Rogers Transport puts service first

One only has to enter the depot of Rogers Transport in Brisbane to be impressed by the high level of pride exhibited by those wearing the company uniform. There is an air of excitement and evidence of professionalism from each and every person on the site.

Then there are the trucks, 40 in total along with 75 trailers, that reflect that pride in presentation – head turners as they run the highways and on local distribution where they are held in high regard by those in the road transport industry.

Rogers Transport is the result of hard work from day one with a single truck operation founded by Gary and Val Rogers nearly 30 years ago. The company was established in 1985 and has since gone from strength to strength with its aim to provide quality service to customers with no stone left unturned to deliver on its promises.

As a result, that one truck led to the establishment of four entities – container transport, interstate services, distribution and warehousing.

“All business units are driven by our desire to deliver the highest quality services to our clients, in fact we pride ourselves on being a ‘hands-on’ company with the flexibility to meet the exacting needs of our clients,” says General Manager, John Glass.

“Our operations are tailored to ensure our reputation for meeting our clients’ needs is maintained and also to meet the needs of their clients, delivering maximum benefits through the entire supply chain.”

Rogers Transport has maintained its growth through those aims, with a strong emphasis on using quality equipment. The container services division, for instance, has been strengthened by adding eight side loaders to the mix; the interstate transport side of the business was bolstered by adding modern prime movers, new curtain-siders and flat top trailers; warehousing space has grown to 6000m2 and the local distribution fleet was tailored to provide a seamless fit to provide a complete range of transport from ‘go to whoa’.

Nothing in transport is ever easy in an extremely competitive market, but Rogers has worked closely with its clients to expand services, looking closely at their requirements and establishing new facets of business to suit their ever-changing transport needs.

But at times things are completely out of your control such as the events in January 2011, when Brisbane was swamped by the flood crisis. Unfortunately the company’s premises were inundated with little warning, in fact, the Rocklea depot went under 15 metres of water resulting in a huge loss of records, stock in its warehouse, nine trucks and 13 trailers. It was a blow many would never recover from, but Rogers Transport bounced back with conviction.

“It was a very bad time for a number of transport companies in the immediate area,” John recalls. “We continued to operate from a nearby site but the amount of work required to clean and rebuild was enormous.

“There were a huge number of helpers willing to do what they could but in reality it was devastating. We worked seven days a week in an attempt to get things back to normal in the shortest period possible, it was a massive effort from the first time we could venture back into the place but we persevered and finally got the job done.”
The one positive note following the disaster was the fact that clients stood by them, testament to the relationships formed over the years and services delivered and today, while memories are still raw, Rogers Transport is in complete control of its destiny and continues to carry out its duties for what are some of the biggest names in Australia.

The company is extremely proud of its service record and the fact it has retained those blue chip customers from day one. It has no sales representatives; instead customers come to them.

“This is because we do what we say we will do. If we are approached by a company looking for specific services we know exactly if we can meet those requirements or if we can tailor our operations to provide what they are looking for.

“At the end of the day we are all about service, if we can’t provide what they are looking for, we simply don’t do it, we make no false promises. It is always our aim to form strong relationships with customers,” John says.

“We have the same close bonds with our suppliers and are very loyal to them. For example, we use Kenworth trucks for long distance and container work and Isuzu for local distribution, Freighter trailers, Hammer side loaders, Castrol lubricants and Navman to name a few.

“These long standing relationships are important to us as we are able to work with them to ensure our aims can be achieved through proper development of equipment to suit our specific needs, allowing us to deliver what we say we will.  Reliability is what we are all about and we work with suppliers to maintain that reliability across all facets of our business,” he says.

The company has been continually working to develop systems within operations to reduce downtime, improve delivery times, reduce fuel consumption and improve profitability and safety.

“All of our vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking and we have developed systems with Navman Wireless to give us improved fleet management. Real time reporting information is readily available covering a myriad of operational facets impacting both our company and customers.

“We continue to look at ways to increase efficiency and productivity, which at the end of the day works for our customers. Safety is vital right across our business and this too is an area where we strive to be at the forefront, for drivers, everybody in our depot and at customer facilities, plus we are NHVAS accredited,” he says.

Presentation plays a big role in Rogers Transport operations and all trucks carrying the company colours are immaculate as they ply the roads and highways. The company has also offered value for customers through having trailer curtains signwritten.

It also has a one truck one driver policy across all of its equipment, with John pointing out it has enormous benefits across the board and contributes to the company’s hard won renown for quality.

“When a driver is given a vehicle he is informed it is his truck, his trailer. It means that person is totally in charge of the unit and they have some ownership of it. I am happy to say they look after the vehicle in their charge and tend to maintain our high level of presentation, plus they become a part of the machine and know immediately if something is wrong. If there is an issue it is addressed straightaway which ensures reliability is not compromised,” he says.

“Every driver is responsible for not only the truck and trailer but the equipment that comes with it. For example, many companies have problems with missing items such as straps, but all of our drivers know exactly what is on board of their trucks so there is never a question about not having the right gear to do the job. They appreciate as they know they will never be caught out when equipment is needed.”

The company enjoys a high driver retention rate with most being with the company for many years. John says that even when people leave thinking the grass is greener elsewhere, most of them return shortly after. That’s why Rogers never advertises driving positions as it has a list of willing workers on file.

Everything Rogers Transport does is geared to the customer and new services developed are carefully considered with all equipment specified for the specialised task at hand. Recently it won a contract requiring road train haulage, a new venture for the company, but in its imitable way the company addressed the project with the usual approach to providing a premium quality service.

“It is important to have the right people and right equipment to do the job and we again went straight to the task of giving that from day one. Once again it is all about relationships we have with our customers, that is why we have them,” John smiles.

The four company divisions work hand-in-hand to give a one-stop-shop approach to business. Its container division can collect a box from the wharf and deliver it to Rocklea where it is unpacked. Storage can then be provided if need be, as well as metropolitan or interstate delivery. The freight handled by Rogers Transport is extremely varied, yet every aspect of the business is attuned to safe handling and timely delivery.

“We can meet all customer requirements with an amazing amount of flexibility. As a family-owned company, we have the ability to react quickly to suit all occasions and people can call Gary Rogers or myself and know they will be looked after on a very personal basis. This gives us an enormous amount or pride and satisfaction because again we can do what we say we will and this also pleases our customers,” John says.

As a result, the Rogers company is still going strong. In fact, future expansion is almost guaranteed through the simple, yet effective ‘customer first’ attitude.

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