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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

Orange Courier Seizes Opportunity in Energy Sector

Orange Courier Inc. had to get creative after it lost clients to digitalization.

The La Mirada-based on-demand package delivery, logistics and trucking company, located on the border of Orange County, has seen its business from printing companies dwindle, as most information today is distributed online.

The company, however, has found luck in the energy sector.

“We’re now transporting a lot of solar panels, solar batteries and other energy-related products,” founder Evell Stanley told the Business Journal, noting that the company also does work for electricity provider Southern California Edison.

The pivot is the primary driver of Orange Courier’s 8.3% revenue growth from 2022 to 2023. The company saw $52 million in revenue last year.

That amount has earned Orange Courier the No. 15 spot on the Business Journal’s 2024 list of Women-Owned Businesses.

Former Salon-Owner

Stanley was one of few women in the local courier space when she started Orange Courier in 1988.

“I was a hairdresser for many years,” she said. “I got divorced and realized I’ve got a lot more to give and I need to do something different.”

She sold her beauty salon and in turn founded her company with the help of her brother, who was already in the courier business.

On top of navigating an industry completely new to her, Stanley also had to put in extra elbow grease to earn the respect of her colleagues and fellow courier execs, most of whom were men.

“It was a man’s world,” she said. “But I’ve proven myself to them now.”

Although more women are working in the logistics industry today, many of them are not at the exec or owner level, she said.

As of last year, women made up 41% of the supply chain workforce but held about 26% of exec and C-suite roles, according to a Gartner survey. The figures are up from the year prior, when women comprised of 19% of the workforce and 15% of leadership roles.

Labor Challenges

Orange Courier today employs 300 across its four warehouses, which are all in the Los Angeles area.

Orange Courier, as with plenty of businesses today, has had difficulty in finding talent.

“Everybody wants to work from home,” Stanley said, adding that remote work isn’t possible for her business.

“Fortunately for us, we have many employees, several of whom have been with us for 20 years or more,” she said.

The widespread struggle to recruit and retain top talent, on top of high operation costs, such as fuel and gas, has taken a toll on Orange Courier’s clients.

“Many have gone out of business,” Stanley said. “It’s been a rough world.”

Despite the ups and downs, Stanley is confident that the trucking side of Orange Courier’s business will not only be stable but also expand.

About 80% of the company’s business today is trucking, while the remaining 20% is courier. The rise of ecommerce and online information sharing has prompted the company to prioritize heavy-duty delivery over envelopes and small packages, despite its origins in courier work.

“Trucking is here to stay—everything you’ve touched comes on a truck, even if it’s from a warehouse, ship or plane,” Stanley said.

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