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  • What’s Love Got to Do With It?

    by User Not Found | Jan 28, 2016

    Love languages

    What's love got to do with work? EVERYTHING!

    This may seem odd, but you really should consider love at work. Why? We spend a lot of time with our co-workers, in-fact on a weekly basis, they see the good, the bad and, unfortunately, the ugly. Understanding each members communication style and how they receive and feel "loved" is crucial to your team’s development.

    Much like romantic relationships, each person on the team has made a type of commitment to be there – typically five days a week, eight hours (or more) a day. So knowing this, how can you use the principles in the famous book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman to make your workplace more dynamic and prosperous? Understanding your team’s love languages can help you communicate at a deeper level with each team member – this knowledge can also be applied to customers and your external teams.

    Here’s an overview of the five ways that people feel loved (read the full article to learn how to translate and use this info to your advantage in the workplace.

    1. Quality Time: focus on good quality face time – emails won’t cut it.
    2. Gifts: focus on delivering something of value to show you’re thinking of them: a business article or a promo piece.
    3. Words of Affirmation: think quick note or email acknowledging good work.
    4. Acts of Service: an offer of help to a colleague above and beyond typical expectations.
    5. Physical Touch: appropriate handshake, eye contact, physical expression of agreement.

    Knowing which love language your team, co-workers, customers and yourself respond to best is important. Consider taking this short test to reveal the best communication styles for your team. Study up and get your love on at work!

  • Why Connections Matter

    by User Not Found | Jan 05, 2016

    Truck Driver Driving trucks for a living can be an isolating business. The majority of Centerline’s truck drivers are home each night or nearly every night, but we do have divisions where the job requires drivers to be on location and away from their homes for extended periods of time. As an employer of truck drivers we know that creating connections to our company and our culture is not only important in terms of driver retention during the driver shortage, but it’s necessary for our drivers to feel like a vital part of the transportation community.

    Drivers are under a lot of stress to represent the companies they deliver for well; to get the loads transported on time, and of course to follow the myriad of regulations that dictate how they do their jobs. We have to do our part to create a culture of caring and connection so our drivers know their efforts are noticed and valued.

    At Centerline we try to keep in mind the three things that all humans crave and need in their daily lives: Safety; Belonging; and Significance. Without these basics, we can’t motivate others to go above and beyond and do their best at work or at home for that matter.

    Connections with our drivers are personal from our 24/7 service center where our drivers can reach a live person day or night with any issues or if they need to communicate information vital to our customers. We’re available to our recruiting teams that work one-on-one with each driver to find the perfect match that will build mutual trust and connection between the driver and one of our customers. We work with our drivers to accommodate them and help them grow and be successful. But most humanly, we care about their ability to provide a living for themselves and those that depend on them.

    As 2016 is upon us, ask yourself how your company makes connections for your drivers and employees – it can only lead to broader success for your company!

  • Top line growth, bottom line growth? How are you going to get there?

    by User Not Found | Dec 02, 2015

    So what’s your question? As a business leader with many people and investors relying on us to not only ask the right questions, but act on the right answers. When planning for growth at Centerline, we seek out all type of business intelligence. When seeking answers regarding our markets or potential untapped markets, we consult business data and engage with our front line sales leaders and ask about their challenges, competition, and pricing strategies. This helps us gage our true opportunities and threats.

    Recently while attending a planning meeting to set our objectives for 2016, 20-questions for Business Leaders, an article from Strategy + Business was shared. We picked the following questions as most relevant for our business (see our top three below), what’s most relevant for you?

    1. What should we do for our employees? We’re in a people business with a seasoned staff that, next to our drivers, are our most valuable asset. Treating them with respect and creating opportunities to keep them here at Centerline are at the forefront of each leader’s mind. We loved these pull-outs from the article: Respect and Reward them – not just with money but with purpose; empower them; pay attention to them. In 2016 our goal is do all of these things.

    2. What will help us make better decisions? We particularly loved the best practices piece. We’ve grown from a small regional player to a $100M business unit of a $2.4B company in a matter of a few short years. Sometimes your business processes that were just known to a handful of people are our best kept secret. We’ve learned the need with growth to document, streamline and make these best practices available to the new, large team. Without consistent best practices, you’re not going to be able to deliver the quality of product your customers have come to rely on. Thinking slow….we tend to think fast; solve more problems in a day that others solve in a week, but sometimes (many times) slower is better.

