Diversification pays off for Bulk Carrier Services Inc
Nov 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
Since 1994 when it was founded, Bulk Carrier Services Inc (BCS) experienced some lean years as a result of downturns in the tank truck industry, but because the Las Vegas, Nevada, company provided transportation and a broker service, the carrier was able to thrive.
“Diversification paid off in the down economy,” says Maxine Miller, BCS president. “Today, our business is about 60% brokerage and 40% trucking, and that seems to work well for our operation.”
Miller started the business as a broker and only later saw the benefit of having a tank truck fleet that, combined with the broker division, adds up to about $10 million in annual revenue. The fleet numbers 35 tank trailers, 10 company-owned power units, and 13 owner-operator tractors that are used to haul chemicals across the United States. Among the products transported are hazardous materials waste, caustics, corrosives, and acids.
The broker side of the business complements the trucking side because Miller is able to serve customers with her own fleet as well as providing services from other carriers. Her company has relationships with as many as 50 carriers and about the same number of chemical companies. The broker side of the business also keeps BCS's owner-operators and company units on the road when the carrier doesn't have loads of its own available.
“Our goals are to provide a high level of service for all our customers,” she says. “One way we do that is by maintaining an excellent safety record with our experienced drivers. In addition, we can transport and/or broker a wide variety of commodities, including liquid and dry chemical products. Our company also can provide flat bed, refrigerated, dry box, and heavy haul services. With all of that, we are licensed to transport products in all the US states and in most of the Canadian provinces.”
When the business first expanded to include tank trailers, it operated with only two used tank trailers that hauled a few chemicals. Before long, more trailers were added and the company was soon busy transporting various types of chemicals, including bleach, liquid polymer, caustics, and acid.
Fred Bennett, vice-president and a part-owner of the business, originally joined the company as an owner-operator, moving to Nevada from Rochester, New York. Today, he is the marketing director. Miller's son, David Warrilow, oversees dispatch and maintenance while her daughter, Dawn Sanders, is involved in administration.
The family-style operation works well for a carrier that emphasizes its personal touch with customers, says Miller. It also seems to work well in an environment that ranges from scheduled services to responding to just-in-time demands.
“We get a lot of load requests via e-mail,” says Miller. “Sometimes we have a week to work with scheduling. Sometimes we are responding within hours.”
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus