Jun 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Building a winning safety program was no accident for 13-year-old Andrews Logistics Inc
If not the youngest, Andrews Logistics Inc certainly has to be one of the youngest tank fleets to earn the National Tank Truck Carriers top safety award. In business just 13 years, the carrier received this year's NTTC Outstanding Performance Trophy for its superb 2009 safety record.
Despite the carrier's youth, winning the NTTC award was no fluke. The management team of the Irving, Texas-based transportation logistics company developed and followed a very deliberate plan to build an award-winning safety program. It is a top-down effort that made safety the number one core value for the company.
“Winning the Outstanding Performance Trophy means a great deal to us,” says J Darron Eschle, chairman and chief executive officer of Andrews Logistics. “Despite the recession, we had a great year in 2009, and we never let up on our safety commitment. Safety is something we live and breathe at this company. We make that clear to every one of our employees.
“In the tank truck industry, safety can never be taken for granted. We serve liquid bulk shippers that believe safety must be a priority, and we're constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve our safety effort.”
That safety commitment helped Andrews Logistics earn the NTTC's Outstanding Performance Trophy with a frequency of just 0.093 accidents per million miles. The carrier also was the Grand Award winner in the 10-13 million miles class of the NTTC 2009 Competitive Safety Contest and the Grand Award winner in the same mileage category for personnel safety. The carrier also earned a sixth-year certificate in the 2009 Improvement Contest.
Griff Odgers, Andrews Logistics' vice-president of safety and risk management, was named 2009 Tank Truck Safety Director of the Year during the NTTC Safety & Security Council annual seminar in April in Nashville, Tennessee. “Griff did an outstanding job of building the safety program at Andrews Logistics, and he certainly deserves this honor,” Eschle says.
In addition to the safety accolades on the tank truck side, Andrews Logistics also earned special recognition in the dry freight sector. The company was named Walmart/Sam's Club 2009 Truckload Carrier of the Year.
As an asset-based transportation logistics provider, Andrews Logistics handles both liquid bulk and dry freight cargoes. The company offers a broad range of logistics services, including dedicated contract carriage, contract warehousing, and freight management.
When Eschle started the company in 1997, the primary focus was on dry freight. Today, however, liquid bulk cargoes account for 70% of the company's activity, and dry freight makes up the remaining 30%.
Lube oils dominate the liquid bulk side, but the carrier also transports cryogenic liquid cargoes and some propane. “We're continuing to increase the liquid bulk activity,” Eschle says. “During 2009 we expanded our chemical hauling activity to include solvents and plasticizers.”
Transporting the liquid and dry bulk cargoes are 210 tractors and more than 400 trailers — tanks, dry vans, and flatbeds. Tank truck operations are conducted out of terminals in Dallas and Deer Park, Texas; Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Los Angeles and Richmond, California; Tampa, Florida; Hartford, Illinois; Canton, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Every tractor in the fleet is busy today, and Andrews Logistics is adding more equipment to keep up with demand. The company recently ordered 32 tractors just for expansion, and orders for replacement equipment are under consideration for the second half of the year.
“All of our equipment is running right now, and we need more trucks just to handle existing business,” Eschle says. “Our customers are expanding with higher production volumes and more marketshare. We're also working hard to line up new business. We believe we will see significant growth this year.
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