    3. How do we win? Compete ruthlessly. Enough said.

    Pick your top three or more and head into the new year with a prosperous plan!

  • Special Delivery for Turkey Day!

    by User Not Found | Nov 13, 2015

    We know being in the transportation industry that the holiday season is a busy one, between food and presents, our wheels never stop rolling to get all cargo to its destination. Have you ever considered how much of an impact something like delivering turkeys to market has on the economy? In 2014, the turkey industry made up 308,400 jobs and generated $80.1 billion in economic activity. $16.9 billion in wages and $5.6 billion in government revenue! The trucking industry plays a big role in making Thanksgiving Day happen. Here a few things that would not happen without the help of truck drivers.

    1. When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of turkey. Roughly 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. So it’s pretty important those turkeys get to the table on time and truck drivers come to the rescue. In 2012, trucks delivered 46 million Thanksgiving Turkeys. That’s a lot of turkey! Not to mention all the sides to go with it.

      Thanksgiving Turkeys

    2. It is the tradition of many families to either attend or watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in NYC in 1924 and over the years has grown to 3 million in attendance and more than 44 million watch on TV. In order to breathe life into the famous parade balloons, each one is filled with an average of 12,000 cubic feet of helium and can take about 90 minutes to inflate! This requires the help of a professional truck driver driving a helium tanker. Without a truck driver to bring in the tanker, the balloons would not go up and it would make for a pretty boring parade.

    3. Thanksgiving is now a retail buzzword because of the infamous “holiday” to follow it, Black Friday. Whether you are a shopper on a mission or casually browsing, the trucking industry is responsible for delivering products to the stores so the shelves are stocked and ready for the rush. Once Black Friday is taken care of, we rely on trucks to deliver the goods purchased on Cyber Monday. Without our drivers America’s favorite shopping weekend would fall short.

    4. Finally, we can’t forget about travel. According to AAA forecast, about 46.3 million Americans traveled on Thanksgiving Day weekend in 2014, 89% by automobile. Keeping the nation’s gas stations supplied for all of these travelers requires a truck driver to drive the fuel tanker to the gas stations.

    Food, parades, shopping and travel are a few things that make up Thanksgiving Day weekend but they are not the true meaning. When you cut through the clutter and push past the holiday rush you get to its heart, a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest of the preceding year. Traditionally, this referred to the agricultural harvest, however over the years it has grown into much more. It is a time to reflect and be thankful for your life’s harvest. The growing love of family, new friends added to your life, accomplishments you’ve made, and lessons learned. Although not the heart of the day, the different things listed above all play a role in bringing people together to remember the important things in life and make memories, and without truck drivers they wouldn’t happen. So as we enter into the month of November we’d like to share our appreciation for truck drivers and extend our thanks to our business partners and clients. Without your confidence we would not be where we are today. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Growing Your Core From a Position of Strength

    by User Not Found | Oct 05, 2015

    Growing beats the alternative any day! We know that the key to a successful business is one that grows from a position of strength. Growth tied closely to strategy is the best approach for sustainable, results-oriented growth. Many of our customers are large transportation companies at the top of their game, but even they need to take a deep dive into their growth strategy from time to time. We’ve all heard the lie “too big to fail.”

    Any business resource will likely recommend these three steps as the best road to growth:

    1. Strengthen and defend your core service offering
    2. Grow by adding adjacent segments
    3. Rebalance or redefine your core by recognizing past successes and failures

    Road to Growth

    Let’s break these three steps down using Centerline as an example.

