Highway Stars

B.S.D. Linehaul
Written by Nate Hendley

Business is booming at B.S.D. Linehaul, Inc., a transport company based in Brampton, Ontario. The company has recently added a slew of new trucks and drivers and is exploring opening a tanker division and a branch in the United States. B.S.D. is also planning to move its headquarters and terminal from Brampton to Milton, Ontario while a second company terminal in Windsor, Ontario will not be affected by this shift. Against this busy backdrop, the team has also been earning transport industry acclaim and high-level certifications.

As a sign of how well things are going, B.S.D. placed a huge order late last year to expand its fleet. “In December, we bought about 40 trailers. Anything that’s five years old, we try to sell it and put new equipment on the road,” explains President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Chandi.

At present, the company has 35 six-axle heavy-haul trailers for large or hefty loads, and roughly 80 tandem trailers, which it leases to own. The six-axle trailers can be converted to four axles via a lift axle setup. The fleet includes vehicles made by Volvo, Peterbilt, Freightliner, and other major manufacturers.

B.S.D.’s heavy-haul and tandem trailers both feature the Roll-Tite system—that is, a rolling tarpaulin that can quickly cover the open deck trailer to protect goods from bad weather or rough road conditions. The tarp can also be quickly uncovered so goods can be unloaded. Tandem trailers also have two sets of side-by-side axles for extra support and stability.

As for relocating the Brampton headquarters and terminal, “We will move the whole location to Milton,” Chandi says. “It was too crowded in Brampton.” Milton is smaller than Brampton and further from Toronto, a huge city with notorious traffic gridlock. The move will shorten drivers’ commute time to work and make it easier for the company to access certain clients. The new facility should be open in the middle of this year.

B.S.D. Linehaul can haul everything from bricks and generators to steel beams, building equipment, produce, and more. Steel and aluminum coil is one of the main wares hauled, with specially equipped trailers to secure these products. Many of these coils originate at facilities run by the ArcelorMittal Dofasco company in Hamilton, Ontario and are then shipped to different locations in the U.S., says Chandi.

The company hauls freight across Canada, the United States, and Mexico, not focusing on any particular region within North America but rather traveling to whatever destination the customer requests. The company is looking to enhance its ability to serve existing markets by opening a new branch in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Strategically located in the Midwest, Indianapolis “is central for where we ship,” says Chandi, who hopes to have the Indiana operation up and running sometime this year.

B.S.D. Linehaul was founded in 2000, by his cousin Baldev Singh Dhot whose initials form the first part of the company name; Chandi was a silent partner in the early days. At first, the company’s business model was based around dry van work—using fully enclosed semi-trailers to haul pallets, loose freight, or boxes. The dry van period did not last for long, however.

“We thought there was too much competition and not enough money, so we started looking at flatbeds, and shifted to flatbed trailers,” Chandi recalls. Along the way, the company was incorporated in 2012 and continued to grow. Dhot decided to retire last year, and in November 2023, Chandi purchased the firm from him. Chandi runs another company called Westlake Transportation Group, which is also based in Brampton and offers logistics and transport services.

Vehicles in the fleet are fitted with advanced software and electronics to improve productivity, efficiency, communications, and safety. The company uses Omnitracs cloud-based fleet management software for logbook monitoring and truck tracing, the Samsara fleet tracking system with cameras and live GPS for tracing and routing, and Fleet Manager software for dispatch duties. These solutions make it easier for the head office to track trucks on the road, ensure that drivers are working within given parameters, and keep on top of scheduled maintenance. In turn, these solutions allow drivers to log information electronically and keep better track of their location and vehicle performance metrics. These same technological tools allow customers to track their shipments.

With its drivers and staff combined, B.S.D. has approximately 180 employees, a huge leap from this time last year when total personnel numbered around 120. The two factors fueling this growth are customer service and employee relations, says Chandi. “We don’t take a lot of customers. We stick with the ones we have and service them,” he states.

Naturally, hiring top-notch drivers is key to maintaining good customer service. If someone wants a job as a driver, B.S.D. carefully scrutinizes their background, taking a look at relevant work experience and their driving record. In addition to checking to see if a driver has accrued any tickets or penalties for speeding or accidents, the company is interested in their behaviour behind the wheel, taking prospective drivers out for a road test.

“We want to see how they perform on the road. How do they treat the equipment? Are they rough on the equipment or are they going to look after it?” says Chandi.

Once a driver is hired, B.S.D. works hard to keep them safe on the road. Drivers are well-trained and well looked after, and encouraged to transport freight in an efficient but safe manner. “We tell the drivers to take it easy, have some distance between the trucks, and if it’s bad weather, just park and go to sleep,” he says.

This mindful approach to hiring is part and parcel of the company’s commitment to quality and service, as demonstrated by its certifications including ISO 9001, SmartWay, C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism), FAST (Free and Secure Trade), and CSA (Customs Self Assessment). These programs streamline cross-border movement for low-risk shipments.

And the industry is taking note of B.S.D.’s skills; the company was named a Top Fleet Employer by Trucking Human Resources Canada in both 2022 and 2023. Based in Ottawa, Trucking HR Canada rates companies on a variety of aspects. “We worked very hard for it,” says Chandi of these back-to-back honours.

Despite these achievements, the company has not forgotten its roots. B.S.D. actively supports charitable initiatives such as toy drives and community organizations such as the Brampton Toronto Kabaddi Club (Kabaddi is a team sport that originated in India) and the Asees Foundation, an Ontario group that supports young people and families through sports, healthy living, mentoring, and other means. “We are happy to help the community,” says Chandi.

Interestingly enough, the surging growth B.S.D. has been experiencing is not the result of an aggressive marketing campaign or flashy promotion. It has a branded fleet, with the company logo on its trucks and trailers—as does Westlake—but other than this display, does minimal marketing. “I don’t really advertise anything,” Chandi admits.

This does not appear to be a problem, given B.S.D.’s upward momentum, which Chandi is eager to maintain. To this end, discussions are underway about adding a new tanker division. The company is researching the feasibility of such a move and has not settled on what the tankers might transport and when this division might be established. The goal, as always, is to “generate revenue and make some profit while keeping drivers safe at the same time,” he says.

And there is another big plan in the works for this far-reaching firm. At some point during the next four to five years, Chandi hopes to take it public. Asked if offering shares of the business on the stock exchange would help grow the company, he offers a confident reply: “Well, definitely,” says the CEO of one of Canada’s fastest-rising transport companies.



From Here to There

Read Our Current Issue


Peace of Mind

March 2024

Making the Smart Grid Smarter

February 2024

Inclusive Workplaces

December 2023

More Past Editions

Cover Story

Featured Articles