Peter Coratola, Jr., EASE President and CEO, might make running a business look EASE-y, but the early days were anything but.
In 2014, while building a 24/7/365 business, Coratola also welcomed his first son into the world. Needless to say, there were many sleepless nights, but Coratola knew that failure was not an option as a new dad and as the founder of the business that would support his growing family.
Now in its tenth year, EASE has grown from a team of one to nearly 275 individuals , operating in five Central Ohio locations. A five-time Inc. 5000 company, one of the fastest growing businesses in Central Ohio, and a top 100 third-party logistics provider (3PL), EASE has most recently clinched recognition as #1 in transportation on Fortune Magazine’s list of “America’s Most Innovative Companies.”
The Dawn of a Critical Partnership
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. Starting a company means figuring out the business – from the big picture to the smallest of details – and figuring out what really matters. For Coratola and EASE, that has meant establishing the right strategic partnerships. And EASE’s partnership with DAT Freight & Analytics was been essential to the business’ growth since day one.
DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America, providing market trends and data insights derived from 400+ million truckload shipments and a database of $150 billion in transportation market transactions. “From the standpoint of building networks, engaging with carriers, and getting exposure, DAT leads that,” Coratola notes.
In 2021, EASE senior account manager Brian Kuramoto took steps to deepen EASE’s relationship with DAT – and DAT was on board. “Pretty soon, we had a continuous communication loop and a synergy that connected DAT and EASE. They were invested in us and we were invested in them.”
A Strategic Partnership That Benefits Everyone
As the relationship between DAT and EASE developed, DAT frequently sought honest feedback from EASE, often extending the invitation to participate in alpha and beta testing of new products. In return, EASE benefitted from early access to tools and customization.
“DAT works with the top brokers in the industry annually,” says Brian Kuramoto, Senior Account Manager at EASE. “The edge that others had over us, being that we were a smaller 3pl at the time, is that they have decades of market information to rely on and leverage. Without DAT’s partnership, we wouldn’t have been able to grow at the rate we have. It’s a game-changer!”
Sharing Our Story
In 2022, McGee approached Kuramoto with a proposal – a celebration of partnership. “He came to me with an idea,” says Kuramoto. “DAT was working on a new series highlighting its customers – their stories of success –and he wanted to start with EASE.”
In early December, DAT brought a team of videographers to Dublin, Ohio, to capture footage of Coratola and EASE. By March, the finished video was released – a beautiful tale about EASE that’s raw and honest and captures what it means to build a successful business founded on strong partnerships.
Strategic Partnerships Matter
The story of DAT and EASE is proof positive of the importance of quality partnerships – and ensuring the alignment of core values and the ability to provide value to one another and propel each other forward. Selectively establishing quality partnerships beats out quantity, every time.