Polaris Transportation Group Acquires J.G. Drapeau Ltd. and Commercial Warehousing Limited Toronto, Ontario, May 3, 2017 – Polaris Transportation Group (PTG) is pleased to announce that it has acquired the shares of J.G. Drapeau Ltd. and Commercial Warehousing Limited based in Toronto, Ontario. Drapeau and Commercial Warehousing will continue to be led by the current management team, including Ms. Margaret Hogg, who will remain General Manager of the companies.
"We are thrilled to be welcoming another best-in-class company to the PTG family," noted Larry Cox, President. "Drapeau is an award winning carrier (most recently recognized by Trucking HR Canada with the prestigious 2017 Top Fleet Employer award), with a top tier safety record, strong management team, and consistent financial performance over their 47 years in the industry. In addition, they bring deep subject matter expertise in the field of specialized products warehousing, Canada and US distribution programs, and full truckload work (temperature control and hazardous materials)."
"We are incredibly proud of the business we have built over the past 47 years," commented George Hogg and Jocelyne Hogg, co-founders of Drapeau and Commercial. "The next generation of leaders at Drapeau and Commercial will benefit from all the opportunities a large organization like Polaris can bring, coupled with what we believe to be an excellent cultural fit between our two companies. Polaris’ operational focus, with a passion around safety and well-being for employees, makes them an excellent fit for our team and long standing customers and suppliers."
This marks Polaris’ third acquisition as the company carries forward its growth agenda consisting of organic and selective acquisitive growth. This acquisition allows Polaris to increase its concentration of Fortune 500 customers, across a wider breadth of industries.
On Wednesday, July 20th a select group of dignitaries gathered at Polaris Transportation to celebrate the one year anniversary of the collaborative association between Polaris Transportation and each of the Ivey Business School at Western University and Lazaridis School of Business and Economics of Wilfrid Laurier University. The Leadership Development Program has attracted some of the top undergraduate business students to apply their class room learnings in real-time, to help solve critical business opportunities and challenges for this Mississauga based transportation and logistics company. Marrying up these exceptional students with a real life work experience has proven to be an excellent opportunity for all involved.
Jon Saunders who holds dual roles as VP of finance for Polaris and also heads up their logistics division as CEO comments, "It’s a great feeling to witness what seemed to be a good opportunity turn into an invaluable experience for our students and our company. Bright minds with fresh thinking placed into a work environment that embraces innovation and making things happen has led to unprecedented successful outcomes – for customers, suppliers and fellow team members. Taking a moment to celebrate this program and these students with local business and community leaders proved a well-deserved recognition for these future industry leaders".
The Mississauga Mayor, the Honourable Bonnie Crombie, spoke at the event and along with current program students and Polaris management, attendees included:
Sharon Irwin-Foulon, Executive Director at Ivey Business School explains further, "Polaris has a strong employment brand at Ivey that resonates with ambitious millennials. Students recognize that this leadership development opportunity offers a real level of responsibility early, true development of their talents and an opportunity to see the impact they have on an organization. This is an association we are proud to be part of".
Jon Saunders, Vice President Finance at Polaris Transportation Group is a featured panelist on the topic of "What will this year's U.S. Economy and Trade Agreements mean for your business". Jon is joined by: Rick Jordan, Senior Vice President Regional Head of Logistics – Americas, Panalpina; and Matt Goodman, President Global Trade Management, Livingston. This industry leading event takes place in Chicago from June 20-22 and is one of many discussions to be held as part of the 14th Annual 3PL Summit.
Polaris continues to serve as a trusted gateway resource for shippers and 3PLs alike who are seeking enhanced cross border connectivity between Canada and the U.S. and other international markets.
Jon Saunders comments on his experience at last year's 3PL Summit, "It's really a who's who of the logistics industry and well attended from industry leaders all over North America. Both shippers and transportation providers make up the conference and over 700 C-Level executives gathered for last year's conference. It's a wonderful place to listen, learn and share information that can help the logistics industry move forward. New thinking, innovation and collaboration fuel each panel discussion. I am extremely happy to represent Polaris Transportation Group at the 3PL Summit again this year."
