The BST Transportation Group is working to become an industry leader in specialized supply chain services by investing in equipment and developing its people. “I think the key or vision for the future is to really get a group of excellent people working with excellent customers and drivers, providing good value for the hard work that everyone does every day,” Vice President Matthew May says. 

The Richmond, British Columbia-based company provides supply chain services throughout British Columbia, Alberta as well as to the western United States. Its services include less-than-truckload, warehousing and distribution, regional long haul, drayage and retail delivery.  

The work advantages for drivers of Benny Whitehead Inc. are as substantial as the benefits to its customers. “We’ve been in business for a long time and have a great reputation for doing things the right way,” Vice President Benny Whitehead declares. 

“We’re service-oriented.,” he adds. “We pick it up on time and deliver it on time. We search out customers who need products delivered in our service area. We go visit them and we prove to them we can deliver their freight on-time, every time. Our excellent customer service is what our reputation is founded on.”

In the transportation business, reliability is crucial. Typically, reliability is defined by a company’s ability to deliver the same thing consistently. In world of transportation, however, reliability means a carrier can be counted on to change with the situation and deliver the same level of service no matter how much or how little they are called on to do. That’s a major part of the reason why Iowa-based West Side Transport has been a successful provider of full transportation solutions for nearly five decades. As COO Ron Joseph explains, the company has built a strong reputation for being able to deliver a high level of service and anticipate its customers’ needs well in advance. 

The company has been serving customers since the 1960s, when it was founded by the Vogt family. Originally, the company’s focus was on salvaging grain spills at local train yards, and its equipment consisted of just a few trucks and some shovels. 

Like most transportation companies, Trucks For You is finding it difficult to attract and retain qualified drivers. The company approaches this challenge by not only offering competitive pay and benefits, but also by offering its drivers an opportunity that many of its industry peers do not. 

“We want to provide something more for our drivers,” says Jay Calavan, executive vice president of the Muskogee, Okla.-based truckload freight carrier. “We want them to have the opportunity to become owner/operators if that’s something they want to do.” 

The company offers drivers a lease purchase program that offers them the opportunity to eventually hold title on their own truck instead of just leasing the vehicle. More than 100 of the company’s employees have been able to purchase their truck and go on to partner with Trucks For You as independent owner/operators. 

Regency Transportation and Regency Warehousing and Distribution knows that its customers have plenty of options for trucking and warehousing companies. Although some of the company’s competitors may have larger fleets or even larger service areas, Regency knows that service is of the utmost importance to its customers.

“Our clients are all companies that could easily go out to bid and get other carriers, but we give them what larger companies can’t or won’t give them,” says Ed Rodricks, EVP and COO of the Franklin, Mass.-based company. “You don’t keep a company like Anheuser-Busch as a client for more than 20 years unless you’re good at what you do.”

Approaching its 50th anniversary, NPL Construction Co. is in the middle of an effort to build on its reputation in the industry for leadership, expertise and innovation. A natural gas and electric distribution contractor based in Phoenix and a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Gas Corp., NPL is today part of Centuri Construction Group, a platform for meeting the demands of the North American energy services market. The Centuri family of companies includes NPL, SW Administrators, Link-Line, WS Nicholls and Brigadier.

Historically, the organization’s focus was on the underground natural gas market and installing natural gas pipelines. Over time, it added electric, fiber, telecom, cable TV and other utilities. NPL now offers a full line of distribution infrastructure services in markets throughout the United States. The company has approximately 4,000 employees and thousands of vehicles, trailers and off-road equipment pieces around the country.

There’s no doubt that the trucking industry has been through a rough stretch over the last several years. But, as the entire industry begins to pull out of its slump, it’s clear that the companies that are still standing have survived because they are among the best of the best. One of those companies is St. Louis-based LTI Trucking Services, which has provided truckload refrigerated carrier and logistics services to Fortune 500 companies throughout the Midwest and Central States. According to President and CEO Nick Civello, the company’s success even through the recession has been no accident. Serving the customer base that LTI does requires the company to be on top of its game. 

“Our business model is to provide the highest-quality transportation service possible with the best companies,” Civello says. 

Knichel Logistics understands that one size does not fit all. The company is a third-party transportation provider that offers its customers a suite of transportation solutions, including intermodal, full truckload, less than truckload (LTL), boxcar, warehousing and other specialized services across North America. 

With 25 years of industry experience, William Knichel started the company in 2003. After he retired, his daughter, Kristy Knichel, took over as president of Knichel Logistics in 2007. Initially, the company was doing only intermodal business with roughly $2 million in revenue to speak of, but eventually it branched out after hiring salespeople who helped grow the business from there. 

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