TTS, LLC Celebrates 10 Years of Success

TTS, LLC, a leading agent-based supply chain and logistics provider headquartered in Frisco, TX, honored five long-standing employees for their dedication to the company at a celebratory lunch at their new headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

The awards luncheon was held to honor those employees who have been with TTS for 10 years. The five employees honored represent every aspect of the 3PL, from the executive level to accounting and agency development.

Group Photo

Back Row: Andy Cole, Jeff Vielhaber, Mary Ann Gunderson Front Row: Shelly Hard, Corina Ilie, Eleanor Donell

“These select employees have been with our company from the beginning,” said Andy Cole, President and CEO, TTS, LLC. “They took a chance on a start-up and helped fuel our tremendous growth over the past 10 years. We would not be where we are today without employees like Eleanor, Shelly, Mary Ann and Corina.”

During luncheon, Jeff Vielhaber, the Chief Operations Officer of TTS, presented a 10-year anniversary award to each of the five employees.

Eleanor Donell started as a mailroom clerk in May 2006. She now runs the entire mailroom for TTS and serves as the backup receptionist.

Shelly Hard began her career at TTS in May 2006 as the Accounts Payable Specialist. Now, she serves as the Manager of Cargo Claims and Rail Accounting, where she investigates cargo claims, maintains claims procedures, and acts as a liaison between the customer and/or agent, and the insurer and/or carrier to settle claims.

Mary Ann Gundersen joined TTS in January 2006, as an AP/AR Specialist. She currently serves as the AR Manager, overseeing all aspects of customer billing and cash applications for both TTS and Progressive.

Corina T. Ilie also joined TTS as an AP/AR Specialist in June 2006. Currently, she serves as the AP Accounting where she analyzes financial information, reconciles accounts, and maintains accounts payable.

Andy Cole, President and CEO of TTS, was also recognized for his 10 years of service to the company.

Cole addressed the recipients, saying “We’ve been through many changes since our inception. After reaching one million shipments in 2011, we continued to push the industry forward with our technology solutions. And in late 2012, we completed the merger with WTG Logistics. In 2015, we went on to surpass 2,000,000 shipments. As we push our 2016 initiatives forward, we thank you for your diligence in getting us where we are today. Let’s continue this accelerated growth, giving us even more power to move.”

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TTS, LLC Presents 2015 Carrier of the Year Awards

TTS, LLC, a leading agent-based supply chain and logistics provider headquartered in Frisco, Texas, honored four exceptional providers with the 2015 Carrier of the Year Awards at a celebration dinner on July 12, 2016.

This year’s top carriers were identified in four distinct categories: Rail, OTR, LTL, and Drayman. They were selected by their:

  • 2015 activity and volume
  • Quality of service and customer service
  • Value provided to their customers
  • Claims processing procedures

The selection was narrowed down to the top ten carriers in each category and the TTS national agent network voted for the “Best of the Best.”

TTS President Andy Cole presented the 2015 Awards to the following recipients:

Rail Carrier of the Year:                                  Union Pacific

OTR Carrier of the Year:                                 Knight Transportation

LTL Carrier of the Year:                                  SAIA

Intermodal Drayage Carrier of the Year:    SoCal

Union Pacific is the largest intermodal rail provider to TTS, in terms of both dollar and container volume, providing a number of the 3PL’s agents and customers with carload services throughout the western United States and Mexico.

“During fall peak season in 2015, Union Pacific stepped up to the plate and provided TTS with a 100% box commitment to our retail customers on the West Coast, serving the largest container ports in the U.S.,” said Jeff Brashares, Vice President of Sales and National Accounts at TTS.

Knight Transportation has been a loyal truckload carrier for TTS since the company’s founding in 2006. With a solid understanding of the market and how to cultivate long-term partnerships, they work with TTS agents on rate, and often negotiate rates that other carriers won’t. With approximately 23 terminals in the U.S. and a company model that focuses on employee relations and getting drivers home more often, Knight Transportation has also been largely unaffected by the driver shortage.

“Knight Transportation is the carrier for the everyday call for large capacity projects that you can count on,” said David Lyles, the Director of Capacity Procurement with the Redden Group, an independent agency of TTS. “Their operations staff is always willing to help us, even on those last minute projects that require large amounts of equipment to be dropped on a Friday evening.”

To service the needs of its customers, TTS is contracted with 40+ national, regional, multi-regional and niche market LTL carriers nationwide. SAIA stood out among the rest by maintaining impeccably high service standards.

“SAIA maintained a 98% on-time pickup, 95% on-time delivery, and a .34% claims ratio for the year,” said Kevin Housley, Director of LTL at TTS. “They are one of our best business partners because of their commitment to keeping their promises.”

SoCal was selected as the 2015 Intermodal Drayage Carrier of the Year for their continued services for TTS’ largest retail customer. They assign TTS agents 30 pickup spots a day without needing to be asked, or negotiating an allotment. SoCal takes pride in accomplishing as many stops on pickups or deliveries as needed, without question. They provide same day transload services using their own warehouse facility. And, they make customer service their number-one priority with 24/7 support.

 “Few dray companies in southern California will provide multi-stop vendor pickups, yet SoCal does this each and every day with a 100% on time record and zero cargo failures,” said Joe Kilgo, Intermodal Director at TTS. “Their commitment to customer service starts at the top with their owner, Pablo Montalvan, who will roll up his sleeves and work on loading trucks himself.”

