For many years, Load One Transportation & Logistics has been an industry leader in the use of technology and advancement in American Trucking. As they continue to spur industrial improvements, we speak to Brian Welsh about present and future developments in the ever-changing world of Expedite Trucking
How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been in the transportation industry for over 30 years, actually started as a driver. I have been in this crazy business we call expediting for about ten years, first in operations, fleet management, and now as the lone recruiter for the past 7 years with Load One. I’m guessing I’ll be here until I retire, as it’s a great company to work for.
Give us a little history about Load One.
Load One was founded in 2003. We started off as an asset-based regional truckload carrier and freight broker and grew from there. We moved into expediting in 2006 and that has grown to be the largest part of the company’s operations. Over the years a number of carriers have become part of Load One, including PDQ Expediting, Great Lakes Transportation and Nations Express. So we continue to grow. We have always been a company that has leveraged technology and we have attracted some of the best operations and sales people in the industry.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in recent years?
The industry has changed quite a bit. So many of the larger carriers in the industry have been bought by larger transportation companies or private equity. We are one of the very few large privately owned expedite carriers. But we feel this is an advantage. We don’t have to deal with the level of corporate bureaucracy and can react quicker. It also lets our management take a smarter and longer look as they are not always driven by one quarter’s financial results.
As one of the most regulated industries in the country, what are some of the biggest challenges you see on the horizon?
Without a doubt this year it will be electronic logs. The majority of carriers are not on them. They are going to be scrambling to get them, install them, train their drivers and their staff. We have been full ELD for almost two years now and feel that will better position our fleet in 2017 as many shippers are already looking for their carriers to be compliant.
Load One is more than just an expedite carrier; can you tell us more about the other service divisions?
Expedite is our largest division by far. We also operate a truckload group that does expedite in the Midwest region. Also we have our specialized division. These tractors haul our fleet of air ride curtainside flatbeds, single drops and double drops. We are also a very large broker in the expedite world and broker out almost 20,000 expedite shipments per year when we don’t have capacity in our own fleet. This means more opportunities for our fleet compared to a lot of other carriers.
With your diverse fleet, what kind of drivers and equipment is Load One wanting to partner with?
Right now we are looking for straight truck owner operators, both singles and teams. We can also help place drivers with our many different owner operators and fleet owners. Regional tractor owner operators are always welcome as well as those with experience pulling flatbeds. We also have company tractors but those drivers need to be based in the metro Detroit area.
What kind of efforts are Load One putting forth to improve driver retention?
Retention is everything to our owners and our management. Our driver rewards program has been nationally recognized and we continually work to enhance it. We also offer a ton of benefits to make our drivers’ lives better, from a beautiful drivers lounge, to a truck wash bay, to in-cab technology second-to-none.
Why do owner operators and drivers want to be part of Load One?
We are the big carrier that is still a family. We have one of the best pay packages in the industry and offer a ton of benefits. Things like in cab internet access, drivewyze scale bypass, very low fees, weekly settlements, in-cab scanning, and in-cab navigation. Honestly I don’t think any other expedite carrier offers all we do. This is part of why we have been named a “Best Fleet to Drive For” for multiple years.
We are entering into 2017. What kind of freight volumes do you expect for the New Year?
We have added some additional talent to our sales team in the last quarter and we expect some great things in 2017. Our analysis sees a good year and much improved over 2016 for a number of reasons. The industry should see a good year; we are predicting a great one.
What industry organizations is Load One affiliated with?
TEANA, The Expedite Association of North America Our CEO John Elliott was the former president and our VP of Operations Mike Johnson is an active member of the board. Mr. Elliott is currently an executive officer of the TCA or Truckload Carriers Association. We are also members of AEMCA (Air Expedite Motor Carriers Association), the Michigan Trucking Association, and the Transportation Club of Detroit.
What’s on the horizon for Load One?
We are anticipating 2017 as a really good growth year for the company. Our ownership always seems to be working on newer, bigger and better things, so I am sure more will come!
Michigan or The Ohio State?
The Ohio State Buckeyes!! Prediction: by the time your readers see this, they will be 2017 National Champs!
Anything else you’d like our reader to know?
If you are looking for the balance between the family feel of a smaller carrier and the resources, technology and freight of a big carrier….we might be what you are looking for. Ask one of our drivers – they are our best recruiters.
Visit Load1.com or call: 888.824.4954