by F. Andrew Taylor
The management of Superior Logistics, tradeshow and event transportation specialists don’t want it to be just a great transportation company. They want more.
“We don’t want to be just a trucking company,” says Joe Martillaro (pictured left), one of the company’s managing directors. “We want to be a value-added, supply-chain partner to the tradeshow and event community. We be a part and a participant in the industry at large.”
The company has relationships with assets and organization throughout the industry, from general contractors to fabricators, audio-visual experts and more. It participates in the EDPA both locally and nationally. The company strives not just to work with the community but to be an active part of it.
“That’s one of the things we’re most proud of,” Martillaro says. “That’s why we go to tradeshows. It’s why we talk with people throughout the industry. It is critically important that we have a knowledge base that is cross sectional in the industry at large.”
The company’s national headquarters is in the Chicago area and serves the entire country for all modes of transportation. It is full service in every sense of the phrase and can handle shipments of all sizes and scopes for the event and show industry. Tradeshow and event transportation is their specialty.
“We are focused on something that is very simple:” says Martillaro, “We are focused on delivering superior results, every time.”
Part of what sets the company apart is a combination of a fleet of 150 company trucks. The management believes that being an asset-based carrier gives them a competitive advantage.
“In addition to that, our experience and market convergence dictates that we are in the vast majority of convention centers,” says Martillaro. “Sometimes the difference between the price of transportation between us and another transportation firm may be $3 or $400 dollars, but ultimately you pay the price and more if your goods are damaged or delayed by a firm that doesn’t understand the intricacies of a particular marshalling yard.
To that end, Superior is constantly marking changes and directions on their routes. Bringing a 53-foot trailer hauled by a 15-20 foot tractor through big, congested cities like New York, Washington D.C. or Los Angeles, can be very challenging. Martillaro notes that If you give it to just any “Tom, Dick or Harry who’s going to broker it out to someone without the experience … someone who’s never been to a tradeshow”—that can easily be a recipe for disaster.
Superior Logistics’ focus is providing personal service at superior price points. “We understand terms like marshaling yard and target time,” continues Martillaro. “Whether a major industry event or a smaller venue for a more intimate experience, we can be relied upon to deliver on time, every time. We believe our job is to make the logistical piece as easy as possible, so that our clients can focus on ROI for these critical shows and events.”
He adds, “Developing a personalized experience with our clients’ specific and unique needs in mind has allowed us to grow and separate ourselves from the competition. We are not a big box broker and do not want to be. We are a nimble company focused on investing time and capital into creatively sourcing solutions for our clients’ needs in the various modes of transit required in today’s marketplace. Our business model calls for us to engage only in the business that we can handle efficiently, ethically and affordably for our clients. You can count on Superior Logistics to always answer and always be accountable.”
Patrick McConkey (pictured right), also a managing director at Superior Logistics, says that the company was formed when they saw that there were critical improvements that could be made in the industry. He felt there was too much opportunity to pass it up.
For example, for decades clients asked McConkey why it took so long for invoices to run. He says that he thought he had to make excuses and dance around the issue, until one morning he came to a realization: They didn’t have to.
”There was really no reason,” McConkey says. “Some places were taking 30 days plus. It was stupid. Invoices should be turned around rapidly. At Superior, our goal is to run every invoice between 24 and 48 hours. Not just for the customers that complain, not just for the squeaky wheel, but for every single customer.”
The company, recently relocated from Itasca, Ill., to Bartlett, Ill. “The new location is multi-faceted,” says Martillaro. “We have a full truck repair and tire center, parking for over 250 trailers, bob tail units, 40,000 square feet of warehouse space and office space to comfortably fit over 100 employees for the Superior family of companies.”
He adds, “This move is big for Superior because we can now house and repair all of our company assets under one roof. With the advent of ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) for the trucks, we are able to get drivers off the clock and to the rest period more rapidly and efficiently than our competition. We are completing a full drivers’ lounge and recuperation area on site and we have two repair overhead doors and exterior docks to handle our cross docking and scaling operations as well.”
While the ELDs were mandated by federal regulations to govern the length and number of hours a driver could be on the road, the company has embraced the change and turned it into an asset.
“One of the pillars of our organization is real-time communication,” says Martillaro. “That is not a buzzword. That’s something we talk about. It’s our passion.”
To that end, Superior lets its clients know where their shipment is at all times, notifying them when a driver checks in and when a shipment is delivered. “That may sound basic, but it’s a critical part of the industry that’s been lacking for a long time,” Martillaro says. “A lot of people are very reactive. We are proactive.”
The new location was fully up and running as of Sept. 1 and according to Martillaro, “We are absolutely looking to expand with additional salespeople and tradeshow-experienced operations personnel.”
Superior Logistics’ passion is to get the job done right and on time, every time. Their guiding force is to deliver SUPERIOR results for their partners. Their motto is “The way we do business, our very culture is the defining characteristic you will find when working with us.” Superior Logistics is located at 31W222 W. Bartlett Road, Bartlett, IL, 60103. Phone: (888) 84-ONTIME. For more info, visit www.shipsuperior.com.
This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 34. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/exhibitcitynews_janfeb_2020