Polaris Transportation Group has won the prestigious CCJ Innovator of the Year Award. The award was presented on February 5 at the 16th annual CCJ Innovators Summit in Key Largo, Florida. This is a gathering of trucking-industry executives who meet for three days of presentations and networking.
The award was given for the company’s unique technology of robotic process automation that digitizes information and processes. Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) is a leading business magazine for truck-fleet executives.
“It has been a great year for our company as we lead the way in the digitization of the transportation industry, and now the industry has recognized that,” said Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation Group. “We were up against some very impressive companies and to win an award like this is an honor.”
Polaris has developed software and systems that shift the company from labor-intensive processes to improved workflow utilizing the latest technology. This involves processing documents, extracting data, and a work environment in which employees share information and are fully connected.
“We made significant investments in Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence,” said Dave Brajkovich, Chief Technology Officer at Polaris. “This allows us to digitize our Customs and Order Entry Teams, and move to the complete digital transformation of our Polaris Supply Chain. Our people are much more effective and that’s a big benefit to our customers because it means better service to them.”
By leveraging Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning, Polaris reduced manual workload by 60% with future plans for even more reduction by automating 80% of processes and reducing processing time per order by 33%.
For the second consecutive year, Polaris Transportation Group has been named as a Top 100 Trucking company. Editors of Inbound Logistics, a prominent U.S. publication, evaluated surveys, conducted online research and spoke with both shippers and truckers from a pool of 300-plus trucking companies across the USA and Canada. Their annual list of Top Truckers is meant to act as a resource to businesses looking for industry-leading and reputable transportation partners.
President of Polaris Transportation Group, Dave Cox states, "We're very pleased to have once again made this Top 100 list. Polaris has made significant technological enhancements with a focus on customer experience over the last year and this continued recognition shows that, to put it simply, customers like doing business with us."
Polaris continues to raise their profile not only in Canada but in the USA as well. Their ongoing commitment to create efficiencies in their customers' supply chains and enhance the overall customer experience through technological advancements has proven to be invaluable. Mr. Cox explains, "Polaris continues to strategically acquire businesses and partnerships that move us further ahead of a traditional carrier. We’re utilizing and developing artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation to consolidate and automate out-of-date systems which brings the Polaris team and our customers into the future." Polaris President closes, "These are exciting times for us and I’m very proud of our team for all the hard work they continue to put in. We would not receive the recognition we do without their efforts."
The effort began by researching a technology, robotic process automation (RPA), as the possible solution to reduce labor costs and increase data accuracy. RPA uses software algorithms as self-learning “bots” that are programmed to do tasks across multiple applications, just like humans. Read the full article about Polaris Transportation's digital transformation in the Commercial Carrier Journal.
The article discusses the still thriving benefits to both Canada and the United States with our long-established trade relationship as well as key areas of focus in moving freight across the border. Read the Article here.
For the 12th consecutive year, Polaris Transportation has won the Shipper’s Choice award and are celebrating the esteemed higher ranking of Carrier of Choice for 2019 in the LTL category. Polaris has held the Carrier of Choice designation each year since 2012.
Polaris exceeded industry benchmarks across all eight categories set forth by one of Canada’s leading Transportation publications, Canadian Shipper. This year’s highest overall rankings above industry standards, are in the categories of information technology, competitive pricing, sustainable transportation practices and quality of equipment/operations. Over 2,000 Canadian shippers, 3PL companies and freight forwarders, rate carriers in the eight categories which range from on-time performance to customer service.
“Earning the prestige Carrier of Choice designation once again is humbling and accepted with gratitude,” expresses Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation. “The recognition we’ve received highlights the ongoing endeavours at Polaris to excel in innovation and service excellence within the transportation industry. Thank you to our loyal customers and our entire team. Without you, none of our accomplishments would be possible."
In the article, CTO Dave Brajkovich, shares Polaris and NDS technology innovation, infrastructure and the progression within the Supply Chain industry. We encourage you to click here for the full article.
