Building tomorrow's transportation company model
Apr 21, 2010 3:40 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Dupré Logistics continued...
“Buying a freight carrier in 1986 changed our viewpoint of this business,” Dupré says. “We met a more diverse group of customers, and we discovered how important technology was to them. We began to see logistics as a strategic, rather than tactical, concept. As we came to that understanding, we developed the operating model that we are using today.
“We look for customers that share our logistics partnership mindset. We do our best to stay away from trends and fads, because those business approaches often result in lower revenues and lower returns. We do our best to monetize our technology while creating value for our customers. We're making progress, but we're still learning. We're constantly improving our operating model.”
Dupré Logistics developed a diverse operating model that blends three distinctive segments of the transportation industry. The Site and Private Fleet Services business group provides dedicated logistics. The company's Strategic Capacity Services (SCS) business group provides clients with full-service third-party logistics (3PL) for hazardous and non-hazardous shipments. Finally, fuel hauling remains a cornerstone of the Dupré operation through the Energy Distribution Services business group.
Of the three groups, Site and Private Fleet Services is growing fastest, according to Voelkel. This business group provides customers with captive- and private-fleet management and dedicated site operations. Chemicals account for 60% to 70% of the unit's activity, and it is steadily expanding operations across the country.
“Next year, this group will reach a revenue level equivalent to that of our fuel hauling operation,” Voelkel says. “Ultimately, we think Site and Private Fleet Services could be our largest business group.”
Site got its start in 1996 with two chemical companies in Louisiana. It now serves nearly 20 customers, and the management team for the division sees it as a strong growth vehicle for Dupré Logistics.
“Over the past couple of years, we've added some exciting new business, and we see more opportunities ahead,” says Doug Roberie, director of operations for the Site and Private Fleet Services business group. “We are problem solvers. We help our customers solve problems they don't necessarily know they have. Our solutions normally save our customers 10% to 20%. We can provide the dedicated resources that our customers need. We get very involved with our customers' businesses. We work very closely with them, and we build strong relationships.
“We look for business with high utilization opportunities. We like 24/7 operations. We're taking outsourcing to the next level. In addition to fleet services, we run loading racks for some of our customers. About 40% of our business calls for self loading.”
Michael J Matte, regional operations manager for the Site and Private Fleet Services division, adds that site logistics have taken Dupré Logistics to a new level. “We are no longer a 48-state common carrier,” he says. “We serve 48 states, but our trucks are all dedicated to specific customers.”
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