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Dart celebrates opening of operating center in Atlanta metro area

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Dart Chairman Don Oren talks with drivers near the window in the Ellenwood Driver’s Lounge. In the foreground, Dart VP of Marketing & Communications Russ Moore, chats with Ellenwood Operation Center Supervisor Darnell Wilson, as Dart Director of Southeast Sales John Pinyard, right, listens. (Courtesy: DART TRANSIT CO.)

ELLENWOOD, Ga. — Dart Transit Co. has opened a new operating center in the metro Atlanta area.

The facility here is located close to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport south of Atlanta and it will provide the company with the opportunity to grow its customer base in the state and region.

Prior to opening the doors in Ellenwood, Dart operated from a location in Buford northeast of Atlanta.

Along with its strategic new positioning in the metro area, the Ellenwood Operating Center is larger than the previous Buford location and Dart has incorporated the latest in amenities for owner-operators and company drivers in the Dart Network.

“Trucking and logistics have become the bread and butter for Clayton County, particularly because we have four interstates going through the county. Dart has a national presence, and to have them here will be great for Clayton County,” said county Chamber of Commerce President Jeremy Stratton, one of the dignitaries attending Dart’s open house event. “I have had the opportunity to visit a number of truck facilities over the years, and I am very impressed with what I’ve seen here at Dart. The attention to detail in terms of the layout, the technology and the amenities — giving the employees what they need — is awesome. They have obviously put a lot of thought into the plans, and the finished product has turned out well. This will be a great place to work for a lot of people.”

Dart’s Ellenwood facility features 21,000 square feet. The building has 10,000 square feet of office space, which includes an operations center, conference rooms, a driver orientation area and a drivers’ lounge with laundry facilities. The on-site shop covers 11,000 square feet, with a layout that can accommodate simultaneous service on nine trucks and seven trailers. Dart’s Ellenwood property encompasses 10 acres, providing ample space for truck and trailer parking. The facility has a state-of-the-art, 24-hour security system.

“We began this project about 15 months ago. It’s awesome to see it today with everyone here, especially when you think back on how everything has come together,” said Dart Vice President of Maintenance Brett Wacker, who oversaw the company’s development of the Ellenwood Operating Center. “We built this with our people in mind. We wanted to provide a nice, comfortable facility, with good amenities and plenty of space. It’s been great to see people’s reactions as you go through the building.”

Wacker was part of the company’s executive leadership that made the trip to Ellenwood from Dart’s corporate headquarters in the Twin Cities. Chairman of the Board Donald Oren and President James Langley led the visiting group. In addition to touring the new facility, Oren and Langley spent time with the office staff, shop technicians, owner-operators and company drivers in Ellenwood.

“The facility is very impressive, and I give Brett Wacker a lot of credit. He made the decisions on how to lay things out here, and that’s really important because it has to be efficient and it has to be safe for the people who work here,” Oren said. “It was a great event. It’s always fun to meet the drivers and spend time with everyone here. There’s always something to learn.”

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Chris Brown

    April 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Dart is a cheap company.I was there 25 Years and was pushed to the bottom of the OTR pay scale because your pay is based on your home zip code ? 87120 got me 1.08 where a driver living in St Louis would get 1.12 even though you run everywhere. Glad to be gone no respect from managers either!

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Women In Trucking names its 2019 top woman-owned businesses

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Angela Eliacostas is the founder and owner of AGT Global Logistics, one of the companies the Women In Trucking Association has named its 2019 Top Women-Owned Businesses in Transportation. (Courtesy: Women in Trucking)

PLOVER, Wisc. —  The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced its annual list of the “Top Woman-Owned Businesses in Transportation.”

The names of the companies being recognized in 2019 were released in the latest edition of Redefining the Road, the official magazine of WIT.

WIT created the list was created to recognize women in leadership and encourage more women to become proactive leaders in their organizations and even start their own businesses, WIT president and CEO Ellen Voie said. The program supports WIT’s overall mission “To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize the obstacles they face.”

Entrepreneurship is a viable means of economic self-sufficiency, and many women are choosing an enterprise connected to transportation to be part of their career aspirations, according to Brian Everett, publisher of Redefining the Road.

Companies considered for the recognition must meet criteria that includes majority ownership by a woman, financial stability and growth, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Each company was nominated and chosen based upon business success and accomplishments, including those related to gender diversity.

This year’s list includes companies from a diverse range of business sectors in the commercial freight transportation marketplace, including motor carriers, third-party logistics companies and original equipment manufacturers.