Polaris Transportation has prided itself on its technological innovation, and has now spun out a tech company through which it will market some of its homebuilt technologies. Read the full Editorial here.
An affiliate of Ontario-based trucking company Polaris Transport Group is also getting into blockchain in partnership with IBM, which had used its use case to build a distributed ledger, said Dave Brajkovich, chief technology officer for Polaris and a spinoff firm called North Star Digital Solutions Inc. “We’re running POCs, or proof of concepts, before we launch anything new (into) production,” Mr. Brajkovich said. ...Read the full Feature here.
Our recent launch of NorthStar Digital Solutions caught the attention of The Wall Street Journal. Learn more about the recent evolution of Polaris in the full Article here.
For a quarter of a century, Polaris Transportation Group has been known as a carrier who specializes in the transportation of LTL between Canada and the USA. They have positioned themselves as the ‘#CrossBorderPros’ but who they have become and what they’re seeking to achieve will surprise you.
Polaris President, Dave Cox explains, “Polaris is not your typical transportation and logistics company. We have our ears to the ground and our sights set on the future. Through tactical acquisitions and partnerships, we have shifted into the digital space and are creating change not only in the transportation industry but in all connected industries.” Mr. Cox adds, “When it comes to new technology, new ways of thinking or new methods of conducting business, we are not taking a wait-and-see approach, we are embracing it and continuously developing powerful tools that enhance both the customer and employee experience.”
Polaris continues to invest in innovation. Through its in-house Digital Laboratory and its newest company NorthStar Digital Solutions, they have successfully deployed and utilized RPA (Robotic Process Automation), machine learning, IoT (Internet of Things) and artificial intelligence to consolidate and automate antiquated systems technology.
Polaris is positioning itself as a holistic provider of services and solutions, with the ability to seamlessly integrate business models throughout the supply chain and deliver complete digital transformation solutions. They provide their clients the benefits of quality services for freight centricity, warehouse inventory management and couple that with an enhanced digital experience delivering insights and information management right at their fingertips. Further to this will be the ability to offer unparalleled digital solutions producing true integrated transactional data exchange, automated processing and intelligent reporting/predictive analytics.
Dave Brajkovich, Chief Technical Officer states, “Our primary vision is being first to market with a distributed ledger on a centralized hosted environment that will be dynamic, safe, immutable, easy to use/do business with and provide great insights and predictive analytics like no other!” Mr. Brajkovich explains further, “It will allow for the common sharing of business transactions between partners, shared services providers, competitors and clients – used by organizations and consumer-end users who are looking to receive fast, efficient, secure and cost-effective service.”
President, Mr. Cox adds, “We will not accept the status quo. We are hungry for change; for a better way of doing business. We have and will continue to hire top-level talent who bring fresh, innovative thinking. It’s an extremely exciting time to be a part of our group and the opportunity for growth through innovation is seemingly endless.”
Polaris Transportation Group has partnered with cutting-edge corporations and industry influencers to assist in their mission to revolutionize the way business is conducted in both transportation and other marketplaces as the need for enhanced processing touches all industries. They are well on their way to establishing their digital transformation and although the work being completed behind the scenes is quite complicated, their vision is quite simple – harness the power of advanced technologies to deliver easy-to-use, fast, secure and cost-efficient services.
As we continue to grow, we remain committed to attracting and nurturing top-level talent who positively contribute to our Polaris culture and advance the company. These are exciting times for Polaris as we focus on expanding our reach through the development of advanced technologies and innovative thinking. Polaris has become a destination: a place where employees can feel like a part of something bigger; a place that cultivates their growth and development. From material handlers and drivers to developers and customer care, Polaris People know they can personally make a difference – for our customers and each other.
“Thank You!” to all Polaris People for their dedication, diligence and determination.
Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the breakthrough recognition received as a 2018 Top 100 Trucker. The prestigious list is compiled yearly by transportation and logistics publication Inbound Logistics, a leading U.S. industry digital and print publication
According to Polaris Transportation Group President, Dave Cox, “We are certainly grateful for the yearly recognition we continue to receive in the Canadian trucking industry. Making the U.S. published, Top 100 list is a testament to the advancements we’ve made in U.S markets these last few years. Enhanced service schedules, greater coverage and our entry into Blockchain technology have all served to raise our value and profile with U.S. shippers.”
The Top 100 Trucker selection process is carried out by the editorial staff of Inbound Logistics. The publication was founded in 1981. It has literally evolved, hand in hand, with the logistics and supply chain landscape to offer insight and information critical to the industry on a monthly basis.
Dave Cox adds, “We have invested heavily in the resources required to establish a strong foothold across all transportation, logistics and warehousing elements of our customers’ supply chain. It’s an exciting time for our company and the dedicated team members that drive us towards a bigger, brighter future.”
Polaris Transportation is proud to be a member of the Trucks For Change Network, a non-profit group of leading highway carriers from across Canada who believe in supporting communities by distributing donated food and materials at reduced rates for charities such as Food Banks Canada, Habitat For Humanity, Canadian Red Cross, and many others.
Polaris Transportation has a long history of supporting our communities. As a member of Trucks For Change Network, we are part of a trucking industry network which has delivered more than 20 million pounds of donations to Canadians in need. Check it out at www.trucksforchange.org and keep your eye out for updates on our community support!
Polaris Transportation has been named Carrier of Choice for 2018 in the LTL category. 2018 marks 11 consecutive years winning the Shipper’s Choice Award. The higher ranking of Carrier of Choice has been awarded to Polaris each year since 2012.
The Carrier of Choice award is administered by one of Canada’s leading Transportation publications, Canadian Shipper. Carriers are rated by over 2,000 Canadian shippers, 3PL companies and freight forwarders in eight categories ranging from on time performance to competitive pricing. Polaris exceeded industry benchmarks across each of these KPIs with their highest overall rankings, scoring way above the industry standard, in the categories of quality of equipment/operations and information technology.
Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation states, “Receiving the Carrier of Choice designation again this year is an award that is truly appreciated. Being directly acknowledged by the industry we serve and not only meeting but exceeding the benchmarks of service excellence established, fills us with great pride. The last two years in particular have been a time of innovation, growth and realizing our vision at Polaris. We have our strongest team ever and loyal customers who truly appreciate our service capabilities across our LTL, warehousing and global logistics offerings. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Polaris Transportation Group (PTG) is pleased to announce that J.G. Drapeau Ltd. has entered into an agreement to acquire the Ontario LTL division of Mainliner Freightways Ltd. and transition into the 150,000 square foot cross dock and warehousing facility located at 280 Belfield Rd. The acquisition is expected to be completed on July 3, 2018. Mainliner’s LTL fleet will continue to serve the Southwestern Ontario to Ottawa corridor and in doing so, will significantly increase the Polaris/Drapeau LTL and warehousing capacity in the Ontario market. Mainliner’s LTL business boasts a blue chip customer base, dedicated team of professionals and a track record of strong performance since 1993.
Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation Group says, “This allows our Group of Companies to more quickly expand our already large LTL service coverage in Ontario. We have relationships with a significant number of premium shippers across North America and an acquisition like this gives us more opportunity to enhance our leadership position. With this acquisition, J.G. Drapeau more than triples in size, as our growth initiatives for that business continue to gain momentum with team members and customers.”
As PTG looks to continue to grow what is already the largest privately held Canadian cross border LTL fleet, this acquisition reinforces its growth strategy to be a premier transportation and supply chain partner for its customers. This acquisition marks the 4th acquisition in the company’s history and second in 12 months.
The Parisi family shares “The next generation of leaders within our LTL unit will benefit from all the opportunities a large organization like Polaris Transportation Group can bring, coupled with what we believe to be an excellent cultural fit. PTG’s 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.”
