Press Room

Two Veterans of the Trucking Industry with 55 years experience Start new Trucking Company


October 14, 2004

Two area consulting firms have merged their experience to create Smith Transport & Logistics, Inc. (STL). The Company is a full service freight carrier and brokerage company providing nationwide coverage. They are currently creating, upgrading and expanding its fleet aggressively. Plans include the hiring of 40-50 owner operators with late model equipment with any kind of trailer. The make up of the operation will be 40% climate-controlled, 30% dry van and 30% flatbed, drop deck and lowboy freight. Drivers and support staff will be hired from the Gainesville area to fill equipment, management and clerical needs.

Billy P. Smith, President of Smith Consulting Group in Marietta, GA, and owner of Commercial Driver Placement in Albany, GA., announced this week that he has secured and will invest a $7.7 Million financial package to start the operation. He will serve as the President and CEO of the newly formed company. Billy P. Smith has been in the industry for 35 years. This is not the first time he has started such a company. He formed CC&S Transportation, Inc. in Augusta, GA in 1980 and served as President. CC&S Transportation was a 33 truck operation with 50 employees. He sold his interest in early 1991. “I’m looking forward to returning to the fast paced environment of the trucking industry,” the president said.

"The transportation sector has improved significantly during the last half of 2003. The need for more trucks to move freight is at an all time high and the future is looking strong for new development," said Russell Smith, with Smith & Associates in Gainesville, GA.

Russell Smith will act as the financial arm of STL as the CFO. He brings 25 years experience to the team. He will also head up a newly formed factoring and finance division of STL as a subsidiary. “This will enable the company to make immediate payments to all its contractors. They will be paid on a weekly basis,” he said. STL will have its own funding department to meet payroll needs weekly without having to wait for payment from the shippers in order to pay the contractors. “As operations develop and ramp up to projections, we expect to have a $125,000 to $150,000 weekly payroll for the area,” the CFO commented.

"We are one of the first companies to offer such a full service package for the owner operator," said the president, who noted that they will cater to the trucker providing, dispatch of loads to and from the Metro Atlanta area. In addition to weekly pay, STL will offer its contractors payroll services, accounting services, fuel tax accounting, licensing and permitting services, and group insurance programs.
STL is ahead of the curve with available loads. Two of the largest producers and distributors of climate controlled freight have welcomed STL to their approved carrier list. At present, STL has commitments from area frozen food shippers of about 180 out bound loads per week. The carpet industry in Dalton has committed 100 loads per week to the company.

“We secured these accounts in our planning stages, long before we even completed our financial package and opened the doors for business,” said Russell Smith. “With this kind of reception to and commitment from shippers, our challenge is going to be securing enough equipment quickly enough to cover the freight already available to us,” Billy P. Smith added.

What puts STL above other companies is that the existing client base has committed inbound freight from other parts of the country such as West Virginia, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Chicago, Cleveland, Seattle and Buffalo. The president added, “this is usually the hardest part of the puzzle; but securing return freight to get our truckers back home has become very easy for us.”

"We're extremely grateful for the teamwork and cooperation exhibited between Smith Consulting Group, Smith & Associates and our financial team for helping put this generous financial package together,” commented Billy P. Smith. Every trucker in the area will find it easy to do business with us,” he continued. As truckers ourselves, we know the business and know what it takes to make money in this business. We plan to make it easier for the area truckers to make money and most importantly—get paid promptly.

The Smiths moved quickly to take advantage of market changes and respond to shipper and trucker needs. The trucking industry has been through difficult times since 1999. Many trucking firms have gone out of business. But there have been many survivors. Smith Transport and Logistics saw a turnaround in the industry beginning last May and will fill the need with their new concept of dealing with both shippers and truckers. “To us, they are both our customers and it’s our job to do what it takes to keep them both happy—profitability and cash flow.”

"We decided to invest in this project, being confident about our business plan and strategies. We put our money where our mouth is so we leveraged our position with the right opportunity."

STL will be ramping up as quickly as possible to about 50 employees. This will include truck drivers, office staff, customer service staff and dispatchers. There will also be the need for terminal managers and office managers. Plans include expansion to include terminals in Dallas, Texas, Chicago and a yet to be determined location on the east coast, perhaps in Virginia. This expansion will likely not take place for at least 2 or 3 years, but is definitely in the works; the outlook is bright.” said the CFO.

"STL’s revenues for the first 12 months of operation, based on current commitments from area shippers, are projected to be in excess of $1,100,000, the president said. "We expect the industry to remain strong throughout the rest of the year, and through 2005, as the economy continues to improve and the demand for trucks to haul freight strengthens."

“Within five years we expect gross sales for STL to grow to more than $12 Million a year,” commented the CFO. “STL will remain committed to being the best transportation company, dedicated to working for the trucker and shipper alike.”

"We will continue to reinvest in our people and technology to maintain a competitive advantage," said the president.

Officials said another factor supporting the operation is that Billy P. Smith has warehouses in South Georgia and Russell Smith owns warehouses in North Georgia. These properties will afford the business to expand its operations to cover the entire state of Georgia without having to acquire additional assets. Nationwide dispatch will remain within the Gainesville, GA area for the operation.

Officials of the company have advised that there will be an organizational meeting, or mini job fair, on Saturday morning, October 23 at 10:00 AM at the Best Western Lanier Center in Gainesville, GA. It’s located at the corner of Jessie Jewell and E. E. Butler Parkway, across from the Wachovia Bank Center. “The meeting is primarily for owner operators, wanting to learn first hand about our opportunities. Others are invited to attend, as we will be happy to discuss other employment needs of the company,” said Billy P. Smith.

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