On June 6, 2016 at 5 pm, McGill and Polaris are holding a partnership announcement celebration at McGill’s head office in Orillia. Dignitaries from each of the Simcoe County and Muskoka townships have been invited. The management of McGill and Polaris, customers and employees will also be attending.
The two companies have worked together informally for some time, each trading their particular strengths to offer their respective customers additional service coverage. Keith Bell, Vice President, McGill Transportation states, "There are many commonalities between our two companies. We are both family owned, have both been in business over 20 years and share a hands on management style. We keep business personal and have long standing customer and employee relationships. The partnership will accelerate our growth as we continue to find exciting new ways to better serve our customers."
McGill serves the Simcoe County and Muskoka region offering local, intra provincial and cross border service. They serve the transportation, warehousing and logistics needs of their clients in Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Orillia, Midland, Muskoka, Newmarket and Penatanguishene. Through their official partnership with Polaris, they now have daily dedicated shuttles that connect with the scheduled LTL, overnight and second day service to and from key points in the USA. They also have direct access to featured long haul schedules to and from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
Dave Cox, EVP and COO at Polaris comments, "We’ve done up some commemorative trailers that highlight our partnership with McGill . One of the trailers will be at the event on June 6 and will soon be seen on Highway 400 on a daily basis. There are over 16,000 businesses in Simcoe County that range from family farms to world class manufacturers. They all need to ship to and from other regions in Ontario and our largest trading partner, the USA. The latest technologies we’ve developed will be accessible on the McGill site including our popular online rating tool, custom tailored to Simcoe County and Muskoka communities. As our partnership evolves, we will realize additional synergies serving the areas surrounding the GTA like Oshawa to the east and The Golden Horseshoe to the west... we both serve these areas independently today."
Polaris Transportation names David Dickson to the newly created position of Director of Operations at their Canadian head office in Mississauga. David is a recent hire at Polaris and after coming on board as terminal manager in the fall of 2015, his ability to take on a much greater role was quickly realized and the promotion much deserved.
Dave Cox, Executive VP and COO explains, "David Dickson has been an agent of positive change in his short time here. He possesses an uncanny ability to visualize opportunities to improve our operations. If he makes an error he acknowledges it and moves forward. He fully understands increasing performance is a delicate balance of keeping what works and adding what works better until it becomes ingrained in our everyday actions. He is well liked, respected by his people and a great addition to our management team."
In his new position David Dickson has responsibilities well beyond his former duties as terminal manager. Reporting to Dave Cox, he works closely with the company’s partner carriers, oversees their LTL dock operations and manages highway dispatch for both Canada and USA linehaul. David Dickson comments, "I love it when a plan comes together. I’ve always been a ‘hands on’ guy and Polaris encourages initiative and innovative thinking. Re-organizing and discovering better ways of doing things is a big part of who I am. I’m fortunate to have a company that appreciates and rewards what I bring to the table."
On April 14, 2016 Jon Saunders, CEO of Polaris Global Logistics and VP Finance of Polaris Transportation Group, participated in a discussion on the Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy report. The session featured Deputy Governor Lynn Patterson and Chief Economist Eric Santor.
Polaris Transportation was the only transportation company to attend the discussion and was selected after a recent tour of their head office facility in Mississauga. The group was comprised of senior leaders across many industry segments. The tone of the meeting was one of cautious optimism as key components were investigated that served to stimulate economic growth domestically, between Canada and the USA and on a global basis. The impact of the new federal budget, volatile foreign exchange rates, inflation, interest rates and the housing market were all elements of the discussion.
According to Jon Saunders, "We look forward to opportunities where we can gain valuable insight into the economic road ahead. Representing Polaris and the transportation sector, allowed me to gather information, share our perspective and carry the knowledge gained on to my colleagues, partner carriers and customers throughout our extensive service network."
