Founded in 1984 as a small courier in Jacksonville, Fla., Blue Streak Couriers has come a long way from its early days of operations mostly in northeast Florida, offering same-day delivery service to local businesses and organizations. In 2005, Harold Boyett, a 20-year UPS employee, became the company’s new owner, transforming Blue Streak into a regional last-mile carrier. 

Blue Streak currently does business in more than 18 states. Its staff has grown from four to 49 while more than tripling the number of service providers. Blue Streak has an extensive network of warehousing facilities across the Southeast, allowing the company to expand its territory while still remaining flexible. 

For Ard Trucking Co. Inc., the customer is No. 1, President and CEO Allen Ard says. “We just work to help solve all of their transportation needs and all of their cross-docking needs,” he declares.

Darlington, S.C.-based Ard Trucking specializes in transportation management, including van, flatbed, intermodal, warehousing and yard services. Ard’s father, J.W. Ard Sr., started the company in 1945 with a single used 1938 truck and trailer.

Although Ard Trucking endured challenges with shifts in the economy, “We’re back on the rebound,” Allen Ard asserts, noting that it employs a staff of more than 150 and operates terminals in Darlington, S.C., Florence, S.C., and Lebanon, Tenn. “We’re [also] up to 110 trucks, 450 trailers, and growing.”

John and Mary Yourga founded Yourga Trucking Inc. in Wheatland, Pa., in 1945 when the United States was a post-war industrial powerhouse. “When the company was started, the steel industry was king,” Vice President of Operations Skip Doutt relates. “Then the pipe industry started to grow in this area, and we expanded into that. In the 1980s, when all the steel mills collapsed and went out of business, we had already moved forward into hauling pipe and tubing from the local pipe mills. So we continued to operate, not missing a beat.”

The company’s founders probably never realized how important that pipe would be to an energy industry that was not a major influence in the area until hydraulic fracturing was developed. “Pipe has been a major commodity for us for probably 40 years,” Vice President of Sales Marc Buskirk estimates. “The energy business is somewhat new to us because it’s somewhat new to the area. We really got involved in that about 2009.”

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. Over time, the company evolved into a more complete provider of transportation solutions, and today West Side Transport provides regional and long-haul trucking services as well as brokerage and dedicated shipping. 

Eric Barton knows what it takes to transport fuel and other important supplies safely in some of the world’s most challenging regions. As a U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer for 11 years, Barton was responsible for threat analysis related to troop and material movement in Kuwait and later Afghanistan. He continued to use these skills after leaving the Marines as a civilian contractor. “I wanted to pursue the niche market of providing armed security, reconnaissance and intelligence for trucks operating in warzones,” he says.

Barton widened his niche in 2007, when he founded his own company, Vanquish Worldwide, to provide logistical, maintenance and support services to U.S. and foreign agencies and international aid organizations. The company truly found its calling in 2011, when it was awarded a $983 million contract by the U.S. government to provide services to armed forces operations in Afghanistan. 

Hauling hazardous waste is not an easy job, but Triad Transport Inc. is up to the challenge, President and CEO John Titsworth says. “Our employees are dedicated to trying to give the best service that we can, which is an important part of what we do,” he says.

Based in McAlester, Okla., Triad operates with a full fleet of trucking equipment, including dry vans, roll-offs, end dumps, flat beds and tanks. Titsworth co-founded the company in 1985 with his wife, Gwen, her brother and sister-in-law Davey and Mary Wilkett, and another partner who later sold his share. 

In Triad’s early years, Gwen Titsworth and Mary Wilkett managed the company’s finances as it transported rock, sand, gravel and bulk material for manufacturing clients. After it was approached about hauling waste, the company obtained the permits and established relationships with clients it still serves today, including Veolia, Clean Harbors, Rineco Chemical Industries Inc. and US Ecology Inc. 

Sharp Transport delivers on its mission of providing the highest quality transportation services daily because of its people and state-of-the-art technology. “If it wasn’t for the great team I have here, daily operations would be a lot harder,” President Allie Sharp-Schwalb says. 

In the late 1970s, Sharp-Schwalb’s father, John Sharp, was working for Murray Ohio, a lawnmower manufacturer in Ohio that had a need for a truckload carrier to move its product to California. In 1979, Sharp and his wife Rebecca founded Sharp Transport in Ethridge, Tenn., with one tractor. “That’s how he got into it in the first place,” Sharp-Schwalb says. “We would go out to California to deliver bicycles and lawnmowers and haul strawberries for Shoney’s on the return.”

Today, Sharp Transport has evolved into one of the largest family owned truckload carriers in Tennessee and hauls for many Fortune 500 companies. Sharp-Schwalb began working for her father in high school and returned to work in 1988.

Road Scholar Transport knows its fleet is seen by millions of people every year and decided to use that opportunity for the greater good. Rather than self-promote, the company uses a majority of the space on its tractor-trailers to raise awareness about various charities.

Every company that uses Road Scholar Transport to ship their freight supports its 10 Million Miles to a Cure Program, which the company says has been a huge success nationwide. Road Scholar Transport’s goal is to log 10 million miles on its awareness trucks and a percentage of every load it hauls goes to raising awareness about its charities. Customers can select the specific charities they would like to support and Road Scholar Transport ensures that charity truck is rolling in the customer’s name. 

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