There are times when a growing company has to invest in new equipment. And yet, many times better results could be achieved by deploying smarter logistics solutions.

RSI Logistics has been helping its customers improve their efficiency since 1984 through a multipronged approach. The company has four distinct areas of expertise to help companies improve their rail transportation management and reduce freight and handling costs: RSInet rail transportation management software, rail logistics management services, door-to-door bulk liquid shipping via intermodal ISO tanks and rail terminal operations.

Pioneer Natural Resources knows that its strength is inextricably linked to the strengths of others. The large independent oil and gas producer owns assets mainly in Texas – including in the Spraberry, Eagle Ford, Permian Basin and Barnett Shale plays. It also produces from other high-quality assets located in the gas-rich Raton Basin in southeastern Colorado and the Hugoton gas field in Kansas.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning alternative fuels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This fuel is also produced almost entirely domestically and generates 20 to 45 percent fewer smog-producing pollutants than traditional fuels. And if that weren’t enough, it is also less expensive than gasoline.

“Ninety percent of everything we touch each day is transported at one point or another by truck,” says Sean Claton, general manager for Midwest Specialized Transportation Inc. in Rochester, Minn. Making sure products are hauled in an efficient and safe manner has been Midwest Specialized’s focus since 1965.

The transportation company has a fleet of 125 trucks, 55 percent of which are owner operated with the balance company owned. Midwest offers a variety of services to its clients, from specialized open freight to dry van freight and also over-dimensional loads – those more than 25 feet wide, 15 feet high and weighing over 150,000 pounds.

There has been a lot of talk about the need for alternatives to petroleum, but not as much action. That’s beginning to change, however, and one of the forces leading the way is Kwik Trip Inc. and its subsidiary Convenience Transportation. While others bemoan the lack of a strong infrastructure for fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), Kwik Trip has taken matters into its own hands and built one.

Ironhorse Resources has built a legacy based on seeking opportunity. After waiting patiently for one of its short-line railroad properties to return to viability, Ironhorse is now seeing a mass of activity at its Gardendale Railroad in Gardendale, Texas.

“My father started Ironhorse in 1989 and acquired a few small railroad operations,” Executive Vice President Matt Cundiff says. “One was Gardendale, at the time called Crystal City Railroad, acquired from Missouri Pacific. In the early 1990s, it lost its viability so we abandoned and sold 49 of the 50 miles, maintaining ownership of the connecting interchange track and railroad right-of-way. Then we started getting calls a few years ago about the track as the Eagle Ford Shale play began to heat up and new pipeline projects came into place.”

California Overland’s owner and CEO, Russ Meyer, is part of a family with close to 100 years of experience in the transportation industry. Meyer, who founded his company in 2011, knows that the right equipment has a direct impact in every facet of a transportation company. “We have a love affair with premium trucks,” he admits. “ Premium trucks make our jobs easier and safer, they keep our drivers happier, which in turn allows them to provide better service to our customers, so they’re happier too.”

As the company marks its 35th anniversary this year, Louisiana-based Blessey Marine Services Inc. continues to focus on the same things that have made it into the success it is today, President and COO Clark Todd says. The company’s expertise in liquid bulk cargo marine transportation, its state-of-the-art equipment and its family owned status continue to form the backbone of the company, Todd says, and that’s the way it’s been ever since it was founded.

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