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Daniela Jaramillo, 31
Director of asset management
Florida East Coast Railway
Nominator’s quote: “She's not afraid to push back when she knows something needs resolve, so she can keep moving the team forward.” — Steve Wicker, Florida East Coast Railway
What is your educational background?
Bachelor’s of business administration, logistics and transportation.
Describe your current job and responsibilities.
As director of asset management, I manage a team of professionals that are responsible for making sure Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) utilizes our carload and intermodal equipment in the most efficient manner possible.
A large percent of our traffic is intermodal, so we have to keep in mind the tight deadlines when making decisions. Many different groups are involved making it happen, and they are the best. I have to make sure at the end of day we are managing our resources as best we can while keeping our customers happy.
I am responsible for optimizing all lines of fleet equipment usage and car hire exposure (owned, leased and private equipment). Fleet management duties include on-network and off-network equipment velocity supervision, equipment lease management, container and chassis equipment sourcing, equipment retirement and providing projected equipment demands/shortfalls. I manage a budget of $20 million to $40 million.
Briefly describe your career path.
I started working in the transportation industry when I was still in school. I worked with Landstar System Inc. in an internship, and during my time there I was able to learn about the trucking world. It helped me so much to understand different types of moves and services that are offered to the shippers.
Then I was eager to learn more about logistics and I started working with TOTE Maritime full time. I was able to learn a completely different world and the variances of the vessel schedules and transit times. After working with them, I graduated from the University of North Florida and I decided to take the next step of my career. That’s when I joined FEC, which combines all the transportation services into one: trucking, ports and rail.
During my 5 ½ years at FEC there have been a lot of changes. One thing that remains the same is being presented with a lot of business opportunities that need quick solutions. With my background in customer service, the relationships I have developed, and an ability to listen to others ideas, I can often see what makes the most sense for the customer (and FEC) and keep this goal in mind when making my decisions.
How or why did you get into the railroad industry?
I always had curiosity about the rail industry for various reasons. It’s the most safe and economic, and has many future opportunities.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Always keep your word, and realize you can accomplish more when working together. Try to find ways to collaborate with others. Punctuality, dedication and passion are key to addressing customer needs.
What advice would you give to a new railroader?
There are a lot of different paths to pursue in a railroad career. All are vital and contribute to the success of the industry. Find the area that most interests you, then pursue it full speed ahead. And form relationships with those in other groups and/or companies to have a network of peers that can help each other as opportunities arise.
What was your very first job?
I have always been a person that likes to take initiative, and I am a hard believer that working hard with dedication pays off. I started working at a very young age during high school, and throughout college I was working full time and going to school full time. I worked at call centers with Bank of America and Capital One until 2013, when I started working in the transportation industry.
What is the biggest challenge the rail industry now faces or will face?
There is still a lot of freight that could be moving by rail but currently is not. Getting the word out that shipping by rail is often a less expensive solution overall, and it helps reduce traffic congestion on our highways as well.