    1. Strengthen: Centerline responds to our customers’ increasing need for reliable, DOT compliant drivers throughout North America. Our pursuit of growth is based in our firm foundation of providing a quality service to our customers and finding qualified compliant drivers in a very competitive environment.
    2. Growth: We are currently in an expansion mode, adding new locations to our already widespread service footprint. We know that our business provides value by allowing our customers to focus on their core business. Our work allows our customers to focus on growing their businesses. To strengthen our reach, we plan to enter 10 new markets in 10 months, focused on the Northeast and Southeast!
    3. Rebalance/Redefine: We’ve expanded before and have had to re-adjust the plan after launch, make hard decisions and not be afraid to fail. You need to bet a lot to gain a lot! Through our experiences we’ve learned what not to do when opening new offices. We have also been redefining our core as we explore new solutions to the needs of our customers, without losing our foundation. Centerline offers a variety of services from temporary drivers to dedicated drivers. Redefining does not mean losing who you are, it means maturing, growing, being responsible, and seizing opportunity to make it even better.

    Grow from Your Strengths
    Source: Gerald Adolph and Kim David Greenwood, Grow from Your Strengths

    As you plan your growth this year and next, think of where you need a partner to provide highly qualified, DOT compliant drivers and let us know what locations mean the most to you. Send your suggestions to

  • Is the Safety of the Traveling Public Your Priority #1?

    by User Not Found | Sep 02, 2015

    As providers of commercial drivers to the transportation industry, we are highlyconscious of our obligation to put the safest drivers at the helm of our customers’ vehicles. We ensure our drivers are 100% percent DOT compliant by applying our strict compliance processes to each driver. Once we’re sure they meet all requirements, and not a moment before, they can be moved to a dispatch-ready state.

    As a customer who transports goods daily, do you know with assurance that each driver you have in your fleet is DOT compliant? What, if anything, would a DOT audit reveal? These are hard questions, but ones that should be at the forefront of any company that deals in the transport of goods whereby a driver is given access to drive your fleet vehicles.

    It’s not just a question of liability and fines but of public trust and safety. Did youknowthat a fully-loaded truck weighs 80,000 lbs. and the average car weighs only 3,000 lbs.? As an industry, we have to do our part to ensure we’re not contributing to the increase in vehicle fatalities by ensuring all commercial drivers are capable of handling their trucks. According to the National Safety Council (NSC) vehicle fatalities are on the rise and this year is set to be the deadliest on U.S. highways since 2007. The Road Information Program (TRIP) vehicle travel increased 1.7% from 2013 to 2014 and another 3.9% in the first four months of 2015. Additionally, the amount of commercial truck travel in the United States is projected to increase by 72% through 2030. With this overall increase in travel, it is important your drivers are in compliance and practicing safe driving.
    Fully-loaded truck

    You might be wondering what should be part of your ongoing driver compliance review? The records needed include:

    • Proof of financial responsibility;
    • Driver qualification files;
    • Drug and alcohol testing records;
    • Records of duty status and all supporting documents;
    • Driver vehicle inspection reports and maintenance;
    • Hazardous materials records (if applicable); and
    • An accident register and copies of all accident reports required by state and other governmental entities or insurers.


    To learn more about the necessary driver qualifications review these FAQs.

  • Beating the Capacity Crunch with Reverse Logistics

    by User Not Found | Aug 05, 2015

    In case you haven’t heard, there’s a current and expanding capacity crunch in trucking. Centerline not only hears about capacity issues, but feels the challenge of recruiting and placing the shrinking pool of DOT qualified drivers each day. According to the ATA the trucking industry is short 25,000 professional drivers and the number is expected to escalate to 330,000 by 2020. The capacity crunch has become an ever present issue when determining how the nations trucking networks get their goods delivered. It’s not just the driver shortage that has to be considered things like weather, port shutdowns and the new economy of e-commerce with its rapid return policies fueling its unprecedented growth, requires a strategic application of reverse logistics and forward thinking using a collaborative approach to span the capacity gap.

    Reverse logistics has always played a role in industries where overstocks and products requiring refurbishment for resales would occur, however the emerging heavy hitter of e-commerce has changed the landscape. E-commerce consumers that shop on sites such as Amazon, Crate and Barrel expect return policies that cater to easy returns via mail. These return deliveries increase the ever present pressure on an already taxed supply of trucking resources.

    Our history in the transportation industry for the past 35 years has seen its share of trends. The most recent trend to navigate through these challenges includes getting collaborative on reverse logistics to ensure that each truckload and driver is fully optimized. Customers work to create round trips out of one-way hauls and combine freight to create continuous move truckloads, reducing costs and making the highest use of driver availability.

