Central Oregon Truck Company Hosts First Annual Shippers Conference

REDMOND, Ore., Aug.2013 – Central Oregon Truck Company, a Daseke flatbed trucking company, recently held a three-day shippers conference at its Redmond, Ore., headquarters.
According to Rick Williams, CEO of Central Oregon Truck Company (COTC), many of the flatbed company’s top customers were able to attend the event.

“We were thrilled with the turnout for our inaugural event,” said Williams.

“Our success has been built on customer service, integrity and the ability to deliver loads for our customers in a safe and efficient manner. While we’ve always felt the close dialogue we’ve had with our customers was key to our success, we wanted to take it a step further by hosting a shippers conference filled with informative breakout sessions and roundtable discussions. We felt they could learn from us, and we from them, to mutually benefit our businesses.”

A session on vehicle emissions rulings, especially when moving freight into California, showcased how COTC handles the requirements with its fleet of Kenworth trucks. “Some of our customers also run trucks, in addition to having us run freight,” said Williams. “The session helped them get up to speed on what is required, and what will be required in the years to come.”

Another session dealt with technology trends in transportation. “It starts with the truck and the latest in technology,” said Williams. “Each Kenworth in our fleet is outfitted with EOBRs (electronic onboard recorders), which allows us to communicate with driving team members in a timely manner. This in turn allows us to give real-time visibility to our customers. At the conference, we showcased our proprietary TruckQuest search function for customers, as well. Once they’re logged into our secure site, they can enter a zip code and see which COTC trucks are in their location, or will be soon, and the load capacity we offer. This gives our shippers instant access and visibility to our trucks and helps them better manage their loads.”

Two roundtable panel discussions were also held. One featured the CEOs from the four Daseke companies, which, when combined, place Daseke Inc., in the top 20 for flatbed carriers in the United States. Joining Rick Williams of COTC were Dan Wirkkala from Smokey Point Distributing, Brian Gast from E.W. Wylie Corporation, and Mark Randolph from J. Grady Randolph.

“Our roundtable gave our shippers insight as to what we’re seeing in the flatbed market and how it might impact their business,” said Williams. “And since we are a brand new Daseke company, joining the group in early August, we formally introduced our sister companies to our customers, showcasing their capabilities, which augment ours. Combined, Daseke companies give total North American coverage with the same level of customer care customers have come to expect from Central Oregon Truck Company. All told, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the reaction we received regarding our Daseke announcement to our customer base. They saw huge benefit and synergy in what we’re doing.”

“It’s evident that Central Oregon Truck, as well as the entire Daseke family of carriers, is focused on providing exceptional value to their customer and vendor network,” said Amy Mielke, transportation sourcing leader for Owens Corning, who attended the conference.  “The esteemed panel of Daseke CEOs provided valuable insight into the trucking industry past, current, and future.”

The other roundtable, moderated by Don Daseke, CEO of Daseke Inc., was a shippers’ panel, which consisted of three top-level transportation managers. “This was a valuable Q&A discussion that focused on the key challenges larger shippers face in managing their freight and carrier base,” said Williams. “There was also discussion on how shippers evaluate carriers – and how they prioritize safety, service and rates. It was clear that service and safety were the key concerns of shippers, as opposed to just lowest cost. And, the panel emphasized the continuing need of carriers to utilize technology to make the shipping process more transparent.”

Addison, Texas-based Daseke Inc. is a family of specialized flatbed transportation companies serving 49 states and Canada.  The companies include the E.W. Wylie Corporation, based in West Fargo, N.D. (http://www.wylietrucking.com); Smokey Point Distributing, based in Arlington, Wash., (http://www.spdtrucking.com); J. Grady Randolph (http://www.jgr-inc.com), based in Gaffney, S.C.; and Central Oregon Truck Company, based in Redmond, Ore., (http://www.centraloregontruck.com).  E.W. Wylie is known for hauling heavy equipment, both flatbed and specialized. Smokey Point is a leader in aviation-related transportation with a highly diverse trailer fleet featuring a large inventory of curtain trailers in flatbed, step-deck and low-profile step-deck configurations. J. Grady Randolph is an expert in over-dimensional flatbed cargo. Central Oregon Truck Company handles a variety of flatbed loads and offers curtain trailers and roll-tops.  Together, the companies comprise one of the 20 largest flatbed and specialty carriers in North America.

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