Let Preferred Carriers be your Preferred Carrier
Preferred Carriers celebrates the first 10 years. By Nerissa McNaughton
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A full-service company, Preferred Carriers specializes in flat deck, step deck and double drop equipment. Truckload and LTL service is offered across North America, thanks to a professional network of lease operators and PCI certified sub-contractors.
ith over 40 years of trucking experience, Ray Fennig knew he had the insider knowledge of what it takes to expertly run a carrier company. “That’s all I’ve ever done all my life. I started driving a truck in 1964. It’s been good to me. I’ve made a living and raised my family with it,” smiles the company’s president. He opened the doors in 2005 with his wife and daughter Michelle as the only other employees. They brokered loads until March of 2006, when they got operating licence. From there, things moved fast – on and off the road. “By the end of 2006 we had 15 trucks,” explains Fennig. “Then in 2007 we did two windmill projects in southern Alberta, and that really helped our growth. Today we have 36 trucks, 45 trailers and did $8 million in sales last year.
A full-service company, Preferred Carriers specializes in flat deck, step deck and double drop equipment. Truckload and LTL service is offered across North America, thanks to a professional network of lease operators and PCI certified sub-contractors. “We can handle anything from a partial shipment to a modular unit, anywhere in North America,” Fennig says with pride. “One load or 50, a small skid or a load that requires a multiple axle truck, we get the job done. With our Interline connections with two Mexican carriers at Laredo, we can offer through-rates to or from Mexico into Canada, and with the ocean-forwarding connections we have in Houston we can get ocean rates from ports in Houston to other ports across the water. Basically, we are large enough to handle all kinds of shipments but small enough to respond quickly to any customer request.”
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For example, Preferred Carriers recently ran 50 loads in two weeks from Vancouver to Camrose. “They needed it done quickly so we did it quickly,” Fennig laughs. It’s all in a day’s work for Preferred. No matter how quickly they can move products, however, safety is the main concern and something that is never compromised. “We are COR™ certified and we do a safety audit every year.” To provide superior customer service and the safest work conditions for each driver, Preferred Carriers uses Shaw Tracking in their trucks.
President, Ray Fennig
“We started our company using them right at the early stages and it’s a very important part of our operation,” notes Fennig. This communication, logging and tracking system updates hourly so both Preferred Carriers and the client know where their load is at all times. “If there is a redirect of the shipment, we can contact the driver within minutes. It also logs everything: automated hours of service, scanning, navigation, performance monitoring and critical event reporting. Shaw Tracking’s wireless technology makes our operations safer and more efficient.”
Vice president, Michelle Fennig
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Fennig continues, “Our service and commitment set us apart from the competition. We focus on safety and service, honesty and integrity. That is important. That is our corporate culture. We have a dispatch team, we have a sales team and we have a safety department. We all work in tandem with each other. We have a good group of experienced drivers on the road that do a really good job for us and our customers. “Are we always the lowest cost carrier? No, and for a very important reason. We look at ourselves as an extension of the customer’s business. They manufacture the product and it goes to their customer. We are the in-between that gets that product to their customer. We look at that as a partnership, not just a customer/ client/carrier relationship. Simply undercutting the price does not allow us to provide the superior service that honours our clients’ brands. Our fair, affordable pricing structure is indicative
of the good wages we pay our highly qualified team members, the maintenance on our trucks and equipment, our tracking service – everything our clients need and deserve for the best possible Preferred experience. We don’t cut corners, and it shows.” Even with more than four decades in the industry and a successful trucking company under his belt, Fennig knows he didn’t get to where he is today on his own. “I would like to thank the staff for their support and dedication for the job they have done for us. The staff helped the company grow. It’s not anything I’ve done myself. I get to work with all kinds of different personalities and take each person where they are at and create a group of winners. I’ve learned to select a team that does the job as well or better than I would do it myself, and to always keep in mind that no game was ever won with just one player. It’s a team effort.” Fennig is also grateful to Preferred Carriers’ clients and vendors. “Three of my vendors have been really instrumental in the growth of Preferred Carriers: GreatWest Kenworth Ltd. in Calgary, Ocean Trailer and Diamond International Trucks. Over the last 10 years we made many purchases from Kenworth. We have 20 of their trucks on the road.” This year marks the 10th anniversary of the trucking company and Fennig can’t believe how things have changed. From a staff of three to a full staff of administrators and drivers, from paper records to computerized automation and satellite tracking, he just keeps rolling with any change that makes the company more efficient and customer focused. To achieve work/life balance, the company president enjoys his hobbies of golfing, fishing and camping, but you don’t spend 40 years on the road and not feel the tug of those turning wheels. Fennig loves being in the office making sure client’s loads get to where they need to go, and he looks forward to continuing the trucking life, from the other side of the road.
Edmonton: 780.962.5801 Outside of Edmonton: 866.962.5801 Fax: 780.962.5925 www.preferredcarriers.com
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