Recently Polaris Transportation Group’s President, Dave Cox and Chief Technology Officer, Dave Brajkovich attended the BiTA and Transparency 18 conference in Atlanta. The seminar was equally interesting and insightful with the inclusion of key leaders speaking to the evolution of Blockchain within the transportation industry.
An exciting perspective from a financial position was that of Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group, Co-founder and Executive Chairman at Blockchain Research Institute. Don spoke about how Blockchain will influence and change the face of supply chain and logistics transactions, considering it is one of the largest vertical market spaces globally. From his perspective, Blockchain will ultimately revolutionize the way of doing business like the “car did for the horse”. The focus is still the same to get from point A to B however it’s the end results and experiences that make the difference.
Each leader on the podium had the same opinion that although Blockchain is in early development, the early adopters will become the leaders in setting the pace for the industry. Late adopters will have little choice but to join or cease to operate in the fast-paced world of unified cloud computing where “co-ompetion” will be the new way of doing business. Transparency will become the new expected norm for B2C and B2B transactions. Consumers and clients will expect full audit trails to be provided from the source of manufacture to the delivery cycle and everything in between.
This is completely in-line with Dave Cox's vision of the transformation of Canadian and US trucking. A culture shift is already underway at Polaris as we continue to work towards providing these expected, enhanced client experiences and aim to position ourselves as a leader in the industry.
More about the Blockchain in Transport Alliance’s (BiTA) Spring Symposium is available here: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/blockchain/technology-success-depends-on-cooperation
Catherine Lu, Jerry Wang, Inveet Gill
In May, Polaris Transportation Group welcomed three students to its fourth year of the Student Leadership Program. In its fourth year, the program continues to recruit high-achieving students from Canada’s top universities.
Jerry Wang joins Polaris Global Logistics to assist the division with managing shipments as well as carrier and client relationships. Jerry is no stranger to Polaris as this is his second time participating in the Student Leadership Program. He enjoyed his experience last summer and is excited to be back to contribute to the logistics team and enhance his relationship building skills. Jerry is pursuing a dual degree at Western University with the Ivey Business School and Economics. In September, he will be entering his fifth and final year of the program.
Ivneet Gill joins Polaris’ Customs department from the University of Waterloo. Ivneet is thrilled to be working at Polaris because she is constantly learning new things, and sincerely looking forward to helping out this summer. In the fall, Ivneet will be entering her second year of Waterloo’s Biomedical Sciences program.
Catherine Lu joins Polaris as an Internal Consultant working with Jon Saunders on various corporate development initiatives. Catherine was initially drawn to Polaris’ Student Leadership Program after hearing positive feedback from past students. She enjoys that her tasks evolve every day, and is looking forward to living through business management challenges and changes over the next few months. Catherine is pursuing a dual degree at Western University with the Ivey Business School and Medical Sciences. She will be entering her fourth year in September.
Please join us in welcoming Jerry, Ivneet, and Catherine to Polaris this summer!
Polaris Transportation Group announced today that two of its divisions received the TOP Fleet Employer designation from Trucking HR Canada, for 2018. This is the 4th consecutive year for J.G. Drapeau, the asset-based hazmat specialist and the first year for crossborder LTL carrier, Polaris Transportation.
Angela Splinter, CEO, Trucking HR Canada states, “ J.G. Drapeau and Polaris both shine in the employee survey review – they clearly provide a family atmosphere where everyone feels valued and are treated with respect. We commend them for being leaders in showcasing this industry as a great place to work.”
President of the Polaris Transportation Group, Dave Cox comments, “One of the key reasons we purchased J.G. Drapeau was how well their family culture married with ours. We are a people company first and it’s great to get recognition through this unbiased third party assessment that our approach is working. Along with making our company a great place to work, we are also making it a company that is easy to do business with. We are accomplishing this through our team, our technology and our passion to excel as a transportation and logistics leader in the industry.”
According to Trucking HR Canada, all applicants were rated on topics including recruitment and retention practices, workplace culture, compensation, training and skills development as well as innovative HR practices. A gala awards dinner will be held in the fall of this year honouring all fleets recognized through the program, 52 in total.
Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Brajkovich to the position of Chief Technology Officer. Since 2015 Dave Brajkovich actively served on Polaris’s board of directors before accepting this newly created position. Dave will be based out of the Polaris head office facility in Mississauga, ON and will report directly to President, Dave Cox.
As Chief Technology Officer, Dave will have key accountabilities for leading and maintaining a robust technical ecosystem for the Polaris Transportation Group. One of the first steps will be to enhance Polaris’s current technical foundation and align with a newly formed road map for scalable growth. The ultimate objective is to provide Polaris the foundation to be a uniquely different provider of freight services with enhanced digital product capabilities in the future. Emphasis will be placed on bleeding edge technologies such as Robotic Process Automation, AI, and Blockchain.
Mr. Cox explains, “Dave is an excellent fit to complement our future growth plans. Our enhanced technology framework will be a critical element in further expanding our footprint in North America and beyond. Having Dave’s experience with larger Fortune 500 companies, combined with his natural leadership skills, will greatly improve our ability to navigate and implement the systems, processes and innovation that will put us well ahead of the curve in serving our clients’ requirements. This is all part of our mandate to make it really simple and seamless to do business with Polaris.”
Mr. Brajkovich’s educational background includes a diploma in Production Engineering from George Brown, followed up by specialized university programs at York University in Toronto, Darden’s School of Business at the University of Virginia and several ITIL leadership certifications. The additional courses and experience refined his skills in IT processes, management and business leadership best practices. Recent positions held include Executive Director roles with Sun Life Canada, Air Liquide and Dynacare Labs where his focus was on IT technology foundations and business application synergies.
Dave Brajkovich lives in Hockley Valley with his wife and two daughters. His additional interests include assembly and operation of drone helicopters and he is an avid motorcyclist. According to Dave, “This opportunity gives me the ability to create positive change in an industry that will continue to get more sophisticated in the management of customers’ supply chains. Polaris is at a size where it can quickly adapt to the changes necessary to implement ground breaking technologies. It will be an exciting time for me and Polaris. The immediate future includes the creation of a digital lab at our head office and onboarding talented young minds to help us on our aggressive path to even greater success at the Polaris Group of Companies.”
Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation Group, talks to Truck News about Polaris embracing blockchain technology. He's prepared to rewrite the business in favour of opportunities blockchain technology can provide. Read the full story on TruckNews.com
Polaris Transportation announced today that their online booking portal is now fully tested and live making shipping with Polaris much easier. The custom designed shipping tool has been in development for the past year and after a successful soft launch to select clients, it has been tested and officially launched for all customers to take advantage of.
The enhanced shipping tool is designed to book up to 4 standard pallets (48” x 48” x 72”) per destination or custom pallet configurations as required. Booking is available for cross border shipments between Canada and the USA. The enhanced shipping tool was implemented in direct response to the success of the online rating tool and listening to their customers’ additional requirements.
Other features of the online booking tool include:
According to Polaris Transportation President, David Cox, “My father and Polaris founder, Larry Cox set this new online tool in motion before he passed and I am honoured to see one of his many dreams for our company come to life. Making it simpler and easier to ship with Polaris is an ongoing focus for our company. I encourage those using this new time-saving tool to offer their feedback so we can incorporate your suggestions going forward.’’
Polaris Transportation Group (PTG) recently joined Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to incorporate this game-changing technology into their daily processes. PTG sees this innovative process as a critical element in managing the rapid growth of their organization. It greatly reduces human error and establishes an automated approach for all types of transactions that are both secure and verifiable.
Without question, Polaris’ ongoing and increasing investments in technology has created a competitive advantage. It has been a core strength in the company’s ability to compete and take market share from the larger, publicly funded competitors. Polaris Transportation Group is the largest privately held Canadian cross border LTL carrier and has enjoyed growth in each of its 24 years of history, with 2017 results being the best yet. Blockchain and robotic process automation is where the company is placing its next big bet.
