Aristotle once said that quality does not result from the committing of a singular act; it is reflected in the repetition of habits. For a family-owned transport and logistics company based in Florida, the habitual commitment to customer service, self improvement and market monitoring has not only helped foster a reputation for quality service, but has led to quality partnerships too.
Reed Transport Services, Inc. is a family-owned and operated North American third-party logistics provider of high quality brokerage and freight management services. Based in Brandon, Florida, Reed Transport maintains the highest level of communication possible with each customer, and assigns a highly-trained logistics team to provide streamlined, proactive communication to ensure complete consistency.
Reed Transport Services has been licensed with the Federal Highway Authority since 1996. In 2010, Reed Transport formed a strategic partnership with TMS Logistics – a licensed motor carrier servicing the continental United States. The combined brand, ReedTMS, provides expanded service offerings that address the logistics and transportation needs of shippers.
The partnership with TMS Logistics has increased Reed’s high quality services in a number of ways, and has quickly educated them on the challenges that trucking company’s face, which they learned to have a “full and sound respect for,” says CEO Jason Reed. “It’s changed the culture and the approach of some of the people here.”
The partnership has also helped them garner additional business through established relationships, previously considered “asset-friendly shippers,” which now provide them with brokerage, logistics or technological opportunities. This brings them closer to being a one-stop shop for any type of transport need.
At Reed Transport Services Inc., their vision is to develop and grow by creating opportunities for employees – who, in turn, drive value to customers and partners. To execute on that mission, the company has made their employees their “first and foremost priority,” says Mike Ryan, COO of ReedTMS. “Our culture here is to take really good care of our employees, and they take care of our customers and our carriers, which helps drive the business.”
Employees are taken care of in many ways, Ryan says. They are provided with compensation at or above market value, benefits, events, atmosphere, and more. The idea is that a happy employee is a productive employee, which in turn creates a happy client. “We hire a lot of life people. We feel like you spend more time at work than you do with your own family, so you want the employees to enjoy working with one another,” Ryan says. “We hire like-minded individuals.”
To ensure they bring in the right people, Reed Transport Services has a thorough “hiring and onboarding program,” where they find people systematically, based on DISC assessment profiles. “Based on these hiring assessments, we first qualify the person’s communication style to make sure they’re going to fit within the department or group,” Ryan explains. “By having the right people, we do the right job by our clients.”
Reed Transport’s commitment to their employees is a large part of what sets them above and beyond in the marketplace. “We foster a family environment here,” Ryan says. “We have continual training for our people to assist them with hitting their goals because everyone is measured through the use of key performance indicators and everyone wants to make sure to hit their metrics. We use KPI’s in every department to ensure the business is moving in the right direction”
“We measure ourselves to the point where we know our service is at the top of the food chain,” he adds.
Reed Transport also stands out due to their private fleet and dedicated services. They devote a lot of expense to making sure that is “done right,” Reed explains. “We’ve got that down to a science. We go out to whatever private or public manufacturers or entities that need their own trucks and dedicated drivers, but don’t want to manage all the equipment.”
To help drive efficiency, Reed Transport Services, Inc. uses two of the industry’s leading technology platforms, as well as their own internally-developed proprietary software. “Between three systems, we’re doing pretty well,” Reed says. Their systems help the company to push forward their pricing and lane analytics in order to acquire additional strategic lanes and opportunities. “We’ve got all kinds of analytics that we look at through our reporting mechanisms.”
They use an internal tool called Rate Master that functions as a carrier analysis, rates on-time performance, prices lanes and zones, which ultimately allow the company to make informed decisions, especially when bidding on jobs for large shippers. As Reed explains, “It also gives up to the minute market pricing capabilities for markets we’re not accustomed to. We have real-time visibility on any piece of data we need to operate our business and make nimble decisions if we have to.”
One of the main challenges for Reed Transport Services, Inc. has been the difficulty they have had in acquiring drivers in certain markets. “It’s very challenging to recruit drivers in the northeastern Wisconsin region, which is where our main terminal is,” says Reed. Responding to that challenge, the company has begun offering various incentives upon recruiting, including signing bonuses.
To further alleviate the problem, they’ve recruited drivers in Florida – where they have typically done well – and have shifted them to Wisconsin, where they are out on the road for two or three weeks at a time. “We’ve been having success in getting guys recruited from Florida and getting them integrated into the operation up there,” Reed says.
“We’re talking about putting up a billboard to help steer some more heads towards our direction, and that’s mainly a location-type issue. We can recruit drivers pretty well in the south in Florida.”
Looking ahead at the longer term, Reed Transport Services, Inc. will expand their operations in and outside of Florida, for example, where they’ve utilized the significantly-sized ports state-wide and along the Gulf Coast. “The East Coast is starting to get some of the bigger container ships coming from overseas. The widening of the Panama Canal will have a positive effect on our domestic truckload opportunities,” Reed says. “Getting into some port services is a possibility with maybe some warehousing and cross-docking. It certainly is a viable option.”
Reed Transport is also looking at possible expansion internationally, but not until they’ve explored and capitalized on every single opportunity and marketplace stateside. “There’s so much domestic opportunity that is controlled much easier than having to worry about things that happen secondarily overseas,” Reed says. “There is a lot to do in the states before we venture into European markets.