Over the long haul

15 April 2008

Since 1922 when Elmer Anderson sold his horses and bought a truck, Anderson Trucking has been providing leading-edge transportation solutions for its customers. More than 50 years after the company started hauling granite and machinery in the region of St. Cloud, MN, Anderson Trucking Service Inc. (ATS) is thriving as an international entity with 30 locations in the US, plus terminals/offices in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Germany.

With a fleet of 3,000 trucks and 8,500 trailers, ATS ranks among the 50 largest truckload carriers in the US, and offers specialized services in a number of sectors, including granite, wind power and construction equipment. Foremost among its areas of expertise is the business of specialized transport, hauling over-sized, heavy weight equipment and components within the United States and around the world.

A pioneer in the field of specialized transport, Anderson is well known for providing custom equipment for the specific items a customer transports. According to Gary Stang, vice president, ATS Specialized, “If it's cost effective, we will have specialized equipment made for that particular segment of the business. I'd estimate that one-third to one-half of our trailer fleet is customized as opposed to standard trailer equipment. In some cases we have worked with the manufacturers to ensure the need to transport the product is taken into consideration during the engineering phase of the manufactured goods.”

To Russia with love

Last summer, ATS hauled a Manitowoc Model 16000 from the factory to Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, WI, where it was loaded on the Russian aircraft Antonov. The large crawler required six loads, with the plane making six round trips to get all the components. “We backed up the trailers with the crane components on them to the cargo area of the plane. A smaller crane inside the cargo area lifted the components off our trailer,” says Luke Mizejewski, fleet manager.

The wind energy industry is another area in which ATS has specialized, hauling components for wind turbines from their port of entry in the US to the various wind farms where they are erected.

One of the reasons ATS can coordinate and cost effectively manage such complicated multi-modal transport is that it operates its own international transportation division. Through its international division, ATS coordinated the transportation for the first wind towers ever installed in Maui, Hawaii. ATS picked up the Hawaii-bound wind turbines from various points in the United States and then trucked them to San Diego, where the components and trailers were loaded on roll-on/roll off vessels destined to Maui. In addition, ATS also arranged all the transportation for components manufactured globally including Germany, Indonesia, N. Korea, Singapore and Brazil, and arranged for charter vessels to transport the goods.

Once in Hawaii, Anderson's drivers hooked up to the trailers and drove them to the wind farm. “It was a single source, seamless roll-on/roll-off operation from all origins to the job site,” says Joe Goering, vice president of ATS International. “Literally domestic and global door to door service, which has become an increasingly important demand and need of our customers”

Freight solutions

To compliment the needs of its asset-based companies, ATS also operates a leading transportation logistics and brokerage company. As one of the top 25 transportation brokerage companies in North America, ATS Logistics Services (ATSL) provides transportation solutions to a wide variety of shippers, carriers, brokerage agents (Sureway Transportation Co.) and pilot cars (Sentinel Pilot Car). ATS Logistics Services specializes in flatbed, specialized, heavy haul, and van movements, working with a network of over 20,000 qualified carriers. Jason Netland, vice president and general manager of ATS Logistics Services Inc. says, “Innovation, technology and teamwork become the total transportation solution. Experienced and professional personnel, proven transportation management systems, and leading supply chain technologies enable ATS Logistics Services to quickly address the increasing demands of our customers.” act


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