FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Managing private fleets
DETAILS: FreightWaves market analyst Zach Strickland chats with Brent Bergevin about how Love’s grappled with managing private fleets in the last 12 months, including how Love’s overcame challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and February’s severe winter weather conditions.
SPEAKER: Bergevin is the vice president of transportation for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
BIO: Bergevin oversees Gemini drivers, truck maintenance, logistics, driver compliance, terminal and transloading operations and fuel quality. His Love’s career began in 1997 as a division director.
KEY QUOTES FROM BERGEVIN:
“The gasoline at the stores suffered greatly but the diesel really didn’t because it was more important than ever to get supplies to the right places, and everything moves by truck.”
“It’s been tough to find drivers. We’re constantly hiring. We’re constantly growing and adding trucks. We’ll add probably 150 to 200 trucks to our fleet this year, so we’re going to add 400 to 500 drivers this year.”
“I haven’t spent a penny on any ads recruiting. Almost 80, 90% of our drivers come through internal recommendations.”
“Utilization is everything in this business. So if the wheels ain’t turning, you’re not making money, right? So you’ve got to have that revenue coming in. Our utilization rate is going to be in the mid-50s, which again is very high for trucking. Most utilization is somewhere between 40 and 45. But with slip seating, that really helps your utilization rate.”
“If you take care of your customer, they’re going to take care of you. I’ve really lived off that model running Gemini for the last 20 years. We don’t try to go into any business if we’re not going to be able to be successful at it and be good at it.”