I had the opportunity to visit with Charlie Getz with Tri-State Expedited Service at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Tri-State Expedited Service was one of the early pioneers of the expedited trucking industry and has been an industry leader for many years.
Q. Tell us about yourself.
A. I have been in the motor carrier industry for over 40 years. I started with Tri-State Expedited Service, Inc. in 1990; this was the year prior to a major corporate contract that gave us the catapult in equipment to grow and expand. I have held positions in Operations, Customer Relations and Recruiting and Safety. The Tri-State Expedited Service team is very responsive to contractors and drivers.
Q. Give us a little history about Tri-State Expedited.
A. Tri-State Expedited Service began in the mid 1980’s before anyone knew what expediting was. The company is family owned, family operated and has never been bought or sold since its inception. The family goals are ones that we hold near and dear to us every day and treat our employees and drivers like family.
Q. With that long history in this industry, what are some of the biggest changes (or challenges) you’ve seen in recent years?
A. Reacting to business level changes has always been a major concern. We do not want to get more units than we need, so that all contractors can maintain reasonable earning during some of the slower periods of freight that do occur. We work very hard at trying to maintain the right number of units to properly haul the freight day in and day out.
Q. Tri-State Expedited recently launched a new flatbed division. Can you tell us more about that new service?
A. We have always wanted to be a diverse company; multiple divisions create better revenue flow and also allow for contractors to have multiple opportunities. We were approached by a shipper in Michigan to haul some flatbed freight, and we have risen to the opportunity. We are adding flatbed-experienced owner/operators and growing that division. We also had the opportunity to hire a dispatcher with a wealth of flatbed experience and knowledge. This has created a major growth in this division including round trip move and great revenue stream for the contractors.
Q. With your diverse fleet, what kind of drivers and equipment does Tri-State Expedited want to partner with?
A. We are always looking for Straight Trucks and Tractors; we have opportunities in expedited and truckload, and our latest expansion division of flatbed. Cargo vans/sprinter used to be the main stay of the industry and we always have opportunities for these types of equipment. Expedited service is the main user of team operations, but we can also utilize solo drivers on expedite, truckload or flatbed qualified drivers for the flat bed operation.
Q. Driver retention is very difficult in 2014. What kind of efforts is Tri-State Expedited making to improve driver retention?
A. We started a fleet coordinator position years ago; this is the major way of addressing retention. The fleet coordinators are in tune with drivers and their concerns on a daily basis. This leads toward retention of quality contractors.
Q. Why do owner operators and drivers want to be part of Tri-State Expedited?
A. I believe that we offer owner operators and drivers a unique family-oriented position. From orientation through the entire corporation they are family and treated with respect. We value our long term relationships with all our owner operators and drivers.
Q. We are well into the 2nd Quarter of 2014. What kind of freight volumes do you expect for the remainder of the year?
A. 2014 has been and will continue to be a very good year Freight volumes are up and we have good forecasts from our major customers that it will remain for the rest of 2014.
Q. Can you recall any recent situations where a Tri-State Expedited driver “saved the day” for your customer?
A. Saving the day is what we do; we have so many successes on a day-in and day- out basis that it is hard to specifically list each and every one. That is our business; that is what the customers expect and what we deliver 365 days per year. Our many owner operators operating at over 98% on time service deserve the thanks for our success.
Q. What industry organizations is Tri-State Expedited affiliated with?
A. We have never been a large joiner of industry organizations; we are focused on operating a profitable company that gives the opportunity to owner operators to be profitable also. We have a successful program; we know that because we have many long term quality contractors.
Q. What’s on the horizon for Tri-State Expedited?
A. We are looking for some quality contractors to allow us to grow. We do not want to be the biggest, but we want to have a group of quality contractors and what we do to keep them and us profitable every day.
Q. Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
A. Tri-State Expedited Service, Inc. has the infrastructure to offer owner operators a great home; we know that we have a program that allows for success. Come join the family!
For more information, call Tri-State Expedited Service, Inc. at 888.245.4325