Altom Transport focuses on future opportunities
Oct 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Even as some tank truck carriers shifted to survival mode, others saw opportunity in the current economic chaos. Altom Transport Inc in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the trucking companies with an optimistic management team.
Nicknamed “The Elite Tanker Fleet,” Altom Transport positioned itself for renewed growth as the US economy recovers. Company-owned tractors are no more than four years old, and tank trailers are specified for efficiency and long life. The carrier has virtually no debt and serves a diverse customer base.
“We're profitable, and we are moving ahead with this company,” says Tom Warren Jr, Altom Transport vice-president of operations. “Our business was off only about 10% this year, because everyone at this company worked hard to keep our fleet busy. The future looks good for us, and we see growth ahead. We're innovative, and we have employees who really care about this company.”
Altom Transport was established in 1978 and built a premier operation that handles a diverse range of petroleum and chemical products. The for-hire carrier works closely with sister company Al Warren Oil Co, a wholesale petroleum marketer that serves customers within a 100-mile radius of Chicago.
“Our business mix consists of roughly 40% chemicals, 40% petroleum, and 20% asphalt and other cargoes,” Warren says. “We believe chemicals offer some of the best growth potential for the future, but we have no intention of dropping the petroleum side of the business. Our petroleum business has actually grown by about 60% over the past six years.
“At the same time, we've become a good regional carrier working with a lot of mid-size chemical companies. We focus on specialized loads, and we offer a diverse range of services. We're more than willing to work with our customers to add new services. That is one reason for our success.”
A Responsible Care partner, Altom Transport has worked hard to be the preferred carrier for its customers. While operations are concentrated in the eastern half of the United States, the carrier's 155 tractors and more than 350 tank trailers serve customers throughout the United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Altom Transport is US Coast Guard approved for marine deliveries, and it offers pump-out service for petroleum and chemical products. The carrier is a highly qualified hazardous waste hauler in the United States and Canada. It runs dedicated equipment to haul a variety of aviation fuels. Altom Transport has its own 24-hour emergency spill response team, and the carrier has developed specialized capabilities for staging equipment for quick response to events such as hurricanes.
Operations are conducted from 13 terminals in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Central dispatch at the main terminal in Chicago coordinates fleet activity throughout the system.
Dispatchers communicate with drivers via PeopleNet on-board computers. The cellular-based system also provides satellite tracking. Trailer status is monitored with hardware from Skybitz, and Altom Transport is testing trailer security technology from Hi-G-Tek.
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