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Going global is nothing new for UNF grad

UNF alumni Alberto Maldonado

Whether it’s cargo headed for Shanghai or students looking for direction, UNF alum Alberto Maldonado delivers.


As vice president of international operations and customs services for Landstar Transportation Logistics Inc., Maldonado, ’98, ’00, heads the department he helped develop and also guides UNF interns from theory to practice.


Born and raised in Spain, Maldonado moved to California at age 16 to finish high school as an exchange student and start college. Accepting an invitation from a member of his host family to move to Jacksonville brought him to the two places that greatly impacted his life — UNF and Landstar. Maldonado was the first student to register for UNF’s international business major in the Coggin College of Business, and credits Dr. Jeffrey Steagall, former professor of economics and geography, with helping him develop it. Until then, students could only minor in international business. Maldonado ultimately received a Bachelor of Business Administration in international business and economics, as well as an MBA from UNF.


After receiving his MBA, Maldonado went to Spain for two years to head up the international marketing efforts of his family business before returning to Jacksonville — and to his girlfriend and now wife, Sheylla Millian, also a UNF alum — for opportunities in his field. At a job fair at UNF, he connected with a representative of Landstar, which offered him an opportunity to create an international department. Fourteen years later, with Maldonado at the helm and UNF interns on board, it is a global success.


The international department at Landstar coordinates the complex logistics of cargo shipments on sea, air and land around the globe. “We are a travel agent for cargo,” quipped Maldonado, explaining how his department coordinates such details as payment, customs, carriers and, in these times, increased security. Continuously keeping up with international law, he transferred the U.S. Customs broker license he received in 2010 to Landstar two years later.


As his new department grows, Maldonado continues to encourage the use of interns — many from UNF — to help with the large workload. In turn, students are able to put theory they learn at UNF into real-life practice.


“As I get challenged, I challenge the students. UNF helped me by providing knowledge I am now able to apply to my work,” said Maldonado. “I am happy that Landstar is providing the opportunity for students to come here for valuable training so they are ready for their next step into the real world.”