Polaris Transportation Group is a long-time member of the Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) and is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Jon Saunders, CEO of Polaris Global Logistics and VP Finance of Polaris Transportation Group. Jon will now represent Polaris on the MBOT, Policy and Government Affairs Committee.
Mississauga is the 6th largest city in Canada and home to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest airport. Mississauga is the premier logistics hub in Canada and is a centre for international business with 60 of the Fortune 500 companies basing their headquarters here.
David Wojcik, President and CEO of MBOT states "It is with great pleasure that I welcome Polaris Transportation and Jon Saunders to the Policy & Government Affairs Committee. MBOT looks forward to Polaris being instrumental in evaluating current matters and creating future resolutions to submit to the Ontario and Canadian Chamber of Commerce."
Click the image below to read the article found on page #12 of the Canadian Shipper.
Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the expansion of their Premium LTL Service offering – Priority Plus. The service initially provided guaranteed delivery (by noon the next day) between the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Chicago and New York City. The new cities just added to the schedule were in direct response to the high success and increasing customer demand for the Premium LTL offering.
Polaris’s Priority Plus Service now includes Boston, MA and three major metro areas in Ohio; Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Guaranteed delivery by noon and delivery by 5PM are available between the GTA and all 6 of the U.S. premium LTL lanes (Chicago, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati).
EVP and COO Dave Cox states, “Adding more premium lanes was always part of our long term strategy. We have worked hard to fine tune each new Premium LTL Service destination. Our due diligence and refined operations have allowed us to guarantee our service with the utmost confidence. Slow and steady, we will continue to develop this Premium LTL Service between Toronto and major USA destinations, reachable within the time constraints guaranteed.”
Polaris customers now have even greater choice and flexibility with these additional Cross Border destinations. Dave Bush, VP Business Processes adds, “I am extremely pleased with the collaborative approach our team has taken to deliver this exciting new Guaranteed Premium LTL Service – Priority Plus. The customer response has been tremendous and it is truly another feather in our cap, further increasing our presence in the Cross Border LTL marketplace.”
For further details contact a Polaris Transportation Group customer care representative today! 1-800-409-2269 x1710.
Dave Bush, Vice-President, Business Processes at Polaris Transportation, was recently appointed as Chairman of the CRC's Packaging Subcommittee. His current role at Polaris has him integrating their asset-based operations and USA partner carriers to increase overall efficiencies. This collaborative expertise, along with an extensive background with leading carriers and 3PL organizations, made him an ideal candidate for the appointment.
As chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Bush will meet 3 times yearly, over a 2 year term. He explains, "Packaging is a critical component of the supply chain. Goods need to be packaged to optimize utilization for domestic and cross border highway transport and be compliant with the receiving departments of the various big box retailers and outlets. It’s all part of an industry-wide mandate to drive unnecessary costs out and decrease the total transportation spend. I believe I can add to the discussions in my role as chairman."
The Classification Resource Committee (CRC) provides information on classification research, characteristics of products moving by carriers and motor carrier operations. It is a service offered by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a non-profit group headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The CRC's Packaging Subcommittee will focus specifically on the packaging element of the various products shipped by North American motor carriers.
The CRC pulls its membership from the continental USA, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico. Industry veteran Larry Cox, President of Canadian-based Polaris Transportation, comments on the recent appointment, "We are pleased to see our management team taking an increasing role in industry conferences and associations. With Dave’s attention to detail and process orientated thinking, he will make a great Chairman for the CRC's Packaging Subcommittee. It’s the best of both worlds for us as we have the opportunity to give back to the industry and at the same time, better inform our clients on new ways to create a competitive advantage."
Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the addition of a new premium LTL service offering – Priority Plus. This service provides guaranteed delivery by noon the next day from the Greater Toronto Area, to Chicago and New York City. This latest offering paired with our overnight, end of day service, is the next step in providing Polaris customers with a full suite of transit time options!
