Carrying the Load

Joseph Haulage Canada
Written by Pauline Muller

Joseph Haulage Canada Corp is a bulk transportation company that is continuously running throughout North America. With a fleet of over 300 trucks and trailers of all kinds, expert employees, and five locations, this family-owned leader in the transport industry makes light work of its competitors.
Joseph Haulage Canada Corp is known in the industry for its next-level capabilities, and is not a standard transport company. Where the general trend is only to move cargo between two points, this company offers an entire logistics department which takes care of getting loads to multiple destinations on time and within budget.

Its standard cargo haulage includes its dump division that hauls sand, gravel, aggregates, soil, salt, compost, and hazardous waste among other materials. The company’s waste division moves garbage, construction debris, and other waste. A flatbed transport division carries a variety of heavy-duty loads like machinery, roofing products, pre-cast products, lumber, steel and more. And its tanker division pulls assorted liquids like oils, asphalt cement used in making road surfaces, petroleum lubricants, and caustic chemicals.

Some of the products require being transported at a particular temperature, which means specialized tanker trailers with custom burners to maintain that temperature. The company is one of only a few operators that offer this service as it loves the challenge of taking on high-technology, specialized projects.

The company is very well respected for being trustworthy and was one of the primary transportation providers for the development phases of the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. Quite aptly, the company tried to work with the same discipline as the athletes in completing a number of projects needed to set up for the games. These projects posed such complex logistics that many competitors declined the work, but Joseph Haulage helped make the games a success.

The company’s success stems from its core values and it is critical that Joseph Haulage’s customers share those same values. “We always make sure that we align ourselves with customers who share our values,” says President Geoff Joseph. It is not uncommon for this industry heavyweight to approach existing customers with suggestions of how it can improve their logistics and haulage. “We make it a priority to adhere to our customers’ safety practices and policies, which are always in line with our safety culture. They also know that we’re reliable, so they’ll often approach one or more of our other divisions as well,” says Geoff.

The beauty of this company structure is that its divisions often share customers. Each division has a dedicated manager and its own logistics personnel, and all departments are supported by a finance department and administration that runs the back-end of the business. All divisions and departments work collectively as a team and that is what makes them the best in their class.

Joseph Haulage is built on its CEO’s vision to stay with the times and grow with the company’s clients. “I don’t like comfort zones, which is why, as a company, we like taking on new challenges,” says Geoff.

Its success is deeply rooted in adhering closely to its values, which includes treating its employees just as well as its customers. “We want our team to know how much we appreciate them,” says Chief Executive Officer and President Geoff Joseph.

“We are very focussed on developing our people, for which we have extensive leadership development programs in place to ensure that we operate at higher levels so that we can be the best in our field,” Geoff adds.

Even though the company has always taken good care of its people, Joseph Haulage now has various ways in which it invests much more in its people and its partners. One example of this investment can be seen in the career of the company’s Vice President of Sales, who started out as an independent owner-operator with the company, then joined as a manager.

“We give our people a lot of opportunity for career advancement. That includes any additional training they want. We always support them financially when it comes to learning,” Geoff says. The company also advocates wellness for its employees. This includes renting a basketball court at a nearby gym every two weeks. Here, all the staff gets together to have some fun together and sweat it out on the court.

“We want our people to see how much we care about them. This year we’re giving everyone a gym membership along with personal training sessions. There’s a profit-sharing pension plan in place for our entire team and a number of other initiatives to ensure that they stay in good shape physically, mentally and financially,” he adds. Needless to say, building personal relationships beyond the office has strengthened the company’s team spirit tremendously.

Joseph Haulage s simple strategies are based on being the top employer with a united workforce that has no service failures, accidents, or injuries. Of course, there is a tad more to it than that, but these goals form the basis of the company’s philosophy.

This sense of camaraderie is reflected in the Trucking HR Canada’s award for top employers in the country’s trucking industry. Joseph Haulage has won this award for three years in a row already, starting in 2016. Competitors are judged on staff retention, company culture, remuneration, continued education opportunities, and more. Receiving the award again in 2019 would be another step closer toward its goal of winning the award five years consecutively, which would make the company a recognized top fleet employer of distinction.

