This year, Miller Transporters Inc turns 75 years old and is celebrating its safe, reliable reputation that continues to this day. The company was founded in Jackson MS and still calls the city home.
“Miller was formed in 1942, during World War II,” says Scott Miller, son of the founder, H D Miller Sr. Scott served as company president from 1978 until 2008.
“My daddy worked for Shell Oil Company and the government seized railroad tank cars and wouldn’t allow the use of them under 200 miles. So he went out and bought a bunch of war surplus trucks, and that way, he could go to Vicksburg to get gasoline,” Scott says.
The company obtained operating authority to serve Mississippi with petroleum products after the war. By 1952, the company expanded with interstate routes into Alabama and Tennessee and began hauling chemical products. Expansion grew quickly into Texas and Louisiana at the heart of the chemical industry. In 1968, H D, or Hal as he was known, retired and gave the reigns over to his six sons.
The company is now in its third generation of leadership. Miller has annual revenues over $100 million and has been one of Mississippi’s largest privately owned companies for decades. Miller operates 25 locations in 15 states with over 430 trucks that travel within the United States and Canada while also providing service into Mexico through an interline partner. Current president, only the company’s fourth, is Lee Miller.
“Working for Miller Transporters was something that I always wanted to do, from the very beginning, when I knew that my dad worked at a company that his dad had started,” Lee says. “It is both an honor and a great responsibility to be a third generation leader.”
The company’s vision is to make a difference in transportation services, according to Lee. The fact that it serves the chemical industry and is responsible for the safe delivery of nearly 50,000 liquid bulk shipments each year is no easy task. Many shipments carry a type of hazard designation. The first priority of the Miller core values is safety. It has to be. H D Miller, Sr once said, “No load is so important that its safe delivery in a courteous manner should not take priority over all else.”
The company still believes safety breeds success. “The culture of the company is built on safety and people,” Lee says. “That is the reputation and that is the strength of this company.”
Evidence that safety is at the heart of the company is proven because the company is the current recipient of the Outstanding Safety Performance Award given by the National Tank Truck Carriers. Miller is the only repeat winner of the award in the past nine years of its existence.
Lee says he feels driven to carry on the success. “We have to build on that,” he says. “It (our culture) is something that very few companies have.”
Miller Transporters is EPA SmartWay certified and is a member of the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Management System. In addition to chemical transport, the company leases tank trailers to shippers and other carriers, operates commercial tank cleaning facilities, and provides maintenance and intermodal depot services.