Established in 1976 with just two trucks, Jetco Delivery has grown into one of the Gulf Coast’s top diversified carriers with more than 100 trucks and 250 trailers. “We have a very diverse customer base including manufacturers, distributors and freight forwarders,” President Brian Fielkow says. Jetco Delivery operates four divisions: an intermodal containerized business in the Houston region, flatbed and heavy haul service, less-than-truckload service and freight brokerage.
Fielkow purchased the business in 2006 from Mauris and Russell Mattern, who still remain a part of the Jetco Delivery team. Since that time, the company has grown six-fold. “We’ve grown the company tremendously,” Fielkow says. “We have done it focused on three areas: our people, fleet and technology.”
People, Fleet and Technology
On the personnel front, Jetco Delivery “empowers our people,” Fielkow says. “We make sure safety is a non-negotiable core value. We look out for our people and the safety of the public above all else.”
Jetco’s safety conscious approach has fueled the company’s business success. “Our customers are more and more concerned about carriers’ insurance and safety record,” Fielkow says. “So that is our core strategy.” Drivers can rest at any time, and efforts by sales or customer service employees to rush them are not tolerated, he says.
Jetco’s fleet includes a mix of owner/operators and company trucks. “We have a very disciplined fleet rotation program,” Fielkow says. Operating new equipment allows for better customer and driver experiences. It is also better for the environment. “New equipment has much less of an environmental impact,” he says.
Jetco trucks are no older than 2007-08 models with most trucks from 2010, 2011 or 2012. The average truck is about four years old. “It is our brand and we want to show up in clean, well-maintained trucks,” Fielkow says. “When we are hired, we become an extension of the customer and we represent our customers well with clean equipment and professional drivers. We don’t sell trucking. We sell peace of mind. Our customers can trust us to handle their loads and handle them right.”
Jetco also leverages new technology for success. “We were one of the first regional carriers to implement GPS in 2008,” Fielkow says. “Some are still reluctant to take the leap. But GPS saves us countless dollars in efficiency. I always know where that truck is down to a blade of grass.”
Fielkow says GPS has added a great deal of efficiency compared to manual logs – so it is well worth its cost. In fact, he favors legislation that would make GPS mandatory on all trucks “to create a level playing field. This way, there are no hours-of-service issues. I just don’t understand the objection to GPS,” he says.
Driving To Perfection
By carefully managing people, equipment and technology, Fielkow has increased Jetco’s success, and he also shares his tips with others.
He penned the book Driving to Perfection: Achieving Business Excellence by Creating a Vibrant Company Culture, and frequently speaks at seminars and interactive corporate conferences across the country.
At his speaking and consulting engagements, Fielkow shares best practices. “One of the main things I talk about are the three Ts: trust, treatment and transparency,” he says.
Fielkow says he has learned that many employees leave their jobs for lateral positions with no pay increases at rival local companies because they don’t trust management or because they feel they have been mistreated. “How you treat people is key,” he says. “It is more important than anything else.”