Unishippers Franchise Spotlight: Rich Pyle

After spending 25+ years in the corporate world and transitioning out of his previous sales role last year, Rich Pyle decided to take his time while looking for his next career move. After a lot of trial and error, he was contacted by a Unishippers franchise recruiter about joining the team. Now, after less than a year as a logistics franchise owner, Pyle has found great success at Unishippers and even won an all-inclusive trip to Mexico at the 2024 Unishippers Sales Conference as a top performer for 2023. Learn more about Pyle, how he became a franchise owner despite not having logistics experience, and why he someday wants to re-enter the corporate world — with a position at Unishippers.

What was your background before owning a logistics franchise and how did you get involved with Unishippers?

I was a senior director of sales at a medical device company where I had been for over 10 years. After transitioning out of that role, I took a break. My wife and I took a road trip to Yellowstone and visited her parents and spent like a month not thinking about life really. But during that time, I would occasionally think "if ever there was an opportunity to start a business, this is the time." It's hard to leave a job when you're getting paid pretty well and justify going off to start a business.

But then I got a LinkedIn message from one of the recruiters at Unishippers. I spoke with her and the manager of franchise development and went down the path and was like "this is pretty interesting and fits into my skill set with sales." So, I started my franchise on August 8, 2023, and began training a week after that. The process to start up was easy.

Was there anything about the logistics industry that seemed attractive to you at the time?

I worked in the trucking industry in the 1990s as a dockhand and forklift operator when I was in college, so I got a little bit of exposure to shipping. Also, my grandfather was a Teamster and my stepdad worked in the industry, too. So, I was close to a lot of people in trucking, at least on the labor side and I kind of understood the hub and spoke model.

When learning about Unishippers, I really liked that you could work remotely, and you don't have to invest in a lot of capital. But I think the biggest thing that attracted me to a logistics franchise is that I have the ability to grow. You can start from nothing and grow your franchise and then someday exit and potentially sell it back. That's really fascinating.

Did you feel like you got the adequate logistics training you needed to hit the ground running?

Oh yeah! The logistics training was great at the front end. I really like the format and wouldn't change anything that they do. I used to be a trainer, so I kind of know what you need to do. So, I think that Unishippers gets a grade of A+ on training.

But what has really helped me is my franchise sales manager. He's just phenomenal. I mean, he's just so good and he gives me ongoing training and coaching. Just today we spoke about a customer that we already have but we haven't fully penetrated their whole account. He's always thinking about my business, and I just think he's a wonderful resource and very knowledgeable. He is engaged and cares.

What value do you think you bring to the customer?

I think customers work with me because of the level of service that I deliver, and I'm very locked in and timely with my responses. I think they also appreciate the fact that I put together reports that validate everything we do and share those with them during monthly meetings.

Another thing is our technology. When you compare it to other platforms, our transportation management system (TMS) is phenomenal and user friendly. We also have great freight carrier partners and a firm partnership with UPS®. That all truly resonates with customers.

What has been your experience with leadership and the franchise culture at Unishippers?

At this company I see how they treat each other and how they operate in the culture. It's just phenomenal and our leadership is outstanding. They're doing something right because the Unishippers team seems to genuinely like each other. They work together towards problem solving and that's a big thing for me.

Is there anything that you would say to someone who's considering a Unishippers logistics franchise but may be on the fence?

I usually warn people because I want them to be committed. It really isn't for everyone, but if you have the wherewithal and the sales skills to do the job, I think that it's a phenomenal opportunity because you can make as much money as you want as long as you work hard and expend the energy. You can get that return on your investment and your time.

It's been less than a year since I've been here, and I love this place so much that I've actually thought after 10 years when I sell my franchise, I would look for an opportunity within Unishippers corporate and not do the entrepreneurial thing anymore. I don't like all the stuff I've observed and witnessed and dealt with working for other companies. But this is the type of company that I would love to work with. That's how strongly I feel.

Any final thoughts on your franchise ownership?

Unishippers is just a phenomenal company. I'm very, very thankful for the position that I'm in. It was just serendipitous, and I'm just thankful the Lord led me here, because I really believe that it was part of his plan. There are too many things that I could talk about that had to line up to get me to where I'm at right now.

I also think having recently attended the sales conference just cemented my belief that this is a great place and the franchise culture is phenomenal. In fact, we won the all-inclusive trip to Mexico in the Unishippers competition. My wife can't go, so I'm bringing my daughter the day after she graduates. We're going to fly out to Cancun!

Interested in logistics franchise ownership? Contact Unishippers today!

Unishippers offers industry-leading support and solutions for SMB customers across the country through the care and passion of our franchisees. With uncapped growth and earning potential, low startup costs, improved work/life balance, reputable carrier network and more, our logistics franchise opportunities will allow you to take your sales career into your own hands. Connect with us to get started on your franchise ownership journey today!

What does it take to start a logistics franchise?

Starting a logistics franchise business can provide you with a career and life upgrade with unlimited earning potential. Logistics is…

Learn More