Right Place, Right Time
“We couldn’t be in Georgia at a better time,” says Jeff Lantz, president of C.L. Services, Inc. (CLS). The Atlanta-based company moves shipments both nationally and internationally, and specializes in dry van, flatbed, and temperature-controlled truckload services throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Georgia’s ongoing logistics enhancements, especially the airport community and port expansions, open up a huge gateway for easier and more cost-effective transportation solutions.
“We take advantage of these enhancements by strengthening our relationships locally, and by offering more regional transportation services,” Lantz says. “That means everything from moving regular truckloads to intermodal to containers to warehousing.”
Georgia’s ideal location put the company on the road to success from the start. “Our average length of haul is 750 miles,” says Russ Caudell, the company’s chief financial officer, who cofounded CLS with Lantz in 1997.
“Our vision was to create a financially sound company built around taking care of our clients and our employees,” says Lantz. The co-founders say they have been able to attract and retain outstanding employees, thanks in part to the advantages provided by superior logistics education opportunities in the region.
Caudell cites Georgia’s major universities as important assets of the state because of the highly acclaimed transportation programs they offer. Among them, he cites Georgia Southern University, University of Georgia, Clayton State University, Kennesaw State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of West Georgia.
An extensive carrier network augments the company’s 54 employees. “We pride ourselves on providing our shippers and carriers with a high level of service and communication,” Caudell says. “We like to say that we are large enough to serve you and small enough to know you.”
That translates into a Prosponsive® company culture. CLS trademarked the term to describe its “proactive and responsive” approach to clients, carriers, and employees. Atlanta-based CCA and B—the Elf on the Shelf® company—is one CLS client who enthusiastically testifies that the approach works.
“We operate in a seasonal market,” says Oy McPeters, CCA and B’s logistics manager. “We have one shot to get it right. We have to work with a broker that knows our needs, and can gear up with our seasonal volume. CLS does the job for us.”
For carriers, the CLS approach means timely payments. As a member of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, the company has a $100,000 TIA surety bond in place. Lantz and Caudell say they are continually looking to grow the company’s carrier network.
“We are always looking to establish long-term relationships with carriers that can pass our rigorous due diligence process,” Lantz says. “In return, the chosen carriers receive a valued brokerage partner that can keep trucks loaded and rolling in the specific lanes they request.”
Numerous freight opportunities are available for everyone from single owner-operators to mega carriers. The company offers LTL and full truckload services, including temperaturecontrolled and expedited. It also offers intermodal and drayage, warehousing and transloading, real-time updates, and container tracking. Equipment types include standard
flatbeds, step decks, lowboys, removable goosenecks, and extendable trailers.
“We are built on a strong foundation and we are set for growth,” says Lantz. “As owners, we have the flexibility to deal directly with clients. As private owners, we are accessible and flexible. We’ve also introduced new management software to make our external processes more collaborative with vendors and clients.”