Top Transportation

Briway Carriers
Written by Pauline Muller

Briway Carriers’ innovative approach to hauling everything from agricultural materials to glass has secured its reputation for thinking out of the box in an industry that is every bit as tough as it is rewarding. From big, multinational corporations to private individuals, Briway Carriers is always ready to move.
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This highly sought-after heavyweight prides itself on being family-run and owned and treats everyone as part of its family. “Nobody here is a number,” says Vice President of Operations Jeff English. A sense of pride in quality service is not its only great attribute, however.

The company belongs to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, which aims to protect supply chains from terrorism, as well as Free and Secure Trade (FAST), a commercial customs check that pertains to safe cargos entering the United States from its neighbouring countries

Briway Carriers can be found around fifty minutes north of Toronto in Alliston, Southern Ontario. The business was incorporated in 1998 by Jeff’s father, Brian English, who was later joined by Jeff and his brother Jamie English, now company president. The business started when Brian bought his first truck and grew from here. Although the trucking industry is a hard game, Briway Carriers goes beyond the expected standard treatment to make the job worthwhile for its drivers.

“We understand that time away from family and increased traffic is tough. That is why we genuinely take a personal interest in our people. We work in the shop ourselves, and would never ask anybody to do anything that we’re not prepared to do ourselves,” says Jeff.

Here, members of management do not sit in meetings all day. Instead, Jeff, his father, and his brother are involved in the day-to-day running of the business as well as driving. Hands-on certainly goes a long way to describing their management style, and this is a great necessity in a business that is operational six to seven days a week, year-round.

“We don’t expect our people to work nonstop, however. We do our best to provide a good working environment, decent equipment, and a good pay packet. We’re reasonable people to work with, and while we do have managers, we’re still very accessible,” he adds.

Among the company’s services is supply chain moving which covers specialized transport, full and less-than-truckloads (LTL), international air and ocean freight, roll-on-roll-off flatbeds, and out-of-gauge containers for outsized shipments. From massive global shipping to smaller tailgate services like furniture removals, Briway Carriers takes care of all shipment needs including custom warehousing and insurance.

Its equipment includes fifty-three-foot-long vans, flatbeds, step decks, and extendable double drops for overweight and open-deck hauling. Its latest offering incorporates a flatbed and step deck trailers that allow much longer and higher cargo of up to 9’10” high and 53’ long within the parameters of the law. These investments mean the company is able to haul its customers’ loads faster, easier, and more cost-effectively than ever before.

This company does what it takes to keep going round across all of North America, from Prince Edward Island to California, Florida, and beyond. This team crisscrosses the entire U.S. and also has a freight forwarding office in Mississauga, from where it ships internationally. It has secured its foothold in both the agricultural and glass transport business across America and Canada, and it is still evolving. From best practices to processes, Briway Carriers is always searching for innovative ways in which to improve its services.

When Briway Carriers’ clients in glass sheet manufacturing needed a unique solution for hauling the biggest glass sheets in America from their factories to warehouses across the country, the team invented an entirely new way of moving glass – an industry secret upon which it is always improving. When its agricultural clients needed to move high horsepower tractors, the company did the same.

“Our continued growth has always been organic and stems from always wanting to do a better job for the customer. This has brought us many customer referrals over the years,” says Jeff. Much of this success is ascribed to treating big ticket companies exactly the same as it does sole proprietors.

“Depth of service and good communication is key for us, because nobody likes bad surprises. We like giving a personal touch and communicating clearly,” he adds.

This personal touch is something on which the whole team prides itself, and all of its fifty-five to sixty employees are committed to giving more than what is expected, and it has become second nature to them. This is why each person who works at Briway Carriers is handpicked with great care and consideration for the greater group. Jeff believes that if a candidate is not strong within the company culture, they will not be strong in the field, either, and because the company prides itself on this easy-going yet laser-focused atmosphere, it is very important for it to ensure that only the best fits are accepted.

He also believes that happy workers are good workers, and the wonderful rapport that the group shares is indeed proof of the working environment here. “We know that business is business, but we try to keep things light. We really try to promote that family atmosphere. This means that everybody knows everyone’s kids, and it makes for a wonderful spirit here,” Jeff says.

Along the same vein, the company also supports some of the children’s sports teams and other charities in the area like the local Stevenson Memorial Hospital as well as Matthews Hospice in Alliston. The hospice is an institution with a particularly big heart and dedicated staff who care for those who are reaching the end of their lives or suffering from debilitating physical impairments. It takes caring community members like Briway Carriers to close the financing gaps that can often develop due to high demand for services.

“As this is a fairly small village, we’re really lucky to have both these institutions here, and we do what we can to help them,” says Jeff.

His advice for those new to the industry is to have a plan and to stick with it. Also good work ethic and a little bit of luck – which Jeff reckons one can create for yourself – are imperative to success.

The company would like to continue its steady growth and, ideally, get to a stage where the kids can take over if they like. “We believe that a business is either growing or dying. One can’t stand still. My brother and I are still fairly young, so naturally, we want to continue growing the business,” says Jeff.

As such, the company’s overall goal is to focus on its expansion for the next ten years before the nature of the next big phase is decided, but before then, much work awaits this sterling team who is all revved up to keep the big wheels rolling.

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