Cole addressed the winners of the 2015 Carrier of the Year Award, saying “These carriers represent the best-of-the-best in terms of quality service and customer care. It is through their efforts that our agents are able to fulfill their customers’ needs every single day. As we push our 2016 initiatives forward, we expect to continue this year-over-year growth, giving us even more power to move.”

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What Progressive Provides You

Hi, my name is David Schumann. I am the general manager of Progressive Transportation. As operating agent, we offer you a safety director, Dave Bensen (who has been in the business for 30 years), myself (who has been in the trucking operations, dedicated, regional, and over the road in management for the last 30 years with several large companies, and also on the smaller company-side), and a staff of individuals that rival most of your larger companies. We give you the autonomy to be your own culture, while you also get the feel of a big company. We provide you with fuel discounts that are comparable to the large companies. We provide you the technology with McLeod that gives you the ability to do detention, billing, etc. With this technology, we help make your life easier and streamline your operations by automating some of the things that you are currently doing manually.

Streamlining Your Assets

We provide you with a plate loan. We’ll provide you with assets to grow your company. If you need help to buy new equipment, we’re here to help you. The only way we make money is by increasing your profitability and your margins. If you don’t grow, we don’t grow – and that’s the key.

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Agent Success at TTS

Hi folks, I’m Jeff Brashares from TTS in Dallas, TX. And, I’m here today with a guest speaker, Mr. Clayton Woods, our Agent Recruiter extraordinaire from Atlanta, GA.

Brashares: Let’s talk a little bit about agent recruiting here at TTS. Clayton, give me an overview of the day in the life of Clayton.

Woods: Well, the day in the life of Clayton is very complicated. I get up in the morning and I call to talk to potential, existing and want-to-be agents. That’s what I do all day. Sourcing agents is a brain surgery type of operation in that there are a myriad of questions that we have to ask, whether the agent fits TTS, or whether TTS fits their style of operation. It’s a very fluid conversation. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time, but when it does it becomes a miss and match situation.

Brashares: Let’s talk a little bit about that. What’s the profile that you’re looking for, for an agent to work with TTS?

Woods: We’re looking for individuals or partnerships that:

  • have been in the business for a while;
  • are very successful in their own local community; and,
  • are also well known on a national level.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re a Fortune 500 company, or they are cottage industry agents. We work with agents of all sizes, no matter what trailer type they are involved in, whether it’s over-the-road, intermodal, flat bed, heavy hall, or over dimension. The success rate is basically determined in this industry by the gross revenue that they generate per year.

Brashares: What’s the size and scope you look for?

Woods: We like to look for agents that are in that $10 to $20 million range that control their own destiny, have a very close relationship with their customers, and put their customer first. And, they look for the company to provide the support, including financial backing and technology. Successful agents want to work for the type of company that is well-known, with a national brand, that they can sell to their customers.

Brashares: And how about assets? You know most of the customers I call in a day are looking for more capacity because capacity is short. So, if I’m a small trucking company, is this a place I can come?

Woods: Absolutely, in our scope of operation, we have over 6,000 approved carriers that will generate anywhere from 100 to 250 thousand pieces of equipment that’s available on the nation’s highways on a daily basis, not to mention, the railroads and the airfreight. Also, the international scene, as you know, has been started at TTS, and we’re doing quite well with that ballgame.

Agents and folks, if you want to come to a place that has the power to move you, and we have the power to move your freight, come see us at TTS.

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Importance of Intermodal

Here at TTS, one of the fastest growing pieces of our business is intermodal. And, if you read the press and the newspaper, you understand why. Right now, intermodal is a $14 billion business domestically and the analysts expect it to increase to $20 billion by 2019 or 2020. In my lifetime, intermodal probably represents the fastest conversion from highway intermodal that I’ve seen, and everyone, including the railroad experts, expects this to continue.

We will however see, after this winter, a bit of a slowdown due to some of the congestion issues we had across Chicago, St. Louis and Memphis due to the weather. But, my guess is that as we get closer to peak season, business is probably going to pick up. In fact, during this particular winter polar vortex season, we saw a shift from boxes being short in California to boxes being short in the Midwest just because the natural progression has changed both eastbound and westbound shipping. And speaking of that, we also see a change in the way businesses is flowing.

About 10 years ago, probably 70% of the import business flowing east came from the port of Long Beach or the port of Los Angeles. Now, probably 60% of the eastern railroad carriers come through the east coast ports. And, obviously with the expansion of the canal, we’ll see some additional ships, perhaps in Florida. The FEC and the state of Florida have spent a lot of money investing in an intermodal facility down there.

But back to the intermodal business, we see a continued push because of the driver shortage, and the increase in business – the economy obviously is much better now than it was 2 or 3 years ago. We see a much greater push toward shifting business off of the highway, particularly long-haul and on intermodal. All the railroads, particularly in the east, now are looking at shorter haul moves, to deal with the import containers that used to come from the west coast and are now coming from Jacksonville, New York, and places like that.

I really believe there is a true partnership and collaboration between shippers and rail carriers now, addressing the question of how can we better convert intermodal to do business off the highway. We’re involved in this particular piece of business because 30% of our freight here at TTS moves intermodally and we continue to have the power to move you.

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