As a leader in sales and lease ownership of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, maintaining an efficient, safe and reliable fleet is a key way for Aaron’s Inc. to meet its customers’ demands. To continue providing a high level of customer service, Aaron’s fleet department recently implemented a number of changes, ranging from its fleet maintenance management company and technology to developing new driver requirements and training.

“Aaron’s core business is retail, so delivery is necessary to take care of our customers,” Senior Manager of Fleet Operations Lewis Allen says. “We are making things right, better and reducing our risk out there to keep our good name.”

Recent strikes at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have provided challenges for shippers, but St. George Logistics works hard to overcome them. Its container freight station (CFS) in Los Angeles has two acres of space for trailers and 116 shipping dock doors. “We’re the largest operator of independent network CFS facilities across North America,” President and CEO Denis Reilly declares. “We actually run nine of these facilities at key ports and regional destinations.

“Our customers are some of the largest logistics companies in the world,” he continues. “Since we are a neutral service provider, any large freight forwarder can do business with us. Sometimes competitors will deal only with their own freight or only allow certain customers to come into their operations. We’ll do business with any customer at any location.”

Bob Russo purchased his first truck in 1954 to provide transportation services to grocery stores in the New York/New Jersey metro area. More than 60 years and hundreds of trucks later, Port Jersey Logistics continues the tradition of quality and service established by its founder with his son Rob Russo currently in charge of the company. 

Director of Business Development Eric Holck says the company’s family ownership is one of Port Jersey Logistics’ strongest advantages because of the continuity it maintains with long-time customers and the strong internal culture it creates, and it leverages those advantages to hold onto its position as one of the most trusted and respected third-party logistics services providers in the New York City area.

East Coast Warehouse & Distribution Corp. can offer several explanations for its long-term success in the transportation and logistics industry, but one reason trumps all the others: customer satisfaction.

“We are an integral part of our customers’ supply chain,” CEO Jamie Overley says. “We are a one-stop solution for them. They trust us.” Indeed, the company’s top 10 customers have confirmed that trust by partnering with East Coast Warehouse and Distribution for an average of 13 years. There are several reasons for their long-term satisfaction, he says.

Among them are location, infrastructure, execution and experience – elements that have made East Coast Warehouse & Distribution the preferred choice for many top brands in the food and beverage industries. “We are very customer-centric,” says Rich Coppola, vice president of sales.

Pirelli Tire North America strives to always be on the leading-edge of manufacturing the most advanced tires in the industry and delivering its product faster to stay ahead of the competition. “It’s the performance of our tires that sets us apart,” Vice President of Logistics John Godfrey says. “We are one of the leaders in the ultra-high-performance segment and a lot of our innovation comes from our work in motorsports.” 

The North America division of Pirelli Tire is based in Rome, Ga., and the corporate headquarters is based in Milan, Italy. The company has 22 manufacturing facilities around the world in 13 different countries. Its North American division operates two plants – one in Mexico and one in its hometown. “We manufacture about 35 percent of our regional supply in Georgia and in Mexico and the other 65 percent we import from around the world with our sister companies,” Godfrey explains. 

New Orleans Cold Storage (NOCS) – with more than 12 million cubic feet of refrigerated space among its four facilities in New Orleans; Charleston, S.C.; and Houston – is the oldest cold storage company in North America with 127 years of experience under its belt. Focused on temperature and time-sensitive food products, NOCS continues to thrive by maintaining tight relationships with its clients and simplifying the complex import/export process. 

“There are many challenges in our business,” General Sales Manager Jim Henderson explains. “There are fluctuations in product demand and changes in the food regulations in different countries. We have to be nimble and flexible to react quickly to those changes and come up with solutions for our clients.”

Just like in the United States, Canada’s transportation industry is feeling the sting of the driver shortage. The natural attrition resulting from an aging workforce has yet to be filled by an influx of younger workers. Margaret Hogg, owner and general manager of JG Drapeau, says the industry should look to a viable half of the workforce that it is currently ignoring. 

“The driver shortage challenge is something we’re all going through,” Hogg says. “We are trying to recruit more women. There is an organization called Women with Drive, organized by Trucking HR Canada, that is trying to recruit more women.”

If something has wheels, the odds are that it needs tires. And, if something needs tires, the odds are that Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. has whatever it needs to keep those tires on the road. Vice President of Manufacturing Brian Hayes says one of the primary reasons the company has been successful for more than 75 years is that it has a nearly limitless scope of tire-related products and services. “We sell everything from a wheelbarrow tire all the way up to the largest mining tires,” he says. 

The company was founded in 1936 by Robert M. Purcell, who opened the first location in Washington, Mo. Fifteen years later, he opened the company’s second location in Granite City, Ill., and the third location in DeSoto, Mo., followed in 1964. Today, Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. has more than 65 locations that stretch from Pennsylvania to Nevada, and it is the third-largest independent commercial tire dealership in North America. 

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