Passion and persistence are key to success in this and any industry. But you can’t do it alone.
That’s one of the biggest lessons Tracy Thomas has learned in her career in transportation. As someone who grew up in the trucking industry, she saw how the relationships built with partners, vendors, customers, employees and peers moved businesses forward and bettered the industry overall.
When Thomas founded Bulk or Liquid Transport (BOLT) in 2006, she put that lesson into practice. She immediately put her team together, including drivers, customer service staff, and her husband Mike Thomas who acts as BOLT’s COO. From its Arroyo Grande, California headquarters, the BOLT team established terminals in Ogden, Utah and Phoenix, Arizona to serve the food-grade liquid sweeteners market throughout the Western United States for some of the world’s biggest brands.
In addition to connecting to certifications from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Thomas sought out regional partners within the trucking industry. BOLT faced the challenge of operating 22 tractors, 22 tankers and two terminals from a different state—and Thomas knew exactly where to turn for support for its Phoenix location. BOLT joined the Arizona Trucking Association to better connect to the region it serves. Thomas considers the ATA a critical partner in her business, especially for their legislative advocacy, training programs for management, and networking opportunities with vendors.
“Whether it’s being aware of a new road closure or educating us on new industry regulation in an easily-understood manner, we feel like we get so much out of our ATA membership,” Thomas says. “They are our go-to destination for information, and their support has proved to be invaluable to the work we do in communities across the region.”
BOLT’s philosophy of stewardship to the communities it serves throughout Arizona, Utah and California is put into practice by proactively adopting progressive standards for environmental responsibility. As an EPA Smartway Transport Partner, BOLT makes strides in reducing its carbon footprint by tracking emissions associated with goods movement and helping their customers demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable business practices. Thomas has brought new technology into her fleet’s cabs that helps track metrics on their green house gas emissions, safety and efficiency, critical information BOLT can then pass on to customers to meet their corporate responsibility goals.
“We believe our dedication to the details on behalf of our customers makes us a more successful company,” remarks Thomas. BOLT has received recognition for its accomplishments throughout the nation, but its accolades in Arizona include:
• 2011 and 2010 Fleet Safety Award from the Arizona Trucking Association—250,000- 500,000 miles Arizona
• 2011 SCF Arizona Certificate of Safety for having a perfect workplace safety record
As Thomas looks to expand BOLT’s services to cover other food-grade products in the future, it will be with the support of her industry partners like the ATA, Smartway and the WBENC that have been key to BOLT’s success. Because, as Thomas knows, you can’t do it alone.
For more information on Tracy Thomas’ story, BOLT and the communities they serve, visit www.bolt-transport.com or call 800-975-2658.
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