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@Work: Managed Freight


Oct. 17, 2005 –– The office is spic and span. The young man seated at the well-organized desk looks like he just stepped out of a bandbox.
Lee Fleming stands to offer a handshake, a smile, and a seat. Fleming runs Managed Freight, a fledgling business now entering its third week. It is "first class" in every way. The office is located on the second floor of Palm Passage in Charlotte Amalie.
Fleming looks much younger than his 34 years. He has a round, youthful face, intelligent eyes, and a generous smile. Dressed immaculately in a crisply pressed designer shirt, he is all business as he talks about his new venture, which, he says, "offers people another moving option."
"Right now I'm running the business out of my back pocket," he says, quickly adding, "I have space with a desk and a typewriter for a secretary."
However, that's a little down the road.
He say the Palm Passage location is "a prestigious address; it's centrally located. I need a place that's easy to find for people to come and see me. I want the customer to feel comfortable."
As his business name states, Fleming will manage your move from origin to final location. This isn’t an easy task as there are a host of middlemen to contend with. Fleming makes it clear that his business offers a "moving option."
"Managing a move can be horrendous," he says. "You have a bunch of strangers coming into your house and taking away your personal effects. It can be scary."
"I come to your house or business," Fleming says, "and I tell you what you will need, and how we will do it. Our purpose is to make moving easy and predictable.
"We coordinate your move from origin to destination, the packaging, the shipping, instead of you having to deal with customs brokers, truckers, airline or shipping companies –– there are about six or seven different players involved."
Fleming’s venture is not just limited to personal effects, household goods and vehicles. He also covers general commodities, and commercial items.
Fleming doesn’t have warehouses, truckers, nor any of the staff of a regular moving business.
He pauses, thinking how best to express his focus.
"Information is king," he says. "It is our responsibility to educate our clients. I spend time with the clients and take care of all the interim people from beginning to end.
"I do the planning and expediting of moves," he says. "Fleming carries out the actual work. I have no warehouse or truckers."
Fleming grew up on St. Croix, graduating from Good Hope school in 1989. He graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1993 with a degree in Human Resources and Operations Management. He worked for his father up until June. Since then, with a little time off, he has been laying the groundwork for Managed Freight.
And the St. Thomas-based business has made him a weekend traveler.
"I'm a commuting dad right now," he says. "I go home on weekends to see my wife, Nicole, and N'dea, our daughter," a third-grader at Country Day School. Fleming can be contacted at 776-6600, or visit Managed Freight on the Web at www.managedfreight.com.

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