We specialize in dry goods, consumer products and high value commodities. As mentioned elsewhere, our sweet spot, from a pricing standpoint, is when you ship between 1 and 4 skids. That’s where our star really shines!
We are very comfortable guaranteeing the Polaris Priority Plus LTL Service on these two lanes…and there are more lanes to come! Now, Polaris customers have greater choice and flexibility with these popular cross border destinations. We’ve been running overnight on these lanes since we opened our doors, over 20 years ago. Recently, we’ve made significant improvements our customers can benefit from. We’re excited to offer Chicago and New York City as the inaugural lanes for our Polaris Priority Plus Guaranteed LTL Service.
To get a quote please contact our Customer Care @ 1-800-409-2269 x 1710
As part of their strategic growth strategy for the USA, Polaris Transportation is pleased to announce the appointment of Lesley Killingsworth to the newly created position of Director of Traffic and Pricing. Ms. Killingsworth will be based out of the San Francisco/Sacramento area of California and will be responsible for Polaris’s Canadian and USA traffic and pricing requirements.
Ms. Killingsworth has an extensive background within the U.S. transportation industry. Her early career included front line sales responsibilities and the last decade has seen her hone her skills in traffic and pricing disciplines. Lesley’s most recent position was in a senior traffic and pricing capacity with a large California based carrier, Mountain Valley Express.
Reporting directly to Dave Bush, VP of Business Processes, Lesley will start by immersing herself in the Polaris culture at the head office in Mississauga, Ontario. She will play a key role in optimizing Polaris’s recently purchased TCG Transportation Costing software. Dave Bush explains, "We’re very excited about having Lesley join the Polaris team. She can take us to new levels in providing accurate and easy to use pricing structures for our clients. Her expertise allows us to take a huge step in our journey of continuous improvement and further growth in U.S. markets. Her extensive background specific to TCG’s software will allow us to implement the many features available on an expedited basis."
Larry Cox, President of Polaris Transportation adds, "The last 2 years, we have added some impressive young talent to our team. They have expanded our horizons with fresh thinking, enthusiasm and additional resources that have helped to push our business forward, particularly with our footprint in the USA. New lanes, improved transit times and additional online customer tools have all been successfully implemented to better serve our customers. Lesley is another great addition to our company and I am very pleased to welcome her aboard."
Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Saunders, currently Vice President of Finance of the Group to a dual role as CEO of Polaris Global Logistics (PGL).
Mr. Saunders joined Polaris earlier this year following six years in international banking and leverage finance. The international 3PL community has quickly welcomed him as an influential leader and customers have increasingly grown to rely on his cross enterprise approach to supply chain optimization.
Mr. Saunders will be immediately representing the company through speaking engagements and panel discussions at global supply chain conferences. The first sees Jon speaking at the Cold Chain Global Forum in Boston www.coldchainglobalforum.com/ on ‘creating North American Synergy – Leveraging Canada as a Gateway to the North American Market’ and ‘Supply Chain Partner Collaboration – Improving Last Mile Visibility and Timely Delivery in Challenging Regions of the World’. The second puts him as a panelist at the European 3PL Summit and CSCO Forum in Venlo, Netherlands
http://events.eft.com/eu3pl/ speaking about global growth opportunities and the 2015-2016 global financial landscape.
President of Polaris Transportation Group, Larry Cox explains, “I’ve spent a lifetime in this industry and I can tell you Jon’s finance expertise is the perfect background to lead the charge at PGL, which is now in its 12th year of operation. Refining a customer’s supply chain dynamic or representing a global partner here in North America are both financial discussions. We will continue with the foundational non-asset logistics elements that built the division, but we have been making investments in the business to better serve the dynamic needs of our multi-national corporation clients and will continue to do so.”
Mr. Saunders is an MBA graduate with distinction from the Richard Ivey School of Business. For more information on Polaris Global Logistics you can visit their new website at www.thinkPGL.com
As one of Canada’s leading cross border carriers, Polaris Transportation continues to raise the bar with the launch of overnight LTL service between the metro areas of Boston and Toronto. The company has made many improvements to their Canada/USA service since appointing Dave Bush, VP Business Processes, earlier this year. This lane is the most recent addition to their improved transit times within their cross border LTL service niche.
