Global Partners
Global Partners

Five Good Things: Wintertime warmth and reefer royalty

Jan. 13, 2023
In this weekly blog covering good news in trucking: The crown commends a family reefer business, TCA gives out its Fleet Safety Awards, and one fleet donates heating oil to needy families.

Trucking is a global, essential industry, and it's great to know that the supply chain connects more than goods but also people. Whether it's "across the pond," in the Gulf Coast of Texas, or in the frigid northeast, trucking will show up to help.

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Reefer company honored by royalty

Brothers James and Peter Gray, joint managing directors of Scottish refrigerated trailer manufacturer Gray and Adams, were made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours.

The Order of the British Empire is a British order of knighthood instituted in 1917 to reward civilian and military service.

The Fraserburgh, Scotland-based company, whose reefers are used by grocers such as Aldi and Tesco, was founded in 1957. It employs more than 700 people and, in 2020, won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

“In accepting such an award as joint managing director, I must also pay tribute to my late father, Jim Gray, who founded Gray and Adam in 1957, and all the amazing loyal workforce who work tirelessly to make G&A one of the best refrigerated transport engineering companies in the United Kingdom,” Peter Gray said in a statement reported by The Press and Journal, adding, “It is also a tremendous honor to receive this award in the first honors list from our new king.”

Older brother James said, “When I first got the notification of the OBE, I was overwhelmed that individuals took the time to fill in the paperwork to nominate us.”

Peter added, “Yes, a good single malt will help the shock and celebration.”

J.B. Hunt's medical mission

J.B. Hunt has been inducted into the Anderson Assembly at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a society created to recognize philanthropic donors who have made a lifetime commitment to supporting the mission of MD Anderson.

“MD Anderson is an organization that is dear to J.B. Hunt as many of our employees utilize their expertise and resources,” said Brad Hicks, president of highway services and EVP of people at J.B. Hunt. “We are proud to extend our support to MD Anderson as its experts pioneer innovative cancer care and research to improve the health and quality of life for people across the world.”

No. 5 FleetOwner 500 for-hire carrier J.B. Hunt created The J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Cancer Prevention and Control Endowment with a $1 million gift to MD Anderson. The endowment was to support the launch of the Joint Center on Geospatial Analysis and Health led by MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention and Control Platform in partnership with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. The overall goal of the endowment is to advance MD Anderson’s reach and impact by accelerating the development and dissemination of evidence-based strategies, community services, policy interventions, and knowledge to reduce cancer incidence and mortality.  With J.B. Hunt’s philanthropic support, MD Anderson will be able to use data to better aid medically-underserved communities, ultimately expanding support across the U.S., according to a J.B. Hunt press release.

“J.B. Hunt’s leadership directly enabled a novel vision to help communities access expert analyses at the intersection of place and health,” said Michael T. Walsh, Jr., executive director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Platform. “This work, built as a global public good, will ensure that communities can easily use the data necessary to prioritize evidence-based actions and to strengthen the systems underlying the achievement of good health.”

MD Anderson in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is No. 1 for cancer in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” rankings.

As part of its induction into the Anderson Assembly, J.B. Hunt will be featured in MD Anderson’s Faces of Philanthropy Exhibit—an on-site museum showcase for donor stories and how philanthropy has impacted the organization.

Fullbay donates $22,000 through its Fullbay Cares initiative in 2022

Fullbay, the heavy-duty repair shop management platform, donated more than $22,000 to trucking-focused charitable organizations through its Fullbay Cares initiative in 2022.

Established in 2020 as a way to give back to the commercial repair community, Fullbay Cares selects charitable organizations to support not only by providing a monetary donation but also to help spread overall awareness through direct communication and promoting it through social media and events, according to a Fullbay press release. For every new shop that signs up for Fullbay’s service while working with an organization, a donation is made to the designated charity. Since the initiative began in 2020, Fullbay Cares has provided close to $80,000 in funding to numerous deserving groups. 

“We were looking for a different way to deploy our budget to make an impact during the pandemic. With the success this initiative has had, it was an easy decision to continue it year after year,” said Jacob Findlay, co-founder and executive chairman of Fullbay. “We pick organizations based on feedback from our customers, so not only are they important to us, but also important to the industry.”

Some organizations Fullbay Cares donated to in 2022 include Truckers Against Trafficking, St. Christopher Trucker’s Relief Fund, Prevent Child Abuse America, Truckers' Final Mile, and Folds of Honor.


Leonard’s Express wins TCA Fleet Safety Award

Leonard’s Express—the No. 5 FleetOwner 500 for-hire carrier—has won the 47th Annual Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Fleet Safety Award for fleets that travel between 50 and 100 million miles. This is the second largest category in the competition based on mileage.

Each year the TCA hosts its Fleet Safety Award competition designed to recognize 18 fleets for their commitment to safety. The competition is broken down into six mileage-based divisions, with first, second, and third prizes awarded in each division. The winners are selected based on the carrier’s accident-to-mileage ratio, a metric used to show how many on-road accidents a fleet has in a calendar year.

“Across the company, we work tirelessly to build a ‘safety first’ culture,” stated Ken Johnson, CEO of Leonard’s Express, in a press release. “Through training and the use of technology, we emphasize that safety is always our number one priority. Driving safely is not a task that can be given as a directive. Everyone has to believe it’s the right thing to do, even if it’s not the easy thing to do.”

To select winners, the TCA analyzed each fleet’s safety data, including an audit and verification of mileage-to-accident ratios. An independent auditor then validated all the information. The process requires each applicant to diligently record and track their fleet’s safety over the course of a year.

“Our Risk Control team conducts multiple quarterly safety meetings at each of our terminals (Idaho, Wisconsin, New York, Delaware, and North Carolina) in addition to sending out weekly safety messages, which include the previous week’s hours of service (HOS) violations and incidents,” said Katie Griffin, Director of Fleet Safety for Leonard’s Express. “Leonard’s is a family, and we truly care about each other and want what is best for everyone. Our goal is to make sure everyone – our drivers and the motorists who we share the roads with – make it home safely.”

The TCA recognition is the second major fleet safety award that Leonard’s won in 2022. Last April, Leonard’s earned the Trucking Association of New York’s (TANY) Fleet Safety Award Grand Trophy for demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to safe operation in New York State. In order to qualify for the award, the judging committee must determine that a fleet has an exemplary safety record and a proven culture of safety.

Fuel supplier donates heating oil

Family-owned fuel supplier Global Partners recently donated $2 million to provide heating oil for those in need this winter. The donation was distributed to local nonprofits in seven Northeast states.

“Global has an annual and long-standing program of making heating oil donations to local housing authorities and other nonprofit partners in more than 15 communities where Global has terminals,” said Eric Slifka, president and CEO of Global Partners. “This year, recognizing additional need in the community, we expanded the program into a multimillion-dollar support effort.”

In the winter of 2020-2021, about 5.3 million U.S. households relied on heating oil, and 82% of those were located in the Northeast. Supply is tight due to international conditions, including but not limited to the war in Ukraine.

“As many Northeast residents experience significant increases in winter heating costs, we have worked with our partners at utilities and in the private sector to ensure customers are being well served,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Barker said. “We appreciate Global Partners for doing their part to help support thousands of families across New England and New York this winter.”

Read the full story in Bulk Transporter.

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