime, White was expanding the training and consulting arm of the business via a series of courses called “Logistically Speaking” (logisticallyspeaking.online).
“I really try to teach my students the importance of learning how to support supply chain in logistics and not just in trucking,” White said.
One of her students, Tara Terrell, had just ventured into a new owner-operator trucking business with her spouse and absorbed the course with great clarity and vigor. White took the course a step further, explaining her fascination with the warehousing component of logistics.
White told her students, “It’s the Port. They’ve got a lot of opportunity coming out of there. I’ve got to get to Metter. It’s the perfect location between Atlanta and Savannah. I have to be there.”
With the impacts of COVID bringing uncertainty to the market, White realized that the demand for container storage and drayage services would remain steady; it was time to pivot. Soon enough, White reached out to Dommonique Eberhart, who was a friend and independent business consultant, and Terrell about joining forces to bring the Metter vision into fruition. A new partnership was born, with White as the CEO and Eberhart and Terrell as managing partners.
Six months later, HD White Logistics is now planning to expand its operations into Candler County, bringing storage containers to 10 acres at Candler County Industrial Park off of I-16.
What is HD White
HD White Logistics is a third-party logistics provider.
“We facilitate the movement of cargo between customers and owner-operators or private trucking companies,” White explained. “We specialize in the movement of dry van, refrigerated and flat bed cargo throughout the U.S.”
HD White Logistics LLC has been in business since December 2016 and currently partners with over 25,000 dedicated asset-based trucking companies. A few of their more notable clients include Spartannash, UPS, Bell Textron, Premier Yarn and De Waffelbakkers (best known for their Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles).
“Even though we operate a freight brokerage, our role here in Metter will be primarily focused on container storage and drayage (short distance delivery) services,” White explained.
About the partners
Hope White brings years of supply chain and logistics experience to the company, having spent five years in transportation management with Home Depot Direct Fulfillment, a direct competitor to Amazon.
White also assisted with day-to-day operations for her husband’s asset-based trucking business while expanding HD White Logistics’ service offerings. She has developed customized training courses (offered both in-person and online) along with personalized consulting services to provide logistics solutions to both shippers and other 3PLs.
White has made several appearances on industry panels and podcasts sharing her breadth of logistics knowledge.
“As CEO, my role is to manage the day-to-day operations, facilitate new relationships for the business and inspire others to join the business,” said White.
Tara Terrell most recently served as VP of Risk and Compliance with Bank of America for over eight years. She has a private bookkeeping business while also supporting her husband’s asset-based trucking business.
“My role with the company is to make sure that I adequately evaluate risk and that our finances are where they need to be,” Terrell said. “When we talk about crunching numbers, profit-loss statements and balance sheets, I literally read those books for fun!”
Dommonique Eberhart spent eight years with The Coca-Cola Company, working in information governance. “IG basically involves managing the access to information and the storage and disposition of information for an organization,” Eberhart explained.
In this role, Eberhart worked in support of Coke’s legal team to ensure proper records management practices within the company’s warehouses and production plants. With HD White, Eberhart will lead operations.
“I am managing processes and procedures,” she explained, stating that her goal is to evaluate the company’s vision of moving from Point A to Point B and determining the steps that have to be taken to accomplish that plan.
When it comes to the “logistics” of family, White has recently purchased property in Metter and has relocated to the area. Both Eberhart and Terrell have a local residence and are currently commuting.
Moving to Metter
With the move to Metter and the establishment of a home office here, there will be a need for additional employees. According to the partners, advertising for those positions and the groundbreaking for their new location should take place in the next 60-90 days.
As they shift their focus to Candler County, the team also has a vision for getting further involved in the local community.
“We want to embed ourselves in the community, and we’ve come up with some great ideas of things we can do to help the next generation,” Eberhart said.
One of those ideas will be the establishment of HDW - which does not refer to the business in this case.
“As mothers, we have a passion for children and children’s needs and their growth, so we have decided that our overarching name of the program will be Project HDW - ‘Hard Day’s Work,’” Eberhart said.
The partners want to provide opportunities for young people to develop soft skills along with fundamental business skills that will prepare them for tomorrow’s workplace. Included in that outreach program will be, of course, encouraging young women who want to pursue roles in traditionally male-dominated fields.
Welcome to Metter!
“The Candler County Industrial Authority is delighted to welcome HD White Logistics to the Metter-Candler I-16 Industrial Park for the first phase of their expansion to be closer to the Georgia Ports Authority,” said Mullins. “With peak shopping season upon us, the company needed an immediate solution to service customers for container storage. We are thankful to have the opportunity to assist with their existing needs, but we are even more excited about their future growth and involvement in the Metter-Candler community.”
Victoria Gaitten, executive director of Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce, echoed Mullins’s comments. “We are so glad to welcome HD White Logistics to Metter. We also welcome them to the Chamber, where they have joined at the Silver Level. This speaks volumes to their commitment to being involved in their local community!”
“Investments such as this from HD White Logistics help to facilitate the efficient staging and movement of containers,” said Stacy Watson, Georgia Ports Authority director of economic and industrial development. “Additional storage space and eventual transload capability will fuel the continued growth of logistics and manufacturing development along the I-16 corridor. That means new employment opportunities and an expanding tax base for Metter and the surrounding area.”
“As their customer base continues to grow, it’s exciting that HD White Logistics LLC has been so eager to use their relationships and our assets here in Georgia to expand and develop their new storage facility,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia’s success in the logistics industry is due to our unparalleled infrastructure, including our extensive Ports network, and to companies like HD White Logistics LLC. The owners of HD White Logistics LLC are eager to get involved in their new community, and I congratulate them and commend the Candler County Industrial Authority, the Georgia Ports Authority and our other Georgia partners for helping continue to meet their needs.”