Mr. Bush is based in the U.S. and has focused on initiatives to increase efficiency, while improving service. He explains, “We’ve been very encouraged by our recent success with the Toronto/Los Angeles lane. We have significantly reduced transit times and have experienced over a 19% increase in activity since the launch. We have used a similar process to enhance the Boston/ Toronto corridor. Better yet, a large portion of Central and Eastern Massachusetts, all of Rhode Island and parts of Eastern Connecticut benefit from this enhanced service offering.”
Polaris Transportation serves the LTL needs of a wide range of industries including; high-tech, tourism, medical, printing and government defense. These are all active industry segments for Polaris customers shipping freight between Boston, Toronto and surrounding areas. President Larry Cox adds, “Customers looking for asset based, LTL service for their time sensitive requirements can rely on us with confidence. Our future growth will rely heavily on our abilities to identify and execute continued improvements to our cross border transit times and overall customer service.”
Polaris Transportation Group is proud to be represented by Jon Saunders, their Vice-President Finance, at the upcoming summit to be held June 16-18, 2015 in Chicago. This meeting of minds is a premier event in the transportation and logistics industry.
Over 600 C-Level executives are expected to attend the annual summit. There will be 30 individual sessions, workshops and break-out discussions for 3PLs, carriers and shippers. The Annual 3PL Summit and CSCO is promoted as a one of a kind networking opportunity for all. President Larry Cox states, “We are extremely pleased to be invited to speak at this event. Jon has a wealth of knowledge and a particular expertise in merger and acquisition strategy to share.”
Mr. Saunders will participate in two sessions: “Driving Growth in Mid-Sized Logistics Companies” and “The Logistics Service Provider Mid-Market Community”. Saunders explains, “We were asked to participate as a result of our growth profile in the USA and excellent relationship with U.S. partner carriers and customers. It’s an honour to contribute and learn from the who’s who of the industry in attendance at the summit. We encourage all those interested to register at www.3PLSummit.com”
Effective Thursday, April 16, 2015, The Government of Canada will launch a new mentorship program to “help further the careers of women in the nation’s trucking industry, and identify best practices that can better support the hiring and retention of under-represented demographic groups”.
Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, is challenging leaders across the country to make a difference in a woman’s career by pledging to be her champion. Minister Leitch reached out to Jon Saunders, VP Finance, Polaris Transportation Group, and invited him to join the movement. Larry Cox, President of Polaris states, “We are very proud to have Jon representing us in this initiative. We look forward to the results of his mentorship with a very capable young lady on our logistics team”.
Women make up nearly half of the Canadian work force but only a small percentage of the various careers available in the transportation industry. Mr. Saunders comments, “The individual selected as a mentee shows a lot of potential and I am excited to mentor her over the next year. My objective will be to further develop her confidence and the self-belief required to successfully advance in this industry. It will also serve as a foundation to develop further efforts in this area.”
In addition to the mentorship program, Polaris is also collaborating with the Richard Ivey School of Business in a co-op program over the summer of 2015. A male and female participant from the highly recognized school will start their summer placement with Polaris in May of this year. The two candidates are on the Dean’s list in the HBA program (Honours Business Administration). Jon Saunders adds, “One of the challenges we face as an organization is fueling our growth with bright young candidates that will make our industry their home. Both the mentorship program and the co-op placements are examples of our commitment to show initiative and leadership in this area”.
More information about It Starts with One —Be Her Champion is available on the Status of Women Canada website at: women.gc.ca/startwithone.
Using a combination of their assets and an exclusive partner carrier, Polaris Transportation now connects Los Angeles and Toronto with daily LTL schedules that deliver an expedited 2-4 business day service, without the premium price tag.