    Our account managers at Centerline get involved in discussions regarding reverse logistics or reduction of overall shipping costs. We provide our expertise in reverse logistics/transportation staffing to customers that are looking for creative solutions for their freight movement challenges and to meet the needs of their customers. Some of the areas that we focus on include:

    • Domicile drivers near equipment
    • Dedicated Drivers for remote locations
    • Drivers available for travel
    • Less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload qualified drivers
    • P/T and Weekend drivers to increase tractor/equipment utilization
    • Using the reversal of the supply chain or placement of equipment to be closer to where drivers are found

    One recent scenario that our national account sales director shared with the team of how these solutions work in the time sensitive, real world.

      A request came in from a customer who can’t find equipment in his location (Stockton, CA), but there is equipment in Los Angeles. So the Centerline team gets to work on a solution: it starts with the customer leasing the truck in Los Angeles, Centerline provides the driver who picks up the empty trailer and then our customer provides the back haul for pick up. Ultimately, we get the truck and driver to Stockton to be productive on behalf on the customer and then we move the original haul requested in Stockton. End result – everyone is happy.

    For our team at Centerline, it is all about finding ways in a tight driver market to be creative and serve our customers. To request a distribution functionality assessment – think about connecting with our experts today.

  • Raising Wages and Treating Drivers with Respect

    by User Not Found | Jul 14, 2015

    Finding drivers is only ½ the battle. Retaining them is vital to the success of our customer’s ability to meet their customer’s expectations. We approach driver retention with as much focus as we do our sales strategy to extend our reach and ability to respond to our customers. How do we retain drivers? We’re focused on two aspects: treating our drivers with respect and working closely with our customers to raise wages nationwide.

    Treating our drivers with respect is essential to how Centerline operates. Our drivers are not “just a number” but an important, vital part to our company and are treated as such. We love highlighting our drivers achievements and encourage word of mouth referrals because who better to recommend new drivers than an already trusted employee?

    In addition to raising wages, to show our appreciation for our drivers we offer other financial incentives. An innovative approach, we recently started using is an approach that gives weekly income guarantees for retention. At our customer’s discretion, they  may choose to lock a driver in for a month or more, by negotiating a weekly minimum for the driver. With these financial incentives, we are able to reach the shrinking pool of available drivers and provide stability for our customers when they need assurance that a driver will be available for them.

    We are focused on providing our drivers and customers the stability they deserve. Companies all throughout the trucking industry are testing new ways to raise driver compensation to increase retention and reliability. To achieve this goal, the industry is showing several incentive programs being developed, such as, hourly pay, benchmarking benefits, retention bonuses and more.

    We take pride in caring for our drivers’ needs and wants while finding a job that is mutually beneficial to our customer and our driver. 

  • Drivers the face of your brand?

    by User Not Found | Jun 04, 2015

    TBP-0618-WebI ask my team leaders, "What do our customer's want?" Drivers they say! Of course they want qualified, safe, compliant drivers, but more than that, they want to transport goods to benefit their customers.

    At Centerline we support a service industry. All our drivers fit the safety bill, but we go beyond that. All delivery drivers are the face of your company; in most cases they have more of a relationship with your customer than your sales and customer service staff.

    When I read articles regarding driver's impact on branding, I emphasize to our drivers that they are the face of the accounts they drive for – think it’s not important? Think again.

    It’s simple math. Think about how many minutes your driver meets face-to-face with your customer and think about the same of your sales staff. You will realize your driver is the face of your brand. Because of this, all drivers (including leased drivers) need to be trained by you regarding your brand promise, who you are and what demonstrates your service model.

    To support this education, Centerline reiterates how important a role a driver plays in representing their customers’ brand during our recruiting, on-boarding and welcome calls. Our expectation is that they maintain the high level of professionalism you expect from your employed drivers.

    In most cases, time is of the essence and the role of facilitating the movement of goods in a highly regulatory environment is challenging at best. To get it right, you have be highly specialized and have a dedicated team that can recruit and coach drivers to not only deliver goods, but to be the face of the customer they are delivering for. Centerline does exactly that and more.