Polaris Transportation Group President, Dave Cox, explains “In general, the pace of change is going to accelerate with the further evolution of the digital age. In the transportation space, we see new ways to serve customers and make our business better as technology enables solutions to business challenges we’ve struggled with for years. It is a liberating feeling for us and the global supply chains that we participate in.” Specifically, Mr. Cox is investing in projects relating to customer service, operational precision and risk management. The return on investment offered in these three key areas have become quite compelling in the past six months as blockchain and robotic process automation solutions become more accessible and integrated. Cox adds, “The thought of increasing the speed of information sharing and execution while lowering the costs of connectivity and counter party validation empowers true scale for fleets of all sizes.”
Mr. Cox explains further, “Today, we have large customers who want to connect to us directly but their systems either won’t allow, or the costs to connect become a barrier. However, joining a global supply chain information stream, or blockchain, alongside our customer allows integration of information and cost advantages where we both serve several of the same participants. The change in conversation and the scale on investment becomes clearer, as opposed to the costly, non uniform, bi-lateral connections with those same stakeholders.”
In terms of operational precision, blockchain pivots the traditional ‘waiting for an order’ to a more proactive relationship where a customer request is anticipated as early as when the raw materials are sourced in another part of the world. Mr. Cox adds, “Having a P&D fleet that is organized geographically isn’t the best solution but it is what we have today. Knowing where and when trucks will be needed earlier in the process will allow us to optimize the customer experience and our operations – leaving less waste in the system. When you think about the value of knowing what orders you’ll have to execute tomorrow today, for an LTL operator, it allows the system to flow in a totally different and better way.”
From a risk management perspective, blockchain, and its inherent hyper ledger reconciliation and smart contracts provide for a purer approach to payments and managing credit. Moreover, the validation process associated with a global block chain and its members, transitions the business away from receivable collections and the need for three references on a new account application. Mr. Cox shares “Knowing if a key customer has a customer that is growing or slowing, in real time, allows us to make more timely and informed decisions in a more efficient way, from a cost structure perspective.”
They say that inevitably, the future always comes. For Polaris Transportation Group, the future can’t come fast enough.
Polaris Transportation announced today that John Brodigan has accepted the newly created position as VP U.S. Operations effective November 6, 2017. Based out of the Canadian head office location in Mississauga, ON, John will report directly to SVP Operations, Dave Dixon and be responsible for creating greater efficiencies and communication with their Cross Border team, linehaul operations and carrier relations for their Cross Border service.
Mr. Brodigan has a 30 year background in transportation and was most recently the General Manager of Roadfast, the truckload division of Quik X. A 16 year veteran there, John also held numerous roles in his early career with the TNT Group of Companies. John comments on joining Polaris, “I have been good friends with Dave Cox for 25 years. The family culture and enthusiasm Polaris embodies is infectious and invigorating. They are moving forward at a steady pace and I see this as a great opportunity to move forward with them.”
John currently resides in Milton, ON with his wife of 27 years and 3 children. He is active in his community and enjoys coaching hockey, being involved in charities and is an avid fisherman. He attended Erindale Secondary School and has actively added to his education by taking courses in D.O.T Rules and Regulations, Safety and Compliance and being effective at fostering strong customer relations.
Over the last few years, Polaris Transportation has raised the bar with their Cross Border offering, focusing on enhanced service times and greater overall coverage. President of Polaris Transportation, Dave Cox states, “It’s all systems go at Polaris. We’ve made strategic acquisitions, have expanded our footprint to include worldwide markets and continue to bolster our award winning team. I’ve known John my whole career and having his team building talents and industry expertise added to ours will add depth to our senior management and accelerate the growth of our flagship LTL service between Canada and the USA.”
Polaris Transportation Group (PTG) announced today that they have commenced construction on the expansion of their Canadian head office facility in Mississauga, ON. The additional office, cross dock and warehousing capacity is being created to meet the demands of business growth within their supply chain, European based LCL ocean freight and IT (Digital Factory) initiatives. The expansion to their head office location is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018.