The improved GTA/LA service focuses on LTL shipments of dry goods, consumer products and high value commodities. Typically, a 100 mile radius of the destination and origin cities are part of the local pick-up and delivery area, at no additional cost or delay in transit.
Polaris Transportation is well known for their abilities in streamlining processes related to Cross Border LTL service, including customs clearance and homeland security protocols. To drive these efficiencies further, the company recently created a new senior position in the U.S. to further enhance their LTL offerings. The U.S. based, VP Business Processes, Dave Bush explains, "Our customers have come to expect expeditious yet claims free service between the USA and Canada, the Toronto- Los Angeles lane being no exception. Based on customer feedback, we decided to greatly enhance our service in this lane, shaving a minimum of 2 days transit off all points. We are extremely excited to offer this level of Cross Border LTL service to our loyal customer base."
As a 20 year veteran in Cross Border LTL, Polaris Transportation continues to increase their presence as a Canadian carrier by expanding their footprint in the U.S. market. Polaris Transportation’s President, Larry Cox adds, "I love it when things fall into place like our California service. It’s a testament to our team’s commitment and collective ability to embrace positive change."
Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Saunders as Vice President Finance for the Canadian and U.S. operations, commencing January 26, 2015. In this role, Mr. Saunders will lead the firm’s acquisition and strategic initiatives, while providing oversight to the finance division. Mr. Saunders will be working out of the head office location in Mississauga, Ontario.
Mr. Saunders states "Transportation and logistics has always been a part of my DNA. My first job after university was as a Supply Chain Analyst at Canadian Tire, which is where I met my wife. More recently, my experience at HSBC Bank was finding ways to support businesses grow their businesses globally. One of my best experiences was joining a supply chain and logistics trade delegation on a four city tour in Asia, organized by Bob Armstrong. At RBC, my mandate was working with high growth health care companies who were very active with a variety of acquisition strategies ranging from new start ups to Private Equity backed consolidators. While perhaps an unconventional background by industry standards, it fits the growth ambitions of Polaris and I am delighted to be joining such a strong team of dedicated professionals." Jon holds an MBA with distinction from the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Mr. Saunders will play a key role in expanding Polaris’ North American footprint. Mr. Saunders expresses "Polaris is a company that has consistently grown during its 20 year history by listening to its customers and finding ways to better service them. The idea is to carry forward that winning organic approach by adding complementary businesses and like-minded people to the Polaris team to better serve more customers".
His senior positions at HSBC and RBC will bring a fresh set of eyes and strategic thinking to the Polaris organization. Larry Cox, President of Polaris Transportation explains, "I’ve known Jon for a long time and have come to appreciate and respect his considerable expertise in the areas of finance and strategic thinking. Having him join our company now is perfect timing as we proceed with our plans for continued and controlled growth."
Please join us in welcoming Jon Saunders to the Polaris team at email@example.com
Polaris Transportation Group is proud to introduce a new online tool for the added convenience of their customers. The new "Quick Track" feature allows Polaris customers to bypass the secure log in feature and simply enter their pro number (also known as a Polaris order number) to retrieve the shipment data they need.
The simplified status information, now available through Polaris Quick Track, is a time saver for customers. From a technical standpoint, if you create a URL link and add the specific pro number at the end this can be forwarded to anyone and the recipient can then go directly to see the status of a specific order. The URL would look like this: www.polaristransport.com/en/quick-track-shipments.php?pro=P0487585.
This new feature is accompanied by other technology advancements including: a new online rating tool with video demo, a severe weather alert system and a responsive web design for viewing ease and functionality on all mobile devices.
Polaris Transportation is committed to the use of technology to enhance the overall customer experience. For additional details contact your Polaris sales representative, a member of the Polaris customer care team or visit their website at www.polaristransport.com.
The management at Polaris Transportation Group is excited to announce the appointment of David Bush as VP of Business Processes. The newly created position will focus on improvements to the U.S. infrastructure for the fast growing, Transborder LTL carrier.