  • A Mother’s Day Tribute to Women Trailblazers

    by User Not Found | May 06, 2015

    With mother’s day approaching, it’s a great time to reflect on the amazing women in our lives who have mentored and helped shape us. Moms often sacrifice their own goals and ambitions to ensure that we can achieve ours. They told us truths that only mothers can know and challenged us to grow further, to dream bigger and be the best that we can be. That’s not to say that growing up is easy – sometimes these challenges and truths are hard.

    As a female leader in a largely male dominated industry, I can’t help but reflect on the women who have challenged the norm. I think about the daring women who paved the way for women to enter fields predominantly viewed as “male only” professions, like truck driving.

    One such trail blazer was Lillie McGee Drennan. Lillie was the first female truck driver to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in 1929. This one woman broke down barriers for all the future CDL women drivers who came after her. Our Centerline team has several amazing truck drivers that are also moms. Read the story of Charlotte Janis.

    As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, remember all the women before us and how their ambitions opened doors for change. Challenge yourself to push the norm and continue to shoot for the stars and excel. We do this every day at Centerline as we work to provide professional drivers you can count on.

  • Creating a Culture of Driver Retention

    by User Not Found | Apr 29, 2015

    This week I attended the Annual NPTC convention in Cincinnati, OH. Every year, I look forward with anticipation to reconnect with our customers, learn something new that will help me enable my customers to improve their fleet operations by providing a stable, experienced workforce. One of the challenges that we learned about was creating an environment where drivers are not only valued, but given the tools and resources to stay engaged.

    How does Centerline do this for our drivers? We make our culture people-centered. Our Service Center engages daily 24/7 with our very talented and qualified drivers from all over North America. We work with them to trouble shoot any issues, create the opportunities for training and advanced learning they are seeking and encourage them to voice their opinions and concerns.  We actively seek out the best, pay them well and let them know through our actions how they are the heart-beat of our organization and the many top transportation companies throughout North America that we serve.

    Can we do more? Yes, of course, we can broaden our outreach to those interested in becoming drivers. We act as a career coach and offer real opportunities for these drivers to support their families. Watch the video below to learn more about how we engage with our drivers.

  • Distracted Driving

    by User Not Found | Apr 07, 2015

    April is distracted driving awareness month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning those that text and drive that if you do it, you’ll pay.

    This is more than a catchy slogan supported by a $5 million advertising campaign (running April 6-15) but will be enforced through laws and ordinances targeting distracted driving, backed with penalties and fines.

    Centerline’s drivers are aware that our policy is no cell phone use while driving. Period. Our driver’s safety and the safety of the traveling public is our number one priority when putting our customer’s trucks on the road.

    Our drivers are instructed to turn off cell phones while operating our customer’s vehicles and store them for use while on breaks or after their routes are complete and they turn in their commercial vehicles. There is no excuse for distracted driving.

    Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for drivers of all ages. Additionally, 14 states and territories prohibit drivers of all ages from using handheld cell phones while driving. A total of 38 states, plus the District of Columbia, ban cell phone use by novice drivers. Two states, Oklahoma and Texas, restrict school bus drivers from texting.



  • Puppies, Sporting Events and Being Humble

    by User Not Found | Mar 17, 2015

    We had the pleasure to interview Jill Quinn, President of Centerline and learn a little more about her background and what makes her tick.Jill Quinn

    What is your favorite part about working with Centerline?

    Connecting people and work. 

    How long have you been with Centerline?

    19 years (obviously started in my teens)

    How did you get to your current position?

    Our company was acquired by TrueBlue in 2008, I was very fortunate to be selected to lead the Centerline division.

    What do you see as the biggest trend impacting the trucking industry?

    No surprise here...Truck driver shortage

    How do you define success?

    Showing up...doing the best we can with what we have.

    Puppies or kittens?


    What was the last book you’ve read/or books you might recommend?

    My ‘go-to’ is Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I've just starting reading Jack Welch, Winning.

    What was your first job?

    Courtesy Clerk at Safeway 

    What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? 
    • Be humble...It's not about you, it's about them.
    • Model the way
    • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
    • And, of course, surround yourself with exceptional talent
    What do you like to do for fun?

