Robust Logistics Solutions for the Long Haul

Hanover Logistics
Written by William Young

Hanover Logistics offers supply chain management and third-party logistics solutions for the benefit of any business that moves its products here, there, and everywhere.

The company’s two divisions make a logistics powerhouse that consists of warehouse operations via Hanover Terminal Inc. and trucking solutions via RH Crawford Inc. Combined, both organizations provide over 150 years of industry experience and expertise.

Hanover Logistics’ founding President Kurt Dietrich began his early career in the banking industry and developed a working relationship with the original owners of Hanover Terminal Inc. Dietrich seized the opportunity to buy the company as the original owners were approaching retirement. Hanover Terminal, Inc. was acquired by Dietrich as a 140,000-square-foot building in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Four expansions and forty plus years later, the company now owns over 1.2 million square feet of prime third-party logistics space conveniently located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

As a family-owned business, Hanover Logistics focuses on remaining service-oriented and balanced in its growth. “When we commit to our customers, we commit all the way,” Dietrich says, a philosophy entrenched in the history of the business.

The transportation division of Hanover Logistics, RH Crawford Trucking was founded in 1932. Dietrich purchased RH Crawford Inc. in 2006 from long-time business partner, mentor and friend, Bob Crawford and the Crawford family. It became the in-house trucking carrier for Hanover Terminal and would eventually become half of the Hanover Logistics business model and brand.

The future success of RH Crawford was made possible by hiring key individuals like Wayne Rice, Vice President of Operations, to grow it and form a merger that would benefit both sides of the business. Now, with nearly 100 owned trucks in its fleet and a quarter more owner operators, the complementary sides of the company tie together to make Hanover Logistics the exceptional full-service provider it is today.

The company’s drivers are frequent recipients of Safe Driving Awards, including commendations from the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association for numerous years of safe driving. Hanover Logistics’ leadership team share sentiments of pride while seeing the company’s drivers compete and net industry awards. Rice says, “Skilled and reliable drivers are the lifeblood of the logistics industry. What separates us is our employees. There is not one person in our organization that is more important than the other. It takes each of us working together to be successful.” Hanover Logistics’ trucking division RH Crawford is celebrating its 90th year in business in 2022.

Pride in its people

Hanover Logistics employees are strongly dedicated to both the logistics industry and the company itself. The company attributes its success to tenured team members who have retired after 40-plus years of service in addition to new employees offering valuable insight and perspectives. Warehouse Manager Patty Smith adds, “The leadership of the company often recognizes that the key to success is our team members. They know that without the solid foundation of the hard-working staff, we could not deliver the quality service levels that we do to our customers. This is often a key selling point when speaking with prospective clients.”

Likewise, Hanover Logistics continues to work to make its employees feel heard and valued. When commenting on what makes working for Hanover Logistics unique, many employees state the importance placed on feeling and being treated like family in the atmosphere of a family-owned business. Shelly Mentzer, Accounting Manager, comments that, “Every employee here is a ‘Contributor’ regardless of their position. Our approach is to treat people the way [we] want to be treated.”

Included in that family atmosphere are special opportunities such as being part of Make A Wish Foundation team fundraising events, driving competitions, company picnics, and the infamous Hanover Christmas Party. To meet the needs of its valuable employees, the company also increased available work hours by implementing a third daily shift, an addition that helped employees in need of flexible hours. “The difference is you are not just a number here. Each and every one of us matter,” says Mentzer.

Since its previous feature in Business in Focus in early 2020, the company has enjoyed its share of well-earned recognition within the logistics industry. Since 2008, Hanover Logistics has been designated as a top 3PL (Third Party Logistics) cold storage provider by Food Logistics Magazine.

Beyond the awards and recognition, the company’s charitable efforts are of great importance to the organization. Ongoing commitments to non-profits such as the above mentioned Make-A-Wish Foundation bring the Hanover Logistics team together to serve those in need within the local Hanover and logistics industry communities.

Supply chain woes

Post-pandemic supply chain issues are currently more challenging as companies are struggling to ship from overseas, causing raw material shortages. This has made manufacturing difficult, which contributes to further challenges and delays in production. However, the logistics industry is still seen as very strong amid the ongoing supply chain issues.

The expansion of production lines worldwide, paired with the need to place inventories close to plants and customers, has benefited the warehousing industry. Challenges also exist for the trucking portion of operations as a shortage of experienced drivers and increasing fuel costs persists. It seems that this challenge may be with the industry for a while if wages and employment packages remain as competitive as they are at present. As a small business, Hanover Logistics prides itself on offering attractive benefits like health packages and schedule flexibility, along with the warmth and personal touch that only a family-run business can offer.

In addition to a strong workforce, shifts and upgrades in technology are driving both the warehousing and trucking industries forward. As Hanover Logistics looks to its future, it is investing in improved technology in warehousing and trucking management, especially with new warehouse management systems (WMS). The changes are based on automation – although not limited to that – software-to-management workflows, and billing automation.

For the long haul

Hanover Logistics’ continued expansion is thoughtfully calculated.

The company plans to expand and build on its service shops, enabling it to increase service to truckers who need help and to expand the trailer pool for parking purposes. The company is also reviewing plans to expand its warehousing footprint to help accommodate market demands and customers’ needs. The goal will always be to grow in a methodical manner, while providing the service its clients value and rely upon. Kevin Davis, Director of Operations, remembers owner Kurt Dietrich’s philosophy of keeping one’s debt low and continuing operations through difficult times. This philosophy has encouraged company leadership to focus on sustainability even in downtimes.

Dietrich and Davis agree this is how a business plans wisely, and why it is that Hanover Logistics is confident about the future of its operation. Businesses will always need a tested, reliable partner, and the team at Hanover Logistics is determined to offer its services for the next century and beyond.



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