As a Canadian based operation, Polaris saw a need to add a senior person with a strong U.S. carrier background. President Larry Cox explains, “David Bush came to us through our partnership with his former employer. He’s great with detail and has a comprehensive blend of ops, sales, technology and carrier relationship experience. He is the ideal candidate to fine tune and expand the U.S markets we serve.”
David’s past career accomplishments have seen him in senior roles with A. Duie Pyle, Translogistics and most recently with Land Air Express. David’s new position will see him on the road extensively as he assesses and implements the changes he feels will boost Polaris’s position in the U.S. David states, “I’ve been told I’m relentless when I come across something that isn’t working like it should. I have always been able to see the broken links in processes and operational procedures and I don’t give in until they’re fixed and working properly.”
David resides in Birdsboro PA, a small community of 5,166 people and as a point of interest, hometown to YouTube founder Chad Hurley. Dave Cox, EVP & COO at Polaris states, “David Bush and I hit it off immediately. He was great to work with as a carrier partner and he liked our company’s business approach as well. When the opportunity came up to bring him on as a VP with our company, we jumped at it.”
David Bush starts his new career with Polaris Transportation Group on December 8, 2014. At this time, he will be based out of Birdsboro and his immediate plans include a trip to meet the Polaris Team at their head office facility in Mississauga, Ontario, previous to the holiday season.
Founded in 1994, Polaris is best known for its scheduled LTL service between Canada and the USA, specializing in the shipment of dry goods. Making life easier for the shipping community is a core company value. Polaris offers a full suite of services while providing customers with real-time shipment updates and EDI interface. For more information on Polaris visit their website at www.polaristransport.com
The Polaris Solutions Team strives to make life easier for the shipping community. This past month, Polaris launched a new initiative to improve processes and procedures in their customer service department. Across the board, customer service is a huge part of offering seamless, stress free transportation services.
Polaris’ goal was to tap into a shared knowledge, industry wide, regarding best practices when it comes to offering top-tier customer service. The survey consisted of seven questions asking participants to share how they have built a successful customer service department. As an added incentive, participants were entered in a random draw to win an iPad!
The survey was a resounding success. The Solutions Team received 137 entries! The survey results were summarized and distributed to all Polaris employees — the Solutions Team wanted to make sure everyone was on board with the survey’s findings and the customer expectations implied. As part of this renewed commitment to customer service, Polaris Transportation Group will be implementing a Customer Care Department.
Charlene Davidson, Training and Development Manager, states "Our Customer Care department will be developed with proactivity being a key priority. We will set customers up with inside care representatives. Our extensive in-house training for Customer Care involves hands–on training with each department in Polaris — the new Customer Care Department will have a complete understanding of all areas, not just operations."
The Solutions Team is thrilled with the results of the survey and thanks all the participants. The feedback was so fantastic, they decided to offer not one, but two iPads as thank-you gifts.
The winners are...
Random Draw winner: Marjorie Green of Milgram & Company
Best Entry/Honorable Mention: Merle Carlton of Mutual Transportation Services Inc.
Congratulations, Marjorie and Merle! Thank you to everyone who participated!
Polaris Transportation Group is focused on deepening their commitment to streamlining internal communications, creating new, effective customer service solutions and finding ways to continue making life easier for the shipping community.
Over the past year, key management staff have been involved in an exciting new project – the formation and implementation of a Polaris Solutions Team: a group within the company designated to act as client liaisons, empowered to make important decisions when it comes to providing flexible, custom transportation solutions.
"The idea has been in the works for some time," says Dave Cox, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "As we grow and develop as a company, we’re working to shift our focus and provide comprehensive service solutions for our customers who often have really specialized needs."
The Polaris Solutions Team will be comprised of senior operations people with a valuable blend of technical and industry knowledge and interpersonal skills. The Team will coordinate with various departments – logistics, operations, etc. – to meet clients’ needs and respond to important feedback and questions as quickly and effectively as possible.
