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Quality customer service is still a strategy worth betting on

(Photo: Kevin Glassburn / Dedicated Legend Transportation Driver)

Sometimes the transportation industry can feel a little impersonal. The pressure of constant deadlines and increased reliance on technology to communicate between parties can amplify these feelings. At Legend Transportation, however, relationships still matter most.

Legend hauls goods to more than 30 cities in 12 western states, and the company takes the same approach with all of its customers. It aims to build partnerships, not just make deliveries.

Recently, the Phoenix-based trucking company struck a deal with a major grocer to deliver bread products to its stores on the West Coast. In doing so, Legend spent about $35,000 to add special equipment to 30 of its trailers so the bread would be locked in place safely while being hauled.

It is easy to see why Legend’s motto is “putting customers first.”

“It’s about providing the assets to the customers to service them the way they need to be serviced,” Legend Transportation’s Executive Vice President and Director of Operations Robert Moffitt said.

This attitude has helped Legend secure partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies in its 15 years of service. In fact, Legend’s first customer was Fortune 500 company Campbell Soup, a client the company continues to serve today.

Legend’s offerings include truckload over the road (OTR), dedicated contract carriage and direct-store delivery. It also offers expedited services and aims to increase its business in the temperature-controlled segment, as well as e-commerce.

The company has grown its business 30% to 40% annually for the last 11 years, with revenues exceeding $200 million in 2020. It has reinvested that growth back in the company.

Legend Transportation President Sunny Samara founded the company in 2006 and was joined by Moffitt in 2007. The dynamic duo liken the success of their partnership – and the company itself – to their shared mindset.

“You figure out what you’re going to do and you execute,” Moffitt said. “And you do that every single day. You can have a good work ethic, but you need to be challenged.”

Taking service personally 

Samara believes that good service begins with accessibility, and he stresses that calling customers will not experience long hold times or annoying dead-end transfers at Legend.

“We take every phone call personally,” Samara said. 

Even after hours, the business is not closed. Recently, a customer called at about 7:30 p.m., after everyone had gone home. The customer’s message was picked up and routed to a Legend staff member.

“Somebody had left a load on a deck that needed to be delivered by the next morning,” Samara explained.

The staff member arranged for a driver to pick up the load and deliver it.

“That’s the capability we have,” Samara added.

Investing in the business

Legend is always investing back into the business, especially when it comes to keeping up with technology.

All of Legend’s trucks are equipped with Omnitracs fleet management systems integrated with McLeod Loadmaster software that links each tractor’s electronic control module (ECM) with its customers’ electronic data interface (EDI).

“That technology enables us to attain maximum precision in dispatch, accounting and document management functions in full compatibility with shipper logistics systems,” Samara said.

Through adopting new technology, providing excellent service, applying a safety-first mindset and exercising environmental responsibility with best practices in fuel economy and exhaust emission reduction, the company has formed a formidable brand. 

The company also takes on-time delivery service scorecards seriously, consistently coming in above 90%. Last year, Legend Transportation did 1,300 loads in one lane — a route routinely served by a carrier — for Target with only 11 misses. Most of those misses were because of bad weather.

“A driver might not want to drive in 10 inches of snow, but it’s still considered a miss,” Moffitt said. “At the end of the day, we are committed to serving our customers.” 

Moffitt stressed the importance of clear and cordial communication between driver managers and drivers when it comes to providing on-time delivery and overall excellent service. 

“We want our drivers to know that we care about them,” he said. “We want to make them feel comfortable.”

Moffitt noted that reliable and personable communication is vital not only between driver managers and drivers but between customer service representatives and planners and other entities within the business as well.

“It’s about executing,” Moffitt said. “We’re all supposed to work together for one cause. At the end of the day, we’re all successful when we execute at that level.”

Despite the economic recession created by the coronavirus, Legend intends to continue to roll on in an effort to expand its business through new and existing partnerships.

Its long-term goal remains the same — to continue to reinvest in the business to drive further improvements to fuel growth.

For Legend, it will always be about taking the high road.

Ashley Coker

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She covers air cargo, trucking and sponsored content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.