The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Loadsmart teams up with The Home Depot Foundation to support veterans, Ruan aids a community after celebrating its 90th anniversary, and Walmart donates to nonprofits at the grand opening of a new e-commerce fulfillment center in Pennsylvania.
Loadsmart, Home Depot Foundation help veterans
On-demand freight marketplace Loadsmart teamed up this week with its customer’s non-profit arm, The Home Depot Foundation, to give back to veterans in an annual foundation event in Asheville, North Carolina.
During the three-day event, supply chain partners of Home Depot helped give their time to a number of initiatives, including a beautification project of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s (ABCCM) Transformation Village outside space, a safe haven for women and children experiencing homelessness and a transition home for veterans.
Along with that project, volunteers also supported Paws4People by constructing more than 50 beds for therapy dogs bound for children with disabilities and veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Loadsmart executives Jim Nicholson, senior vice president of operations, and Ben Buchanan, senior vice president of enterprise brokerage sales, represented the company at the event.
“We are here to support their foundation, which focuses on servicing veterans, skilled trade education and disaster relief efforts,” Nicholson said. “As part of the group that is in attendance, we had the privilege this morning to participate in a volunteer event to support ABCCM with their transition housing to support the many needs of veterans in the region. Our group [also] spent the morning building beds for the service dogs that veterans will take home with them. … We are very proud to be representing all of you here at such a great event to support the wonderful mission of the Home Depot Foundation.”
In March 2021, the Chicago-based company announced it was working with The Home Depot to optimize its flatbed capacity needs. Later that year, Loadsmart reported it had built a supply-led platform Flatbed Messenger for The Home Depot to optimize its flatbed capacity, including finding its carriers backhauls with other companies to drive down overall transportation costs.
“We’ve had the opportunity to connect with a few [The Home Depot] senior leaders thus far, and they have all expressed their appreciation for how Loadsmart has supported the growth in their business over the past three years,” said Nicholson in a statement to the company at the event.
“Loadsmart is in the bracket representing a top-tier provider in their network, which is the result of growing responsibly and collaboratively with them.”
Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has raised over $500 million for veteran causes, $50 million for training the next generation of skilled tradespeople and $6 million for natural disaster response and recovery.
Ruan celebrates 90 years with philanthropy initiative
Ruan Transportation Management Systems celebrated earlier this month its 90-year anniversary of providing customers with logistics and supply chain management solutions. The company was founded in 1932, growing from one driver, founder John Ruan, to 5,000 team members across 300 locations.
“As we celebrate our 90-year anniversary at Ruan, I am truly proud of our history as a family business and the legacy created by our founder and sustained by his son, John Ruan III,” said Ruan CEO Ben McLean. “Our continued success will be enabled by the same grit and determination that they demonstrated to grow and build this company. While our industry has changed so much over the last 90 years, the honorable work that we do — keeping America’s economy moving — has not. And it never will.”
Ruan over the years. (Photos: Ruan Transportation)
In celebration of the milestone, Ruan has launched its “90×90 Acts of Giving” campaign, asking every employee to work together to complete 90 acts of giving by the end of the year. Ruan also will give an undisclosed monetary donation to nonprofit organizations where employees choose to volunteer their time.
“When I think about Ruan’s future and the connections to our past, our guiding principles [of safety first, safety focus, exceptional performance, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement] are an enduring theme,” said Ruan President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Van Alstine. “These aren’t just nice-to-have words that we put on the wall. Our team members live by them every day. These are core values that are central to who we are. As we move forward, we will draw upon the legacy and our long-standing core values to guide us.”
Walmart donates to community at new e-commerce fulfillment center
On Wednesday, Walmart hosted the grand opening of its new e-commerce fulfillment center in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, to facilitate expanding operations in the company’s northeastern supply chain.
The facility will fulfill Walmart Marketplace orders shipped through Walmart Fulfillment Services, a benefit provided to its third-party online sellers.
“We are excited about the addition of this state-of-the-art fulfillment center and the increased shipping speed it will provide for our customers, especially with the holiday season right around the corner,” said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president of Fulfillment Network Operations, Walmart U.S. “I’m proud of how our Shippensburg team has come together and is already playing an active role in the local community.”
During the ceremony, the global retailer presented $5,000 donations to local nonprofits including Katie’s Place, a distribution site for charities, Shippensburg Produce and Outreach (SPO), an organization that brings healthy produce to those with low income, and The Boys & Girls Club of Chambersburg and Shippensburg.
“Since 2008, SPO has strived to help area residents access healthy food and other vital services,” said Karen DeShong, president of SPO. “Today, SPO feeds more than 900 families per month with our curbside program and provides site deliveries to nearly 100 additional residents. Grant funding from Walmart enables us to continue our work to add more lean meat and dairy products to community distributions, to maintain our current partnerships and to forge new ones.”
Since 2015, Walmart has donated an average of $.14 billion a year to local charitable causes.
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