ORLANDO, Florida—Three companies were honored for their stellar transportation systems during the annual FleetOwner 500 Private Fleet of the Year awards ceremony during the National Private Truck Council's NPTC 2023 conference on Tuesday.
FleetOwner, along with award sponsor Isaac Instruments, presented this year's awards to transportation executives from CRH Americas/Oldcastle Infrastructure, AutoZone, and Standard Logistics during a luncheon at the Orange County Convention Center. Construction and infrastructure fleet CRH was named the 2023 FleetOwner 500 Private Fleet of the Year.
"Isaac is pleased to once again be the exclusive sponsor of the FleetOwner Private Fleet of the Year awards," said Jacques DeLarochelliere, co-founder and CEO of Isaac. "Our mission at Isaac is to simplify trucking, and these honorees are some of the safest, most innovative, and most forward-thinking fleets operating today."
Private Fleet of the Year: CRH Americas
CRH Americas, which ranks No. 14 on the 2023 FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets, was named the overall 2023 winner by FleetOwner editors. "CRH is the leading provider of building materials solutions that build, connect, and improve our world," according to Randy Maddox, CRH's mobile equipment category manager, who accepted the award on behalf of his team.
"In everything we do, people are our priority," he told FleetOwner. "Our safety-first approach is paramount for our drivers, including third-party drivers that pick up from and deliver to our sites, as well as all employees, our customers, delivery site personnel, and the general public.
"We also pride ourselves in the unmatched level of customer service our team provides and their ability to build enduring relationships," he continued. "We know the No. 1 metric year after year that reveals the reason people choose a private fleet is the differentiating level of customer service it provides, and we believe in providing the highest levels of customer service."
Private Fleet of the Year finalist: AutoZone
Also honored was AutoZone, a leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories. The Private Fleet of the Year finalist has more than 6,200 U.S. retail locations. The award was accepted by David Fontana, senior transportation manager for the company. AutoZone is No. 497 on FleetOwner 500.
Catherine Gammill, AutoZone's director of supply chain transportation, credited her team for fulfilling the fleet's objectives to deliver from AutoZone distribution centers across the U.S. to its stores on time and safely.
"We do this with an amazing team of transportation professionals in our distribution centers and store support centers who manage rigorous schedules to deliver the right merchandise on time to our stores," she told FleetOwner before the awards presentation. "They train drivers on our safety culture so every 'AutoZoner' can go home the same way they came to work and always look for ways to be more efficient in every operation."
Fleet to Watch: Standard Logistics
Last year, FleetOwner created a new category within the private fleet awards to honor smaller fleets within the NPTC community that don't rank among the 500 largest. Standard Logistics, which has 300 tractors and about 330 company drivers, was named the 2023 FleetOwner Private Fleet to Watch on Tuesday.
"Over the last year, we have worked extremely hard to grow our commercial business to optimize routing and grow revenue while still maintaining our core shipper relationships," John Robbins, Standard Logistics' senior director of operations, told FleetOwner. "We had a wildly aggressive goal of doubling our fleet size over the last 18 months and accomplished this even with the supply chain challenges on new and used equipment."
According to Robbins, who accepted the award on behalf of his fleet, the company's primary business is moving raw materials and finished products associated with building materials, primarily roofing materials for commercial and residential projects.
"I believe the two largest challenges for most fleets today are staffing and equipment," Robbins said. "We are employee-driven, which is much easier said than done. Our growth has been a direct result of the culture we are developing at Standard Logistics. Creativity and transparency have been key in attracting new drivers and building our fleet out. We provide a transparent, competency-based pay scale at all of our hubs. We work with full-service leases, owned assets, and TRAC leases to ensure we are able to get the equipment to meet our operational demand."
About the FleetOwner 500 and awards
The 2023 list was released in the April print edition of the magazine. The FleetOwner 500: Top For-Hire list of the largest truckload and LTL for-hire carriers in the U.S. was published earlier this year.
Editors select winners of the annual FleetOwner 500 Private Fleet of the Year awards based on fleets' accomplishments, safety records, technology adoption, community outreach, and more. All companies on the FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets list and all NPTC member fleets are eligible.