A One On One with Panther Premium’s C.E.O. & a Look at Their New State of the Art Headquarters

What prompted the decision to build a new corporate headquarters?
Over the past several years, Panther has grown year-over-year to the point that we needed to expand and provide additional room for our Operations. Of central importance to us was to make sure we offered a nicer environment for owner operators and fleet owners. Our new building offers more space, includes an office for visiting truck owners as well as amenities like washers, dryers, and showers just to mention a few. It is definitely a better experience for our owner operators when they are here.

How important are fleet owners to Panther’s business model?
Panther was one of the first expedite companies to encourage growth and expansion amongst our Owner Operators. As time passed, many single truck owners reinvested their earnings back into their business and grew into successful fleet owners.
There is nothing we enjoy more than to see individuals buy their first truck and then grow their business into a small or large fleet. We spend a lot of time and resources in making sure that fleet ownership at Panther remains the great opportunity it is.

Where do individual owner operators fit in?
Individual owner operators are the backbone of our fleet, and where everything begins. These small business owners are extremely valuable to us. We work hard to make sure that we are offering the best opportunity and owner operator experience in the market.

Can you tell us more about the new location?
Our new 50,000-square-foot headquarters is located at 84 Medina Rd (ST RT 18) in Medina, Ohio. It is a state-of-the-art facility built around what has made Panther successful – Independent Contractors, customers, employees, and technology. The building is much larger. It is a single story building, providing an open air environment to promote interaction of all departments, visiting contractors, and visiting customers.

What can you tell us about your new Fleet Mobile App?
Our new Fleet Mobile App is an incredible leap in technology and is being released to the fleet right now. The App allows a Contractor to update their availability, accept loads, complete loads paper free, and send any documents to Panther instantly, run operational and financial status reports… all from the comfort of their truck or home. Our goal is to make life easier for our fleet, and I believe that we have made significant strides towards this goal.

How has Panther changed since it was purchased by ArcBest (formally known as Arkansas Best Corporation) in 2012?
Being purchased by ArcBest in 2012 has given Panther incredible opportunities that we would not have gained on our own. Our fleet not only has access to new customers and resources, but it has also become aligned with one of the most established and most respected names in transportation. This partnership has also given Panther the ability to make long term capital investments in the fleet. We have purchased new Qualcomms and trailers so that our owner operators are outfitted with top of the line equipment. We invested over $1 million directly into the fleet in 2014 with our new contract and rate structure. In 2014, we introduced a new Operating Agreement to our fleet which increased our already outstanding compensation package by over 1 million dollars annually.

What different types of equipment is Panther interested in contracting with?
Panther is comprised of customer-oriented contractors that own, lease, or operate three types of trucks: cargo vans, Sprinters, straight trucks, and tractors. There are also opportunities for contractors to increase the rates per mile paid to the truck by obtaining their HazMat endorsements, running as a team, or by running specialty freight with our Life Science, Government Services, or Flatbed Divisions.

Panther also has a number of truck purchase and “Lease to Own Programs” you are partnered with, correct?
Correct, Panther has partnered with several different truck purchase and leasing companies that offer straight truck and tractor leasing opportunities. We are committed to defining a clear path to ownership for entrepreneurs that have the ambition of obtaining a truck and operating their own business.

How would you describe the culture at Panther?
We are a fast-paced, truck owner-, driver-, and customer-focused organization. Our goal is to provide world-class service to the Panther fleet as well as the customer base. This is obviously not an easy task, but when you have the best employees and independent contractors in the market, it becomes a little easier. We want to treat our drivers like everyone else at Panther and communicate openly and give them the information they need to do their jobs. We also provide easy access to the management team.

How can someone learn more about Panther and get in touch with one of your representatives?
Our courteous and professional recruiters are available by phone at 866-344-5898 or you can learn more about Panther Premium Logistics at www.panther4me.com.