    Love, actually obsessed with, watching my kid's sporting events! 

  • The Generation Gap

    by User Not Found | Mar 03, 2015

    Fewer young people going into trucking compounds national driver shortage

    One of the biggest concerns we hear from our customers is lack of qualified drivers. Our recruiters focus exclusively on finding drivers on a daily basis and it has been getting more challenging. According to estimates by The American Trucking Associations (ATA) the U.S. is short upwards of 30,000 truck drivers. What’s driving the shortfall? Factors include regulations, relatively low pay, and lack of interest from young people to join the profession.

    As Business Insider reported, ninety percent of transportation companies couldn't find enough qualified drivers to fill demand.

    With a turn-over rate of 92 percent, fresh blood is vital to the industry running smoothly. As the graph below shows, the average truck driver is 45-54, making the bulk of the industry dependent on a worker base nearing retirement in the next 15-20 years. 

    Source: American Trucking Association (ATA)
    Average age of truck driver in 2013: 45-54 years

    Some of the important factors that have cumulated in this problem:

    1. Competitors
    2. Demographics
    3. Recent changes in DOT regulations
    4. Pay scale
    5. Employee Engagement

    As the driver shortage intensifies, Centerline is a resource that can help. We are actively reaching out to new demographics to fill our driver pool with qualified candidates and using technology to aid in the recruitment and retainment process. We also spend the time to form partnerships with others in the industry who can assist in finding and training the right candidates for roles as the drivers of the future. In addition to the driver shortage, experts are predicting that as the economy continues to improve there will be a need to move more freight efficiently. 


  • When Trucks Stop, America Will Stop

    by User Not Found | Sep 30, 2014

    Do you know the amount of impact it would have on your business if trucks stopped rolling across the country?

    The effects of a transportation shutdown for any reason would be immediate (in some cases, within hours) and absolutely catastrophic. When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop!

    It’s easy to forget how much we depend on truck drivers for almost every aspect of our lives. The effects of a world without cargo transportation would be far reaching and disastrous, touching everything from our food distribution to our finances.

    Here’s a terrifying look at a world without the great men and women who keep our lives running smoothly.

    Check out this cool interactive infographic

    Some of the highlights, excerpted from the American Trucking Associations Report

    The Food Industry

    • Severe shortages within 72 hours, especially of perishable items.
    • Panic will make shortages worse.
    • Clean drinking water will run dry (every 7 to 14 days all water treatment plants receive chemicals by truck to make drinking water safe).


    • Many hospitals operate on a “just in time” delivery for medications and supplies.
    • Hospital and nursing home food will run out in 24 hours.


    • Gas station fuel will run out within 24 to 48 hours. An average gas station requires deliveries every 2.4 days.
    • The subsequent fuel shortage will ripple to all automobiles and vehicles which will no longer be able to transport people to work, police, fire, rescue, mail-package delivery, garbage pickup, public transit.
    • Airlines and air-cargo will be grounded due to lack of supplies.
    • Rail lines will halt due to non-delivery of the first and last mile (trucks)

    Waste Removal

    • Within days, America will be buried in garbage, presenting an enormous health hazard.

    The Retail Sector

    • Most retailers rely on “just in time” delivery of their products to keep inventories low.
    • Consumer behavior during emergencies triple the inventory turnover – speeding up the already ‘bad’ situation.


    • Nearly 100% of manufacturing companies have switched over to “just in time” processes in order to optimize efficiency and profits. Manufacturing will shut down within hours.

    Banking and Finance

    • ATM’s and bank cash will run dry very quickly.
    • Businesses will lose access to cash.
    • Bank branches will shut down.


    At Centerline, we understand the value of our truckers and the dependable drivers we provide for your business. We have been in commercial transportation for more than three decades. Our specialty is helping our clients manage the risk that comes with employing drivers by taking on the burdens of recruiting, hiring and employing drivers and maintaining their driver files with exacting precision. Every Centerline driver has completed a comprehensive review process to make sure they are qualified, safe and committed to excellence. All Centerline drivers exceed DOT regulatory requirements. At Centerline, people are our priority. We aren’t a trucking company. We’re a people company that excels at providing the most qualified and dependable drivers in the transportation industry.