Bright ideas

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The hottest, most innovative ideas were flowing like the tropical breezes at Hawk’s Cay Resort on Duck Key, Fla., where the industry’s best and brightest innovators gathered last month for the CCJ Innovators Summit.

CCJ’s editors selected Pitt Ohio Express Innovator of the Year from among 11 outstanding carriers highlighted throughout the year for innovation in areas such as operational efficiency, use of information technology, maintenance practices, safety, recruitment and retention, and customer relations.

The Pittsburgh-based LTL carrier studied its data and uncovered trends that led to greater operational flexibility and improved customer service. “Pitt Ohio Express adopted strategies that improve efficiency and – perhaps more importantly – create new employment opportunities for younger workers and its own work force,” says CCJ Editorial Director Avery Vise. Pitt Ohio Express’ efforts will be discussed in detail in CCJ’s April issue. The other 10 finalists include:

  • Atrium Companies, Dallas: Launched a private fleet in less than three months and created a management system on a zero budget.
  • RoadLink Services, Bethlehem, Pa.: Increased minority and immigrant driver pools through an aggressive referral program.
  • CTL Transportation/Comcar, Mulberry, Fla.: Built a relationship with its nearby state employment office to find drivers, mechanics and laborers.
  • DistTech, Newbury, Ohio: Crafted a new corporate identity to become the primary provider of its customers’ information needs as well as transportation.
  • Trucks Inc., Jackson, Ga.: Incorporates employee health into risk management.
  • Gordon Trucking, Pacific, Wash.: Builds its management team by focusing on talent rather than just proficiency.
  • Bruno’s Services, St. Louis: Strives to change drivers’ attitudes about equipment.
  • Swift Transportation, Phoenix: Awarded an unprecedented $1 million to a driver who ranked among the best in safety, compliance and productivity.
  • Floyd & Beasley Transfer, Sycamore, Ala.: Created a performance-based pay scale for drivers.
  • Decker Truck Line, Fort Dodge, Iowa: Tests the use of biodiesel fuel in a two-year study.

The Innovator of the Year program is supported by Freightliner Trucks and PeopleNet. To nominate a trucking operation as an Innovator, go to this site, or drop me a note and I’ll forward it on.

Congratulations to Pitt Ohio Express and to all the finalists for continuing to seek new solutions to ongoing industry challenges.