The average American citizen does not really ponder how their purchased goods get to market; for most, that is irrelevant. But the invisible and vital force behind moving goods in any economy is the trucking industry. At least seventy percent of goods moved in the United States reach their destination through trucking companies.
For this reason, reliable trucking companies with equally reliable, qualified drivers are in huge demand. They are essential in providing customers with an assurance that their goods will be delivered on time and safely, with the best in customer service. Davis Cargo, LLC, prides itself on its ability to do just that and has been doing so since 2014.
Davis Cargo is a family-owned, general freight, trucking company offering diverse transportation services including dry van, cargo van, and brokerage services. It was established by two brothers who began with one truck but has grown to include 130 trucks and 300 trailers with approximately one hundred employees at three offices in Missouri, Florida, and Ohio.
Vice President Rem Saiganov states that he is thrilled to see “such growth in such a short time.” Davis Cargo provides services to forty-eight states and “recently started going into Canada. When there’s opportunity, and if it presents itself as a good opportunity, we would like to see if it’s a good fit for us. So far, it has worked out well,” he shares.
“The main transportation service that we provide is in the logistics field,” he says. “We do specialize in dry loads. We work with a lot of hook and drop projects. We also provide expedited services.” The company has several customers, “where we are able to obtain a certain amount of dedicated loads. That really helps everybody.”
All of the trucks in Davis Cargo’s fleet are equipped with Samsara sensor systems, which provide remote networking and cloud-based analytics. By implementing this system, the company is aware of all truck locations and can address any issues as they arise. The fleet is also “equipped with GPS tracking and load sensors,” says Rem. “That helps us a lot when it comes to drop and hook projects because we’re able to tell when the trailer has been emptied, and it’s ready to go.”
When it comes to the safety of its drivers and their loads, Davis Cargo does not believe in cutting corners. “For us, safety is a number one priority,” he says. The company has a safety program in which new drivers are taken through a two-day orientation. The safety program, “goes very thoroughly into the safety process, and that includes training with managers from other departments to ensure the driver is aware of everything: the operations, how everything works.”
Davis Cargo’s safety department, the largest in the company, also engages in training. People in the department attend seminars to ensure complete compliance with safety protocols. “They stay in touch with the drivers,” explains Rem, adding that if any driver has a question, they can call the main office to ascertain if there is any new information to share. “All drivers are aware of any changes or any critical information,” Rem says. “If anybody does get any sort of citation, we’re here to provide additional training to the driver to make sure that it doesn’t happen again in the future.”
The company looks for experienced drivers, and “there are certain criteria that have to be met as far as being a safe driver,” such as their record and references.
And the culture is very friendly. “We like to treat everyone equally,” says Rem. “We like to think of ourselves as a family, and that transforms onto drivers also.” This culture revolves around the company’s central values of honesty, integrity, and willingness to work. “If I see a person who is willing to try and who wants to be here, then I will work with that person.”
In the trucking industry, it is essential to remain diligent with regard to constantly-changing regulations. Rem says that some people within the company are delegated to monitor regulatory changes, from either the Department of Transport or any other safety-related changes within the logistics industry, as they occur. Davis Cargo also engages the services of an outside partner that specializes in safety “for any time we need additional help.”
The company has been a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Program for about four months. “We like to think of ourselves as an environmentally-conscious company,” Rem relates. The company is trying to eliminate paper waste and has “switched a lot of our contracts to be all electronically signed and stored. Joining SmartWay was really a no brainer for us.”
A proposed new ruling from the United States Department of Transport (DOT) will see changes concerning truck drivers’ hours, which would give drivers more flexibility. The notice of proposed rulemaking, addressing hours of service (HOS) changes, has been filed with the Office of Management and Budget approval, within the White House.
“For us, I think that HOS reform only means easier monitoring of drivers hours of service. We’re eliminating a chance of errors to be made,” Rem states.
He indicates that drivers previously used paper logbooks which did not have to be sent in. Now such logbooks can be sent electronically and automatically.
“It’s a lot easier to keep track of it,” says Rem. “Especially being able to do it remotely from a computer or Smartphone. That really helps us out, makes the process easier, and allows for a lesser chance of a mistake to be made.”
Research indicates that 2018 was a favorable one for the United States economy and the trucking industry. The company attended a Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) conference last year. “It’s basically supply and demand,” Rem says of what the company learned. “That demand was high, and everybody was thriving.”
This year’s conference indicated that supply has exceeded demand. “Unfortunately, things are not as good this year as they were in the logistics industry. However, everyone is staying optimistic and looking toward growth in the future, as we do. We will continue to stay on top of the industry and continue to monitor the trends, making sure that we adjust accordingly.”
Like many industries, logistics is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, and finding experienced drivers can be a challenge. So it is imperative that trucking companies attract and retain the very best. “For us, mainly, the hiring of new drivers is done through referrals,” says Rem. The company offers incentives and referral bonuses for “drivers who work with us over a certain period.” The company wants new drivers to feel welcome and recognized for providing customers with exceptional service. “That goes a long way.”
Rem has ideas of where the company is headed. “We are looking to continue growing. But we also would like to open up possibly a few more offices and add on warehouse space.” By adding warehouse space Davis Cargo would like to, “get into the less-than-truckload (LTL) business,” says Rem, adding, “The goal is to become one of the top carriers and be a well-known name around the nation.”