FST – Making Services Happen For Their Customers
By Steve Pollock
COLUMBUS, OH… Did you ever wonder when you went to the grocery store how all the different products are shipped to the store? It wouldn’t be cost effective to have truck after truck delivering a pallet or two shipped directly from the manufacturer. Nor would it be practical to send a single truck to load at each manufacturer and then deliver back to the grocery store. The process used by the grocery industry, as well as many other retailers, is a complex logistical blend of transportation and warehousing that melds truckload and LTL loads into dry freight, refrigerated and frozen freight loads for delivery. With modern technology, some temperature controlled loads requiring different temperatures can now even be loaded onto the same trailer. This process is called pool distribution and is logistics at their finest. Product is transported to centralized temperature controlled warehouses, where it is break-bulked then cross-docked and reloaded for delivery to your neighborhood grocery store. These loads are delivered as truckload or LTL freight depending upon individual circumstance.
FST Logistics of Columbus, Ohio has spent 20 years growing and developing a distribution system for their customers. The result is impeccable, flexible and accurate warehousing for food grade products. So exacting, in fact, that FST has earned a 99.9999% accuracy rating for their shipments.
FST began in Columbus, Ohio in 1991 as Franklin Specialty Transport. The company had 11 employees and found a niche as an asset based carrier, providing temperature controlled LTL freight moves. In 1993 FST Express was added as an interstate truckload division. By 1997 FST had grown to 65 employees, adding a brokerage division to allow seamless freight moves from coast to coast. At this time an intrastate division was also started, serving Ohio with truckload and LTL freight. A year later (1998), FST acquired Ancon, Inc.; a Columbus based public warehousing company serving the food industry. FST was now able to offer their customers full logistical support for their dry and temperature controlled freight as well as warehousing. The company was now on a fast track of growth and expanded to over 130 employees.
Today FST Logistics employees over 200 people. The company specializes in the on-time delivery of food and beverages in addition to temperature controlled perishables and a variety of dry freight, including pharmaceuticals and fundraising products. As a 3PL (third party logistics) provider, FST offers 48 state transportation logistics service to their customers. FST now offers LTL pickup for customers within a 500 mile radius of Columbus, Ohio. The company also provides frozen truckload and LTL service and warehousing within Ohio, with plans to expand frozen service nationwide in the future. FST customers make a single phone call and as a 3PL provider, FST does the rest. Any freight that FST can’t handle is brokered to a pool of over 300 partner carriers that consist of small to large fleets. By using radio frequency scanning to track their freight, FST has been able to maintain nearly 100% accuracy on their shipments. These systems have earned FST Logistics a spot among the top 70 3PL providers in the nation. Today FST Logistics’ range of services include transportation and warehousing, LTL and truckload, dry freight and temperature controlled, brokerage, expedited, and HAZMAT.
FST Logistics is currently leasing owner-operators and has a few company driver positions available as well. Freight moves for the most part are centralized from Columbus, Ohio as well throughout the company’s primary operating area which include all states east of the Mississippi, as well Secondary freight lanes west of the Mississippi. Since FST provides supply chain distribution for hundreds if not thousands of products, including pharmaceuticals, it is necessary for drivers to have a HAZMAT endorsement on their CDL. If you don’t have an endorsement, the company will help you acquire it and will pay up to $100 towards fingerprinting.
FST contractors and drivers are kept loaded and moving all the time. The company is leasing/hiring in a wide number of areas east of the Mississippi. To enhance efficiency and flexibility contractors are encouraged to lease without a trailer. The company operates a fleet of well-maintained, late model trailers – both dry vans and CARB compliant reefer units. FST contractors have earning potentials from 125k to 175k per year, with the ability to earn up to $1,600 per year in safety and performance bonuses. The company has a base plate program and handles fuel tax reporting and payments as well. Owner-operators must have 2 years of experience, a Class “A” CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, a strong work ethic and a good driving record.
FST Logistics is also a good corporate citizen. The company is an EPA SmartWay certified carrier and also holds fundraisers to collect money and food for local charities. FST also hosts driver cookouts and sponsored a family outing at the Columbus Zoo last year for their employees and contractors.
You can learn more about FST Logistics by logging onto www.fstlogistics.com or by calling 800-758-4599, ext. 1540. Visit them at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Booth #72137 in the Pavilion.