Moving Customers Forward

Written by Pauline Muller

In a world turned upside down by the challenges and limitations of COVID-19, Omnitrans is a full-service logistic trendsetter trusted by international giants for a host of user-friendly, modern solutions coupled with true customer care.

Moving goods around the globe successfully can be a huge challenge at the best of times. But doing so during unusual times, while faced with the frustrations presented by small and large parcel logistics, is entirely another. As a multi-faceted, full-service logistics provider with an in-depth understanding of complex logistics, Omnitrans offers its global clientele the Midas touch they need to stay on top of their game. The company’s service offering includes international freight, ground logistics, last-mile courier services, customs brokerage, data integration solutions, and more.

At Omnitrans, modernity leads the way and a single point of contact is all that is needed to get any shipment on the road, whether its final destination awaits at the end of a flight, an ocean voyage, a railway line, or along a series of highways. In stark contrast to many of its competitors’ slow process flows, the company’s unique offering includes managing all its clients’ shipments, global supply chain needs, and e-commerce transactions with the help of leading-edge technology. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration allows the company to integrate, support, and improve its client operations – all while operating at a safe distance.

The firm isn’t just another service provider, however. Omnitrans collaborates with clients’ teams, becoming an intrinsic part of their operations. With an in-depth, overall understanding of each business that starts at the production phase and ends at the point of final delivery, Omnitrans’ experts present clients with real-world solutions unique to their operations.

“When we go into a customer’s office, our approach is to sit down with them and really listen to their needs, as opposed to discussing just one line of service,” says Sean Adelsohn, Director of Courier Services. “What we do is try to identify areas where, through our expertise, we can help right away. And having a very holistic understanding of the full supply chain from a logistics angle allows us to craft a solution that really benefits the customer.”

Driving E-commerce
While e-commerce was already a growing market pre-COVID-19, the demand for sending and tracking merchandise and other shipments via online platforms has soared since the advent of the international health crisis. Looking at Omnitrans’ combination of high-tech proprietary software and dedicated client support alongside a selection of rarer offerings such as regulatory consulting and cost-benefit analysis, it comes as no surprise that its courier and e-commerce division has expanded tremendously in recent years.

“In our business, we’ve seen dramatic spikes on the e-commerce side as many of our customers – who perhaps were historically more traditional in the way they went to market – were tasked with finding ways to get their goods to end users in a way they never had before,” explains Adelsohn.

As any internationally competitive small parcel handler can attest, keeping track of comparatively tiny freight items can become a nightmare when not streamed correctly – especially when around 30 percent of all orders are guaranteed to be returned. Thanks to Omnitrans’ robust in-house support team, full tracking and visibility capabilities, and a dedicated returns management system, modern e-commerce becomes a cinch. The company even adds additional value through its commitment to guiding and educating clients in best practices around returned goods.

At Omnitrans, international businesses also benefit from Section 321 – a 2015, U.S. provision that enables the duty-free import of a single shipment per day valued at USD 800 or lower, into the United States. This is a great motivation for foreign companies based around the world – and especially in Canada – to ship to American customers at a very reasonable rate. “A business in Canada can now ship to an individual in the U.S. up to USD 800 in goods per day duty-free, with certain exceptions,” Adelsohn explains. Thanks to the company’s in-depth understanding of brokerage, warehousing, and last-mile delivery aspects, its customers reap the full rewards of this allowance.

Apart from a selection of international forwarding options for ocean and air freight, Omnitrans also offers a comprehensive ground logistics program comprising less than load (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) services throughout North America. Its forte lies in specialized services and project freight complemented by its well-honed compliance and regulations expertise.

The IT revolution
Handling the incredible complexities presented by shipping and importing foreign manufactured goods is a gargantuan task by any measure. To ensure that its own end-to-end logistics systems run as smoothly as its customers’, Omnitrans prides itself on its highly accomplished IT team.

“The IT revolution of our business has been very significant over the last few years,” explains Adelsohn. “Being able to properly integrate in an efficient manner through EDI integration is something we’ve invested a great deal of time and effort into. Today, that puts us at the forefront of being able to achieve anything with all different kinds of customers, with all different levels of sophistication.”

These professionals are fully versed in all aspects of even the most complex integrations, allowing customers to rest assured in the knowledge that their systems and goods are in competent hands at all times.

Big wheels keep on turning
Starting out in 1976 as a customs broker, the company grew strong on a diet of focused customer care, good service, and a no-fear approach to change. In this way, evolution became part of the Omnitrans DNA and its team is always on the roll with new concepts, technologies, and systems to improve its offering. True to founder Martin Goldenberg’s belief in providing clients with the best care and service, this company knows that when its clients are doing well, its mandate is fulfilled. Embarking on its business journey “with four employees and a used typewriter,” the team built their reputation for excellence by always going the extra mile.

The company’s early history is marked by hard work and a penchant for growth. Its foundations were solidified in Toronto when it built its first office there in 1987. In 1990, Vancouver welcomed the company’s first office there. By 1994, Omnitrans launched Metro Customs Brokers, an American division that enabled the firm to take care of all its North American customers as increasing numbers of U.S. companies started purchasing from Canadian outfits. From there, the company’s offering grew to where it is today.

Although several acquisitions bolstered its capabilities and its size, stirring the company’s diversification into new markets, its greatest achievement by far has been its expansion into China, with the first of several Omnitrans distribution centers opening there in 2016. This astute move was designed to take control of the entire logistics process, improving the speed and quality of the service its customers who receive goods from Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Qingdao could expect.

Growing as it has from three foreign offices to 10 locations globally and 300 employees has secured the company’s impressive footprint and solidified its reputation as a trustworthy intercontinental logistics partner. “In opening three offices in China, we were able to exert much greater control and apply our standards and values as far as how we want to take care of our customers and how we want things done,” says Adelsohn.

T is for team
Adelsohn shares a lovely anecdote of his early days at Omnitrans when he spotted a plaque listing employee’s names followed by their tenure. It was evident then that most folks stayed with the company for at least a decade and longer, but the significance of the moment would only dawn on him years later. “Once I was integrated into the team, I started to see the profound impact that this amount of experience had on the overall client experience,” he says. “Our people have built significant relationships, and when you have been working with clients for that long, you really become an extension of their business.” At Omnitrans, people matter, and making employees a top priority translates into genuine care and concern for clients’ success.

Amid unavoidable challenges, unexpected hurdles, and the transient nature of the global industry, Omnitrans is perfectly positioned to deal with even the toughest curveball any supply chain can throw. “The spotlight is on service,” says Adelsohn. “It is even more evident now than under normal circumstances – having the backing of a trusted supply chain solution partner is truly invaluable today.” Despite its considerable size, this industry leader remains agile and creative, thinking on its feet and solving any issues on the go as they occur. Because at Omnitrans, it truly is all about the customer.



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