This expansion closely follows the acquisition of trucking and warehousing Hazmat specialists J.G. Drapeau and Commercial Warehousing and Logistics. Dave Cox, President of PTG comments on their continued growth strategy, “We have turned up the volume on sustainable growth these past few years. We’ve made great progress with our cross border LTL program, providing overnight service to destinations where 2 day service is the norm. We have raised our profile internationally such that we can serve the North American distribution requirements of international clients.” Mr Cox adds, “There’s a lot to be said about the benefits derived from pushing the envelope of service excellence to higher levels. Status quo and good enough are not in our vocabulary at Polaris.”
PTG has worked closely with Canadian universities to encourage recent graduates to entertain careers in the transportation sector. The company has an ongoing internship program and continues to hire bright young minds to meld with their seasoned team of transportation professionals. The plans for growth combined with a proactive recruitment initiative is proving an effective combination for success.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) will be mandatory for fleets operating in the USA beginning December 18, 2017. Mandatory ELD compliance regulations have yet to be finalized in Canada but likely won’t take effect until 2019. It is believed that Canadian legislation will follow that of its American counterpart very closely.
Polaris Transportation has always been compliant
We are happy to say these changes in regulations will have zero impact on the service we are currently offering to our valued customers. Our guaranteed LTL overnight service between Toronto and Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati will not be affected including our 2-4 day California service.
What are the benefits of this ELD compliance mandate?
Polaris Transportation is pleased to share the resounding success of their Student Leadership Development Program. The program, now in its third year is in conjunction with The Ivey School of Business at Western University and the Lazaridis School of Business at Wilfred Laurier.
Polaris hires top business students with dual degrees including technology and data science. Together, they founded the Polaris Digital Factory and the product manufactured was customer centric innovation executed through the latest sustainable technologies. Each student had their unique role in the program and as they now return to University, the impact of what they created will carry on at Polaris.
The projects covered by the Polaris Digital Factory co-op students included, improving the Polaris customer experience, cost control and risk management. The Western students participating were Jessie Chen, Ross Cunningham, Jakob Holub, Jerry Wang and from Ryerson, Winston Kim.
According to Jon Saunders of the Polaris Transportation Group, “The Polaris Digital Factory attracts some of the best business and technology minds from top Canadian Universities. These creative and unbounded students are inspiring and encourage entrepreneurism in our workplace, accelerating delivery times and allowing our teams to sharpen their focus on meeting the needs of our customers. A good example is in our accounts receivables management, where through the use of data analytics and historical customer shipping patterns, we can find troubling patterns in some cases before our customers are even aware of them.”
Students from last year’s program have gone on to placements with several Fortune 500 Companies in the areas of technology and consulting. The next student placement at Polaris commences September, 2017.
Executive Director Sharon Irwin-Foulon of Ivey Business School at Western University adds, “Polaris has a strong employment brand at Ivey, which resonates with ambitious millennials. The 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 a part of.”
Polaris Transportation has been named Carrier of Choice for 2017 in the LTL category. This is the highest award given and speaks to the consistent service provided across 8 Key Performance Indicators (KPI). In Polaris’s case, 2017 marks 10 consecutive years winning the Shipper’s Choice Award. The higher ranking of Carrier of Choice has been awarded to Polaris each year since 2012.
The award is administered by one of Canada’s leading Transportation publications, Canadian Shipper. Results have just been published for 2017. Carriers are rated by Canadian Shippers, 3PL companies and freight forwarders in the following categories:
Dave Cox, President of Polaris Transportation comments, “Our focus at Polaris has always been consistent performance across all the KPIs deemed most important to Canadian shippers. Winning this award for 10 consecutive years is a testament to the relentless efforts of the dedicated management and staff at Polaris. We have grown every year of our 24 year history by continuing our quest for excellence. Our loyal client base has recommended us to others and the organic growth we’ve experienced is all without a traditional sales force. We have now added strategic acquisitions to further enhance our service offering to clients. I would like to sincerely thank all those who voted for us, naming Polaris their Carrier of Choice again in 2017. The fact that this award is given as a result of the shipping community’s vote makes it a very special award indeed.”