Part of what makes Joseph Haulage a desirable employer is its commitment to safety made possible by an extensive safety department comprised of several safety officers, analysts, and a safety director charged with auditing and checking truck and onsite safety.

Joseph Haulage also made it into the fourth position on the 2018 Canadian Business Growth 500 list of the transportation sector for its phenomenal 817 percent growth rate between 2012 and 2017. In addition, its revenue hit the coveted $50 million to $100 million mark, something of which Geoff is particularly proud since he promised his father to quadruple the business – and did.

Geoff admits that the company’s success is also all about tenacity. It has had to overcome many challenges and survive numerous economic climates. This experience has given Geoff the wisdom and the vision to give his people the space in which to flourish. In amongst all the training and development programs, managers have the autonomy to do what they do best. This has led to an environment where a balance of old-school and new-school business approaches meet. Creativity and contributing ideas are encouraged in meetings, and Geoff is proud that everyone understands and is part of the overall plan for the company’s future.

When it comes to giving existing businesses an overhaul, like Geoff did when taking over his father’s company, his ideas are pragmatic. He advises taking a good look at what works and what does not as an important step in the right direction before stripping everything that does not serve the business. “It is necessary to simplify things,” he states.

The company has locations dotted around Ontario, including Acton, Mississauga, and London, as well as a new upcoming location in Ottawa. For Joseph Haulage, success comes with the responsibility to take care of the vulnerable and those in need in the communities in which it operates, and giving comes naturally.

Last year alone, the company donated $124,000 to local charities like CityKidz, a charity that gives children in low-income communities enjoy stimulating experiences they would otherwise not have. It also supports The Good Shepherd, United Way, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Jewish National Fund of Canada, Sick Kids Foundation, The St. Catharines Hospital Foundation, YWCA Canada, Mohawk College, a number of sports teams, and many more. And the company’s staff is each given forty paid hours of work time annually in which they can volunteer, helping charitable causes that are close to their hearts.

“It feels great making money, but it feels even better giving it away. That is why taking care of charity is such a big part of what we do,” says Geoff. Being involved in its own area’s prosperity extends to its business interests as well. True to its roots, the company is still very much involved in transporting construction materials, allowing it to actively help build the infrastructure that serves its community.

Of course, this means adapting to its ever-growing local markets. The company is seeing many smaller businesses being acquired by larger companies. Also, e-logs have changed the face of transportation for the better, forcing all trucking companies to realign their driver’s schedules with standards that are now enforced by law.

“E-logs have created a level playing field in the industry. We have always been big on safety. In the past, we protected our guys from driving when they were tired, but our competitors often worked a lot cheaper but also unsafely,” says Geoff.

New legislation has put a stop to drivers being taken advantage of in this way. Another positive is that e-logging renders paper logs entirely superfluous, making the process easier and faster for drivers.

Apart from welcoming e-logs and progressive change in the industry, the company is also committed to honouring the Environmental Protection Act. Joseph Haulage is proudly associated with the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA), an advocacy group that represents the recycling and waste management services industry. And it is a member of non-profit TransHub Ontario, which works to develop and promote Southern Ontario’s logistics and transportation sector, and the American Trucking Association (ATA) the largest trade association for the American trucking industry.

Joseph Haulage s next big goal will change the company’s history forever. It has its sights set on soon becoming a multi-modal logistics provider. The company is currently in the process of setting up its new rail transport division as well as becoming a Certified Professional Logistician (CPL). This is an international standard by which those in logistics are measured to ensure the industry’s best quality and standards.

The company is looking to expand its presence throughout Western Canada. With its over nineteen percent growth in 2018, the firm is looking forward to increasing this already healthy rate. “In the coming years, we’ll be looking to expand responsibly through acquisition as well,” says Geoff.

To support this, the company will be reconsidering and refurbishing its systems to ensure that its support structures are able to take the impact of continued expansion. Part of this effort will include taking stock of the company’s strengths and examining how to improve its services even further. Reinventing itself every few years allows Joseph Haulage to apply its talents in fresh ways by leading both its people and the industry as a whole.



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