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Giltner increasing its presence in the Midwest

By
John Groh, publisher

Giltner Inc., a Twin Falls, ID-based provider of transportation and logistics services, is gaining a foothold in the Midwest with plans to open a new terminal there by the end of next year.

Dan Hawkins, vice president of corporate development, said the company recently purchased property in Carthage, MO, and has hired a contractor to begin construction on a facility that will enable Giltner to better serve the important East Coast market.

“It’s an excellent location, right off the highway and comparable our facility in Jerome [Idaho],” said Hawkins. “In addition to a drop yard, we’ll have offices and a shop there as well. In fact, it will be bigger and better than Jerome.”

Mark Durfee, general manager at Giltner Inc., said a key factor in establishing a presence in the area is the availability of drivers in the region.

“This location and the availability of drivers is great for local and regional business,” he said. “Our guys from Idaho can go and deliver a load to Missouri and head back to Idaho, and the local guys can handle the deliveries in the area and further east. The ultimate goal is to have the drivers closer to home, as a quality of life benefit for them.”

Durfee added that Giltner heavily recruits drivers from the East Coast, and this will help that cause and enable it to increase its business there. It will also help with driver retention, which is a perpetual concern for transportation providers.

Francis Hamm, general manager of GLS Carriers, a Giltner company, said the company is looking at 30 percent growth this year, including increasing business with its dedicated customers.

Giltner services various industries, but Hawkins said its largest customers are in produce.

Durfee remarked that produce markets have been extremely volatile lately, citing the recent spike in Romaine prices. As a result, movement has slowed down somewhat, but he said Giltner has not been affected too much since it has solid partnerships with its clients.

“We have great relationships with our produce clients,” he said. “When the markets spike like that, they don’t come to us looking for adjustments in the contract pricing. And likewise, when the transportation market spikes, they know they can count on us to keep the established prices in place. Being greedy is the sure way to cut your own throat.”

With regard to the upcoming IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando, FL, Hamm said it is a great opportunity for Giltner to make new connections.

“The convention gives us a chance to cultivate new relationships,” he said. “For a while, we were concentrating mostly on the asset side of our business, but we are now planning for more growth on the logistics side.”

Durfee added that it seems the recent trend has been to move away from brokers and focus on asset-based transportation providers. “But you really need to keep the broker side of things going because eventually you will need them. So it is wise to keep steady relationships with brokers.”

With so many moving parts in the transportation world, it can be easy to lose sight of what it takes to be successful. But Hawkins said, “It’s not rocket science. Our mantra is to keep it clean and keep it simple. That’s why at Giltner, we are ‘The Better Move.’”

Photo: Dan Hawkins, Mark Durfee and Francis Hamm.

John Groh

John Groh

About John Groh  |  email

John Groh graduated from the University of San Diego in 1989 with a bachelors of arts degree in English. Following a brief stint as a sportswriter covering the New York Giants football team, he joined The Produce News in 1996 as an assistant editor and worked his way up the ranks, becoming publisher in 2006. He and his wife, Mary Anne, live in northern New Jersey in the suburbs of New York City.

 

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