Companies named to the 2019 “Top Woman-Owned Businesses” list and their primary female business owners are:

  • Bennett International Group; Marcia G. Taylor, CEO
  • Kenco Logistics; Jane Kennedy Greene, chairwoman
  • London Auto Truck Center; Donna Childers, vice president
  • Rihm Family Companies; Kari Rihm, president and CEO
  • Veriha Trucking, Inc.; Karen Smerchek, president
  • Rush Trucking Corp.; Andra Rush, CEO
  • Aria Logistics; Arelis Gutierrez, CEO
  • Lodgewood Enterprises; Arlene Gagne, president
  • S-2international, LLC; Jennifer Mead, CEO
  • International Express Trucking; Karen Duff, president and CEO
  • Brenny Transportation, Inc.; Joyce Brenny, CEO and founder
  • Knichel Logistics; Kristy Knichel, CEO
  • Garner Trucking; Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, CEO
  • LYNC Logistics; Cindy Lee, president
  • Ontario Truck Training Academy; Yvette Lagrois, president
  • AGT Global Logistics; Angela Eliacostas, owner and founder
  • Powersource Transportation; (Barb Bakos, president
  • LaunchIt Public Relations; Susan Fall, president
  • United Federal Logistics, Inc.; Jennifer Behnke, president
  • BCP Transportation; Nancy Spelsberg, Ardis Jourdan, Kristie Rozinski
  • Ladybird Logistics Ltd.; Felicia Payin Marfo, managing director
  • DGT Trucking; Donna G. Sleasman, owner
  • RFX Inc.; Kimberly Welby, president and CEO)

These companies will be recognized during a special program at the Women In Trucking Accelerate! Conference & Expo, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 in Dallas. For more information, visit WomenInTrucking.org.

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ATA Truck Tonnage Index falls 1.1% in June, but 1.5% higher than June 2018

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Compared with June 2018, the SA index increased 1.5%, the smallest year-over-year gain since April 2017.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.1% in June after falling 4% in May. In June, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) compared with 116.5 in May.

“Tonnage continues to show resilience as it posted the 26th year-over-year increase despite falling for the second straight month sequentially,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The year-over-year gain was the smallest over the past two years, but the level of freight remains quite high. Tonnage is outperforming other trucking metrics as heavy freight sectors, like tank truck, are witnessing better freight levels than sectors like dry van, which has a lower average weight per load.”

May’s reading was revised up compared with our June press release.

Compared with June 2018, the SA index increased 1.5%, the smallest year-over-year gain since April 2017.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 117.6 in June, 3.3% below May level (121.7). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 

 

 

 

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JK Moving modernizes moving with mobile app and virtual AI estimating options

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The JK mobile app enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. (Courtesy: JK MOVING)

STERLING, Va. — JK Moving Services, a global moving, storage, relocation and logistics enterprise, says it has added new technologies to further modernize the move experience for customers, including a mobile app to help the customer manage the move process and software to do virtual estimates with either a real person or by an artificial intelligence interface.

“Great technology makes for better moves and that’s why we invest in cutting-edge solutions. Mobile apps and AI are now part of our customer tool kit,” said CEO Chuck Kuhn. “Giving clients choices in how they work with us helps us meet a variety of customer needs and styles.”

Kuhn said JK’s tech team had created a downloadable mobile app that enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. The app is monitored 24/7 by the JK team.

Since this custom app was developed in-house, JK is able to incorporate feedback and improvements quickly, Kuhn said, adding that the mobile app complements new estimating software that clients can use to get a virtual estimate.

The client gives a tour of their house with their phone to their choice of a real or AI representative. The AI estimating software recognizes shapes of objects and makes an inventory list. From that tour, JK can provide an estimate and send it to the mobile app. Estimators still are available to come to someone’s house if that is what the client prefers.

“Going mobile improves our customer offerings since many clients want products that are seamless, easy and quick. We’re receiving terrific feedback for our new mobile app and virtual estimating. These tech advancements put us at the forefront of the residential moving business,” said David Cox, executive vice president, residential, JK Moving.

Cox said the mobile app also reduces the use of paper, which is good for the environment. Environmental stewardship is part of the JK culture and a consideration in many of the company’s innovations.

“In fact, JK was one of the first on many environmentally friendly practices, including: ordering Tesla semi moving trucks, embracing new technologies that will further its aggressive carbon emissions-reduction goals, leading with box-less moves and major recycling efforts, and starting a chemical free community farm,” he said.

Another recent modernization includes the addition of dashcam technology in its whole fleet. These cameras are installed in the truck cabs. When a trigger event happens, such as a sudden stop or jostling movement, a 12-second video clip gets sent to DriveCam, a third-party vendor that monitors and evaluates the incidents. DriveCam sends JK feedback when opportunities arise to improve driving behaviors, enabling JK to provide customized training to drivers. The dashcams have resulted in employees improving their driving skills and experiencing fewer triggering events, resulting in fewer accidents and a reduction in claims.

 

 

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