It has been a time of transition for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), as long-time CFO Roberta Broeker took the position of interim director in May to replace retiring director Dave Nichols. Despite the changes going on within the department, however, MoDOT remains committed to its mission of maintaining the state’s transportation systems and infrastructure in the most effective and efficient means possible. 

Broeker says the department is working hard to overcome the challenges facing it and do the best job possible for the people of Missouri. She says the people who work within the department won’t settle for anything less. “Our employees by and large look at the mission of MoDOT as a kind of trust that we have been given by the taxpayers,” Broeker says. “It’s not just a job; it’s a profession, it’s a calling, it’s a career.”

Milestone Equipment Holdings LLC strives to be flexible when it comes to serving its clients, CEO Rob Thull says.

“We will adapt and create our products to best manage our customers’ needs,” he declares. “We also consider all types of logistics solutions with equipment for our customers.”

Based in Mill Valley, Calif., Milestone is a full-service, transportation equipment leasing and asset company that specializes in motor carrier and rail industry intermodal equipment. Thull started the company in 1995 by mortgaging his family’s home for $500,000.

Kottke Trucking began 77 years ago with one man’s need to provide food for his family. Today, the company plays a vital role in feeding families nationwide as it ensures the on-time delivery of food to retailers throughout the United States. “We are known for our on-time service and that we are going to get the food to the market when they need it,” owner and General Manager Kyle Kottke says. “We do what we say we are going to do.”

Elmer Kottke started trucking in 1938. The Buffalo Lake, Minn.-based company provided trucking service to the local creamery, hauling milk, feed and fertilizer. Kottke’s sons, Donald and Duane Kottke, took over their father’s company in 1961 and added freight and gravel to the business. 

Two years later, Kottke Bros. began hauling U.S. mail from Minneapolis to Bird Island, Minn., for the next seven years until Donald and Duane decided to split the company.

When selecting a transportation partner, many companies’ only concern is cost, and the lowest rates often win the bid. But although cost is always a factor for Home Depot, the home improvement giant puts performance first. “We are not a shipper that is necessarily using the cheapest rates and the cheapest carriers,” says Ron Guzzi, senior manager of transportation carrier relations and sourcing. “What we are chasing is a balance of performance and cost.”

For the past several years, the company has been retooling its approach to the supply chain to better support its retail operations. “We are a retailer who runs a very lean supply chain model,” Guzzi explains. “It is critical for us to get product where it needs to be and when it needs to be.”

Dot Transportation’s job is to redistribute approximately 109,000 products from 775 food industry manufacturers throughout the lower 48 states. Dot Transportation makes sure those deliveries are made in a timely and safe manner for its parent company, Dot Foods Inc., the largest food industry redistributor in the United States.

Keeping its approximately 1,200 driver positions filled with satisfied employees is the challenge for Duskee Kassing, Dot Transportation’s director of operations, and doing it safely is the concern of Victor Hart, the company’s safety director. To achieve that, Dot Transportation is testing innovative new programs to fill its driver ranks and the company is training its employees in safe equipment operation. 

In the past, supply chains were mainly designed to minimize costs while maximizing customer benefits. But global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL expects that approach to change as companies adapt to today’s business environment. “Future supply chains have to be more resilient and must be built around risk management,” says Reg Kenney, president of DHL’s Global Engineering and Manufacturing sector and head of DHL’s Customer Solutions & Innovation, Americas Region. “If they don’t, companies could encounter significant losses in brand value, profits and share price.”

According to a 2013 World Economic Forum study, disruptions in the supply chain cut the share price of impacted companies by an average of 7 percent. To counter the potential damage from a supply chain disruption, DHL is designing products and programs to protect sales, maintain service levels, reduce emergency costs, recover quickly from a disruption and protect the customer’s brand and marketshare. 

It’s been said often that the world is getting smaller, thanks to the proliferation of communications technology that makes it possible for business operations in different parts of the world to connect, plan and share information instantaneously. However, despite the advances in communication, the world remains the same size, and businesses need to cross the vast distances between them to remain competitive and successful. Codysur Group is dedicated to helping its customers cross those distances no matter how large they are, and COO Victor Mendez says it does so in a manner unlike most other transportation and logistics firms. 

“We respect the competition but we feel we offer something different to our customers,” Mendez says. “We know we give the customer something they’re not used to seeing in the market.”

A full-service asset-based logistics provider, Classic Carriers is a refrigerated carrier that strives for excellence in the transportation industry. Working to adapt its resources to suit customers’ needs, Classic Carriers offers full service logistics and provides customers with the greatest value possible. 

Started in 1985 with two trucks, Classic Carriers today has about 125 trucks in its arsenal and is a 48-state carrier that mainly runs from the Midwest to the eastern seaboard. The company has grown slowly over time. Although Classic Carriers reduced its size from around 180 trucks in the wake of the Great Recession, the company is comfortable with its current size. 

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