Trinity Transport

There are many reasons that lead to a company’s longevity, and for Trinity Transport, its employees

are the company’s driving force. Celebrating its 30th anniversary

this year, Vice President of Agent Division Billy Banning credits the firm’s success to his father’s vision.

“Ed Banning laid out the foundation for a company that believed in and is empowered by its people,” Billy Banning says.

“That is the main reason why we are here today. People have always been our most valuable asset.”

With a staff of more than 200 employees and agents, Trinity’s focus on its team members sets it apart in the industry. “We are and always have been a culture-driven organization,” Banning states. “We strive to be the company that puts people first. Because we sell a service rather than a product, our em­ployees and their commitment to service distinguish Trinity from the competition. We can’t go out and tweak assembly lines when a product needs improvement.  Instead, Trinity invests in our people through training and motivation to provide the best output possible – quality service.”

Trinity targets a diverse customer base, but it primarily serves the food, produce, retail, metals and plastics industries. Although one division of the company operates 30 trucks along the eastern seaboard, the majority of its business is third-party logistics. Handling approximately 600 shipments a day can be daunting to some companies, but Trinity believes it is the caliber of their team that allows the firm to stay competitive.

“This industry is very fast paced and competitive,” Banning notes. “We move over six hundred shipments a day, everyday. Its challenging nature makes it even more important for us to create a culture of appreciation and service within the company and for our customers. >  This business model is based on em­ployee empowerment and a servant leadership philosophy. We put a lot of emphasis on removing obstacles in the path of a team member’s success in order to equip them for greatness. As leaders, we put the needs of others first. In the old leadership pyramid diagram, it wrongly shows leadership from the top down. What we do at Trinity is invert it, and lead from the bottom up.  We realize that to be first, we must put others first. Servant leaders don’t like titles or worry about their position or power.  These leaders push power out of the front office into the organization, checking their egos at the door.”

Establishing relationships is important, too. “We realize everyday that our industry is saturated with competitors, so it’s crucial that our team members represent someone clients can rely on,” Banning continues. “Our success is built on becoming an ally for the customer in the battle against rising freight costs and reduced capacity, finding efficiencies where possible.”

Prepared for the Future

Trinity’s industry experience helps the company adapt to market challenges. Preparation is key, Banning notes. For example, the increase in small- to medium-sized carrier bankruptcies has affected many logistics companies, and Banning expects this to continue in 2009. Trinity, however, remains calm and focused on the road ahead.

“What it means for us and for other shippers and manufacturers is that there are fewer viable trucking companies to move product,” Banning says. “If the economy turns in 2010, the shippers may find themselves with a capacity shortage due to the number of carriers closing their doors in the last year or so.

“But, we are preparing for it. We have always been diligent about keeping our carrier partners and vendors happy by treating them with the same respect, sense of urgency and loyalty given to customers.”

On-time payment is important, Trinity says. “Cash flow is the grease in the wheel,” Banning states. “We make sure everyone is paid on time and mostly ahead of time.”

Adapting to Changes

Because supply and demand has always been a major player in the trucking industry, Trinity found itself going to the negotiating table more often than what it is used to, Banning notes. “The freight market is ex­tremely soft right now,” he says. “We’ve seen more requests for pricing bids in the past few months than we’ve seen in the past couple of years combined. Cost cutting and cost savings are in the forefront of every American company right now – there is more weight on price today than ever before.”

However, for Trinity, putting its clients’ needs first is more important than the bottom line. “We have to keep in mind that we are here to streamline our customers’ shipping needs,” Banning continues. “The market dictates the way we do business, but sometimes we have to go out with seasonal price incentives and rebates if needed. Right now, with the economy the way it is, that is the name of the game.”

Diversification is Key

To better improve its services, Trinity started a logistics and transportation division in summer 2008.

“This team specializes in high level-contractual – not transactional – work with our shippers to help them create efficiencies in routing, carrier selection and inventory management,” Banning says.

Trinity also offers a robust transportation management software package that can help create significant efficiencies and tangible cost savings for its customers.

This is done by optimizing shipments by consolidating multiple shipments into a single load, creating continuous moves, and/or choosing alternative modes of transport.  Clients of this TMS service enjoy complete software customization and freight visibility across their company.  “Automation features in the software allow time savings, and our staff is fully trained on the software so that our clients don’t have to be, adding even more savings to the bottom line,” Banning says.

“We try to diversify ourselves and our service offerings to ensure we meet our customers’ needs,” Banning states. “We also offer competitive pricing and service in the areas of intermodal, air freight and international shipping.”

Culture Driven

Maintaining its diversification is an ongoing plan for Trinity. “As a company, our strategic plan is built around maintaining a healthy and compounded growth and to continue to diversify our service offerings to our customers,” Banning stresses. “We want to continue being a leader in our industry, and we intend to do that by always supporting our team based culture within the company.”

The company’s business model

is definitely working, as Trinity Transport has ranked in the top 25 top freight brokers in the nation by volume since 2003 by Transport Topics magazine.

Investing in technology is also part of Trinity’s business plan. “None of our peers can afford to fall behind in terms of technology,” Banning states.“We recently upgraded our hybrid in-house system to a more stable platform for our internal operating system. That has given us more capabilities in regard to communicating with customers, linking and interfacing with other customers’ systems, providing them with electronic up­dates, and electronic billing and pay­ment services.”

Banning says Trinity will remain successful, thanks to its relationships with people. “We view relationships as a marathon, not a sprint,” he says. “We’re always looking out for the long-term – we never make the mistake of jeopardizing a long-term relationship for a short-term win.”

Corporate Head Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK

Click here for a full list of contacts.

North American Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611

Click here for a full list of contacts.

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