At this time of year, it is important to look back and be thankful for where we have been and also for where we are going. We here at ProTrans have much to be thankful for. From our founding, we have been blessed with strong, entrepreneurial leadership and a drive for quality and customer service. Each of us takes that same spirit into work each day and will continue that tradition going forward. Take a look at the past twenty-six years and see how hard work and determination have created the blessings we have today.
From the Start
ProTrans’s history began with our founder, Craig Roeder. In 1993, he formed this company with determination and a simple idea: offer quality customer service and savings. At the time, Craig was working for a logistics company when he expressed to them the idea of consolidating partial truckloads onto a single tractor trailer and only charge customers for the space they used. This would save both the company and the customer money. That company was not interested as they saw consolidated shipping as a niche market.
So, Craig seized an opportunity and founded ProTrans. This company would not just be another trucking company, but a logistics management company specializing in consolidated freight service from the Midwest to El Paso.
Then, he had the daunting task of convincing partner carriers, employees, and customers to believe in him. He started small – operating out of a trailer – and put his years of logistics knowledge and his networking skills to the test. Eventually, he succeeded with all three.
In the beginning, Craig saw to the all the details himself. “We only did weekend lanes, meaning we picked up materials on Thursday for a Monday delivery.” Craig himself would drive from Indianapolis to Chicago every Friday to load up a trailer. Often, he would travel to El Paso to make sure the shipments arrived.
Growing the Business
Things took off quickly for ProTrans. In the beginning of 1994, we onboarded a large customer and increased our output from two consolidated truckloads per week to two full truckloads per day. With this rapid customer growth came the need to expand the company. Craig began hiring and training staff at various centers across the country. Young talent and experienced veterans alike were attracted to Craig’s sales skills and the promise of a unique employment opportunity.
Over the next few years, Craig’s incredible business acumen brought additional business to ProTrans. More facilities were built along the US/Mexican border to meet customer demand. Also, we broadened our scope to include full truckload service as well as consolidation. This gave us an opportunity to save our customers money and create a competitive advantage.
After seeing this incredible growth, it was apparent we needed a new management system to help monitor and control these shipments. In 1997, ProTrack was born. ProTrack was a sophisticated TMS created by our in-house IT department and was made to meet our needs. Being in-house, we customized the code to coordinate and track individual shipments – giving us and our customers superior visibility.
For the next decade, ProTrans continued to grow and thrive. In 1999, ProTrans became ProTrans International with a move into Mexico. We also achieved the ISO certification for quality standards. In 2006, ProTrans began to offer 3PL services and in 2007, received its CTPAT certification. Even with these accolades, we still saw the opportunity to grow and improve.
In 2012, ProTrans offered a new, better way of connecting to our carriers, customers, and shippers – Optimiz TMS. This system is a multi-tier, multi-functional, communication and processing hub for each segment of the supply chain to meet and schedule loads. It offers custom configuration, real-time data, EDI, as well as track and trace capabilities – keeping each supply chain member in the loop. This technology gives us the opportunity to offer visibility and flexibility to our customers, which allows them to make the best decisions possible for their companies.
Over the next few years, ProTrans continued to expand. We began opening high-velocity centers in Laredo, TX; Greer, SC; and San Luis Potosi, MX. Each change offering our customers more value and greater savings opportunities.
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Currently, our greatest change to date, has been our owner and founder, Craig Roeder, stepping down from his post as CEO in January of 2019. At that time, Gary Cardenas was appointed to CEO. Gary began his career with ProTrans in 1996, quickly becoming Director of Sales then Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Today, Gary has over thirty years of experience in supply chain solutions, operating environments, continuous improvement, and quality-based problem solving.
Along with our corporate growth, we like to focus on responsibility. Primarily we drive our responsibility through both employee and corporate led giving and sustainability initiatives. Each year we have dozens of corporate giving initiatives to local and international groups. We focus on disaster relief, blood drives, school drives, holiday present drives, and more. As for sustainability, we are SmartWay certified and we drive energy savings, air quality, vegetation preservation, and waste management in all our facilities.
Where Are We Heading
ProTrans has a bright future ahead of it. We are drawing from the ingenuity and determination of the past and looking forward to continuing to grow and expand our opportunities each day. We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our customers and strengthen our partnerships within the industry. Looking ahead, we will continue to offer the best customer service through our conviction to our purpose, trust in one another, detail in our performance, and constant innovation.
We have been truly blessed to be founded and led with an entrepreneurial spirit. We have been guided these many years with an eye for growth and opportunity, the flexibility for change and innovation, and a heart for others. This year, we can gratefully reflect on the obstacles we have overcome and the blessings we have received. We can also anticipate the promise of our bright future.
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