There are a few reasons why Mile Hi Foods Co. has been in business since 1946, and why it has been a supplier to McDonald’s since the first one opened in Denver in 1956. President Tony Taddonio says the keys to the company’s success for the past half-century and more are simple but sound. “I think we’re more service-oriented, we strive for continuous improvement and because it’s a family business, it’s ours,” Taddonio says.

The company’s original purpose was to supply fresh produce to restaurants throughout Denver, but the company’s evolution kicked into high gear when it started its partnership with McDonald’s. At first, Mile Hi Foods was delivering potatoes to a single McDonald’s location, but in time the chain was asking Mile Hi Foods to deliver more products to more locations. Today, Mile Hi Foods services more than 360 McDonald’s restaurants in the Rockies and Midwest. The company also opened a manufacturing division – Mile Hi Bakery – in 1985 to produce all of the buns used by McDonald’s in the Rocky Mountain region.

If there is anything that people want in a logistics company, it is reliability. The Weatherford, Texas-based Hearn Trucking LLC embodies that very trait for its oil and gas clients.

“[We are] positioned to provide safe and dependable service in the most active gas production areas and [are] centrally located for over-the-road transportation,” it says.

Its president, Jack Hearn Jr., represents the third generation of his family to take part in the trucking industry. Initially, he began with a single truck in 1987 and has since grown the company with new equipment based on Peterbilt power and multiple trailer types, the company says.

Source One Transportation is in the unique predicament of serving a growing industry with not enough employees to go around. The fuel transportation company’s area of operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia is right in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.  As shale production continues to increase, the driver pool continues to decrease while Source One’s fleet size increases—70 trucks and counting.

“The demographics are telling us that the driver pool is decreasing,” Vice President Jeff Davis says. “So come 2014, whoever has the drivers will have the freight.”

For more than 30 years, Great Plains Trucking has been one of the most reliable and trusted flatbed trucking companies in North America, serving customers in its home region of the Midwest and beyond. President Brett Weis says there are many reasons why the company has become the success story it has, not the least of which is its overwhelming commitment to customer service. In a highly competitive marketplace, Great Plains Trucking has more than enough on its side to stand out among the crowd, he says.

As the exclusive rail provider to many of South Florida’s ports, Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway is the only rail system that can offer service along the eastern coastline of Florida. “FEC provides end-to-end intermodal solutions to customers that demand more cost-effective options without compromising service quality,” says Jim Hertwig, who has served as president and CEO of FEC since July 2010 and boasts 40 years of freight transportation experience. “The scheduled railroad service combines on-time performance with cost-competitive rates. In addition to rail, FEC Highway Services provides drayage operations allowing truck-like service to the markets it serves.”

LTL carriers that can truly call themselves Midwest operators are getting harder to find these days. Many companies that claim to serve the Midwest either focus on only one or two states, or they’re nationwide conglomerates whose routes include only the largest metropolises in the region.

Dohrn Transfer Co. is as Midwest as it gets, though. Based in Rock Island, Ill. – a town just south of Davenport, Iowa, across the Mississippi River – the Dohrn family has built its LTL and budding logistics business into a legitimate Midwest carrier. Dohrn serves small rural towns throughout Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, as well as parts of Minnesota, Kansas and South Dakota.

Glen Merkel got his start with Davis Cartage Co. in 1980 straight out of college. He began as a cost accountant and eventually moved into operations, became a vice president and is now president of the company and the major shareholder. Just as Merkel adapted and took on different roles throughout the business, Davis Cartage also has been successful at adapting to the needs of the market throughout its history, which dates back to the 1930s.

Founded in 1971, CRH Transportation has grown from a one-truck operation into a comprehensive Midwest transportation company thanks to its commitment to providing the highest level of service. Today, the company has more than 120 drivers delivering everything from fine paper and office supplies to solvents and paints safely, on-time and cost effectively.

“The company got its start 40 years ago delivering paper to printing companies,” President Gary Mantei says. Mantei bought the company eight years ago, having been with CRH Transportation for 30 years, starting as a driver.

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