Columbus Chamber cbuzz: J.J. Rodeheffer of Zipline Logistics

The Columbus Chamber and CD102.5 have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, host and local comedian Dan Swartwout will speak with local business owners and entrepreneurs and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

Laying out the details of Zipline Logistics‘ beginnings speaks to the tenacity of its founders, and that there’s weight to the golden rule of the customer comes first.

Co-Founder, Partner and Director of Sales at Zipline, J.J. Rodeheffer’s course lineup at Miami University didn’t include a single logistics class. While he didn’t predict the logistics part, he was more sure of the sales part.

Post graduation in 2002, Rodeheffer followed a love to Chicago where he found a sales position with a third party logistics company and spent about five years learning the craft. Then, nine years ago Rodeheffer and his two now business parters packed up a U-Haul and headed to Columbus to start Zipline Logistics.

Hailing from Findlay, Cincinnati and Akron, “We really felt that Columbus was not only the middle ground, but a great city,” Rodeheffer says. “The city has just been very business friendly, specifically around logistics.” 

Zipline is a third party logistics provider that manages transportation for shippers and manufacturers.

“We do consumer package goods, so if you buy it in the store, we ship it,” Rodeheffer says. 

Zipline started as a three-person team approaching logistics customer first, profit second.

Let’s go build a service-first organization,” Rodeheffer says of their inspiration. He’d grown weary of missed deadlines and disappointed customers through his corporate position. 

It’s a mindset that has paid off, as the Zipline team has grown to over 50 staffers and earned spots on numerous fastest-growing business lists like the Inc. 5000.

I think that one of the reasons our growth has been measured yet successful is because we don’t overcommit,” Rodeheffer says. “We know what we can do. We know what we’re good at. We tell clients that up front and they reward us with that candor and that honesty.” 

During the podcast, Rodeheffer shares his vivid memory of their first shipment, and a story of proving their value to a huge brand like The Limited. He also talks about the importance of people and building the right team.

All of our hiring is based around the person,” Rodeheffer says. They can teach the logistics but, “We want good people.” 

Listen to the full podcast below and find out Rodeheffer’s advice when it comes to taking the entrepreneurial leap!

cbuzz Episode 30: J.J Rodeheffer, Zipline Logistics

Never miss a cbuzz podcast!  Visit the Columbus Chamber website for more great stories and advice from local business owners.

Tune in for insights from Bruce Caldwell of 3Bar Biologics.

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