Giltner sees silver lining amid coronavirus pandemic

giltThe current coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges that few could have imagined. In the face of those challenges, Giltner Inc. has found a way to stay the course and continue to provide the high level of service its clients have come to expect.

“We’ve had tough conversations with some of our customers, but they remain committed to working with us because we treat them fairly and continue to provide the outstanding customer service they have come to expect from Giltner,” said Mark Durfee, general manager of Giltner, which is based in Jerome, ID.

Durfee said he is “disappointed” at the predatory selling situation happening now with transportation. “We’re seeing a lot of firms trying to take advantage of the market at the expense of trucking companies,” he said. “But we have a lot of customers staying with us based on our strong existing relationship. They realize that we go to extremes to take care of them.”

Giltner also goes to extremes when it comes to taking care of its own employees and drivers.

“There have been a lot of obstacles over the last three months, but our drivers and employees have done nothing but stay the course and get the job done, and we are extremely proud of them,” said Durfee.

He said the leadership team at Giltner, headed by CEO Greg Paulson, has been dedicated to the safety of all employees.

“We’ve been able to keep everyone on, with most working from home,” said Dan Hawkins, vice president of corporate development at Giltner. “It was a significant investment to get everyone up and running to work remotely, but our top priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

Hawkins also credited Paulson with creating a culture that has resulted in strong camaraderie and good chemistry among the employees.

“Driver turnover is down to 15 percent, and employee turnover is less than 1 percent, so we have a strong and dedicated workforce,” said Hawkins. “We owe that to Greg’s leadership. Without him, we would not be nearly as successful as we are now.”

Durfee said Paulson, Hawkins and he have worked hard to add efficiencies to the business.

“For the past three or four years, we’ve been looking to acquire accounts that are beneficial to retaining miles and reducing dead heads,” said Durfee. “We’ve also flipped a bit and changed some of the lanes we’ve been servicing, but we have more trucks on the road now than before the pandemic struck.

“We had an excellent first quarter, and Q2 is not as bad as we expected,” Durfee continued. “That goes back to treating our customers fairly by not gouging them when the market gets tight. We always honor our contracted rates and provide the best possible customer service. Every day, we look to prove why Giltner is ‘The Better Move’.”

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