"Each and every person on the team is an excellent communicator, skilled and knowledgeable about every facet of our industry," explained Dave Cox. "It’s important to have key people keeping their ears to the ground and staying on top of all our customers’ needs. Total satisfaction throughout our network of customers is the ultimate goal."
After the team is positioned, each and every customer request will go to the Polaris Solutions Team first – booking and tracing freight, providing information regarding rates and problems that require flexible, custom solutions will be fielded and facilitated through the new Solutions Team. "We came to the decision to put a Solutions Team in place based on feedback from our customers and employees," says Dave Cox. "We knew it was time to take the next step."
Polaris Transportation Group is aiming for June 1st 2014 to deploy the Solutions Team.
Polaris Transportation Group was honored with a SmartWay® Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a true industry leader in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency. Polaris is committed to upholding the highest standards in green operations. They’ve implemented various initiatives to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations, like, an anti-idling policy, side skirt trailer fairings, late model, fuel-efficient tractors, optimized route planning, and driver training relative to fuel saving techniques. Most recently, Polaris has instituted paperless invoicing further their goal of reducing waste and going green, company wide.
"This is the second year in a row we’ve been honoured with a Smartway Award," says Larry Cox, Polaris President. "It’s a huge deal. We’re constantly striving to find new, innovative ways to go green in all our operations. Keeping our planet healthy along with providing excellent service is a top goal throughout our organization."
Polaris was one of 55 companies to receive this distinction, representing the best environmental performers of SmartWay’s 3000-plus Partners. The Excellence Awardees were honored at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals annual conference held in Denver, Colorado.
"EPA is pleased to recognize the 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award recipients. I commend Polaris for its superior environmental performance and leadership in advancing freight sector efficiency", said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. "Their commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future."
Environmental consciousness has never been more important. Polaris places great emphasis on being the best corporate citizens we can! Last year, we won the SmartWay ® award for sustainable trucking. Keeping our planet safe is always top-of-mind.
With this drive toward eco-friendly operations in mind, as of October 1st, all our customer statements and invoices will be paperless! Polaris strives to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly organization. Issuing electronic statements and invoices will help us further the goal of going green and preserving our planet while providing you with top-notch service!
We aim to take the stress out the shipping process and remain eco-friendly from start to finish—thank you for your support on our latest green initiative!
For the second year, Polaris Transportation Group has received the Canadian Transportation & Logistics "Carrier of Choice" award. The title is awarded after a company meets industry-set benchmarks of excellence (Shipper’s Choice Award) for more than five consecutive years.
Canadian Transportation & Logistics magazine polls their readership annually, searching for Canada’s top-tier companies. "The first year we won, the award really knocked us out," said Polaris President Larry Cox. "The votes come from across the country and the performance measurements by category are very comprehensive."
According to Cox, it’s all about the team. "This is an award that measures the quality of the company; it’s not something you can nominate yourself for or predict." He added, "That’s why it feels so fantastic every year we win. We’ve doubled in size since we won our first Shippers Choice award and look forward to continued growth into the future."
The Carrier of Choice Award isn’t something you can plan for. "It’s not something we can control," said Cox. " But, the way we work together and with our customers truly sets us apart. It’s great to be acknowledged with this award from the Canadian shipping community."
The Carrier of Choice Award is conducted through a partnership between the CITT and the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association (CITA). The process of evaluating major players within the transportation industry is meant as a means for CT&L readership to ascertain who is setting the standard in terms of service area, response time, customer communication and more.
Polaris was one of 40 companies out of the nearly 3000 Smartway partners to receive an excellence award. To date, Smartway partners, including Polaris, have saved 55-million barrels of oil through many initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.
Over the past three years, Polaris has taken the necessary steps to ensure its modern fleet is in top condition. The company employs fuel-saving technology and best practices, placing them in the top 1% of Smartway partner carriers
The award was presented at the latest ATA (American Trucking Association) gala event in Las Vegas. According to Dave Cox, Executive VP and COO, "We consider our ongoing commitment to the Smartway program an excellent investment in the future of the company and the industry."