At Trinity Logistics, coming up with freight solutions is like a giant, unending game of Tetris: Brokers size up countless configurations of loads then look for the best rides, routes and rules to move shipments across the country and around the world quickly and economically. Trinity’s ability to come up with the winning combination over and over has made it a serious contender in the third party logistics industry.
Building a reputation
Trinity started 35 years ago as a refrigerated freight brokerage with just three employees, and has grown to become one of the top 25 largest third-party logistics providers in the country based on volume, with 250 employees, six regional service centers around the U.S. and 90 agent offices. The company’s transition from freight brokerage to full-service logistics solutions provider has included significant investment in the development of a web-based transportation management system, the launch of an inter-modal division to provide customers with alternatives to over-the-road services and lighter-than-truck (LTL) service for smaller loads, and the introduction of complex warehouse solutions.
This growth is culminating in a banner year for the company. At a time when rising costs and tighter regulations are putting the squeeze on the logistics and transportation industries, Trinity has landed some of its largest customers yet and is moving around 1,000 shipments of freight daily, says Jeff Banning, Trinity’s CEO and president, who credits his team with the lion’s share of the success.
“We’ve got one of the best reputations in the industry,” he notes. “When carriers see Trinity on the loadboard, we are at the top of the list.” Trinity team members undergo a rigorous selection and training process to contribute to a company that promotes a relationship-driven culture, Banning explains. “We are relationship-driven with both our team members and our customers, which is how we’ve been able to hang onto both for a very long time.”
The company also practices “servant leadership,” where executives are charged with providing team members with what they need from the bottom up, Banning says. “We surround ourselves with the right people and work hard to serve their needs, which has created an amazing culture and allowed us to thrive in a difficult industry,” he explains.
These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Trinity has been voted among the best places to work in Delaware for the past several years, taking top honors in the last year that awards were given. “We believe in behaving ethically and treating people fairly,” Banning says. The company also operates offices in five other states, and works with a network of 80 agent offices that provide subcontracted brokerage services.
3PL around the country and the world
Together, the offices and agents provide a complete line of third-party logistics (3PL) to manufacturers around the country and internationally. Trinity’s freight shipping services include truckload, LTL, inter-modal and international, and the company is able to provide customized arrangements for hazardous materials, wide loads, heavy haul and other specialty freight needs. The company has ranked among the top 100 3PL and cold storage by Food Logistics Magazine for the past two years.
Trinity’s technology solutions provide a variety of IT applications for logistics management. The company’s transportation management software provides customers with web-based integration of the whole supply chain, while its warehouse management software provides the ability to control inventory with real-time tracking. Manufacturers can use Trinity’s manufacturing resource planning system, a cloud-based solution for controlling resources, production schedules and product delivery. Trinity also offers free freight management software for lighter-than-load pricing, selection and tracking.
The company also offers logistics consulting to help customers optimize the supply chain and integrate IT, as well as logistics services such as warehousing, on-site freight management, freight payment and audits. “Our customers drive new innovation here at Trinity,” Banning says. “We ask them to tell us about their challenges, and then work with them to find the best solutions, which has led to many of our newer business channels, such as complex warehouse management.”
The Delaware Advantage
“Delaware’s tax structure gives us an advantage when recruiting new employees.”
With 160 employees at its corporate headquarters in Seaford, Trinity is one of Southern Delaware’s largest employers. “Delaware’s tax structure gives us an advantage when recruiting new employees,” explains Banning, noting that the costs of doing business are competitive and employees are attracted by the lower cost of living and quality of life.
Trinity also leverages its proximity to Delaware’s Port of Wilmington. Its subsidiary Trinity Port Services operates a 14,000 square foot customs-bonded facility, while another subsidiary, Trinity Distribution Services, has some 25 trucks that frequently provide service at the deepwater port. “All of our drivers are TWIC compliant, which means they have the government-issued ID needed to enter any U.S. port, maritime facility or ship,” Banning says.
Trinity Logistics is also a committed member of the local community, Banning notes. The company formed the Trinity Foundation in 2005, a nonprofit organization to support local and national causes, including the military, youth and battling hunger. The foundation organizes fundraising events that range from golf, volleyball and fishing tournaments to a recent “Touch-a-Truck” event to raise money and awareness for a local anti-bullying initiative. “Our team members drive these efforts,” Banning says. “They know the foundation is theirs to use to give back to the community, and they work together to select causes and plan events.” It’s just one more example, he says, of the unique and powerful culture of service and cooperation that has made the company so successful.
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