Polaris’s future strategy encompasses strategic acquisitions and organic growth.
Dave Cox, President Polaris Transportation Group announced today that Jon Saunders will be promoted to the newly created position of CEO, Polaris Supply Chain. In his new role, Jon Saunders will continue to report directly to Mr. Cox with the mandate to lead Polaris’ four emerging business divisions, namely: Polaris Global Logistics, Polaris Motor Freight USA, J.G. Drapeau and Commercial Warehousing. Mr. Saunders will continue to lead the Group’s ongoing international acquisition agenda.
Jon Saunders joined Polaris in January of 2015 as Vice President Finance for the Group of Companies. Shortly after he took on the additional responsibility as CEO Polaris Global Logistics, which has grown markedly over a short period of time. Over the last 2.5 years Jon has been very active with industry related speaking engagements and panel discussions helping to promote the Polaris brand to new markets. Jon holds an MBA with distinction from the Richard Ivey School of Business and his extensive background in finance and supply chain management made him an ideal candidate for this newly created position.
Dave Cox explains, “Jon has been a great asset to our company and was the champion behind the recent acquisitions of J.G. Drapeau Transport and Commercial Warehousing Limited. Since coming on board, he has taken on multiple roles and responsibilities and was the hands down candidate to accelerate our multi-faceted supply chain initiatives going forward. Jon has an analytical mind, is a great team builder and has an uncanny ability to visualize new roads ahead that fit our future growth plans.”
Polaris solidifies team as they ramp up for continued expansion and growth.
Dave Cox, President Polaris Transportation Group announced today that David Dickson has been promoted from Director Operations, to VP Operations for Polaris Transportation. David will be reporting directly to Mr. Cox and is tasked with strengthening the processes and infrastructure necessary to execute the future growth plans of the organization.
David Dickson joined Polaris 2 years ago and has shown his prowess in managing the LTL operations of the leading LTL, Cross Border carrier. According to Dave Cox, “With the recent passing of our President and my father Larry Cox, I have been very fortunate to have talented individuals like David Dickson on hand to take on additional responsibilities. During his time here, David has brought many improvements to our LTL operations. He has vision and the ability to turn that vision into actions to improve processes and create higher operational efficiencies. David and I will be working together on our road of continuous improvement and well managed growth strategies.”
David Dickson will be based out of the Polaris head office facility in Mississauga, Ontario. A hands on management style and process driven methodologies combine to enable David to raise the bar even higher for the Polaris LTL operations. Dave Cox adds,” David is well liked by all, has a great rapport with our strategic U.S partners and is in sync with the heart of our operations. Great people focused on service…I’m excited for our company, our customers and expect great things from David and the entire Polaris Team going forward.”
It is with deep sadness that I announce our President and my father, Larry Cox passed away of heart failure on June 14, 2017. He was 71 and will be dearly missed by all.
Larry started Polaris in 1994 with very little money and an abundance of drive. He was the consummate entrepreneur and took many risks that paid off, accelerating our success. Larry was passionate about building Polaris Transportation into a leading LTL Cross Border carrier and I think it’s fair to say he accomplished just that.
I was fortunate to be able to work with and learn from my father for the past 20 years. Before he passed, Larry shared his vision for Polaris. It’s a vision I agreed with 100% and I gave my solemn promise to carry it through.
He valued the business relationships he made and truly loved the team he developed on his journey. Though his journey is over, I am committed to lead the team he built and will continue to serve our customers as he intended.
I would like to thank our valued customers, suppliers and team members who have made our success possible. As we open the book to the next chapters of Polaris Transportation, I will carry on the dreams Larry shared with me to make our company an even better carrier.
President, Polaris Transportation Group
Rest in Peace Dad…We’ve got it covered!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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."