In 1946, John V. Crowe, II founded Transport Service Co. (TSC) in Chicago, Illinois to transport fuel oil in the Midwest. The favorable circumstance to provide fuel oil transportation services in the Midwest began during World War II. Fuel oil was transported throughout the United States via tank cars on the nation's railroad system during those days. Due to the war the rail system's tank cars were dedicated to carrying oil to the coasts to fuel the war effort. A need for oil transportation services in the Midwest was felt and an opportunity for Mr. Crowe to create Transport Service Co.
In 1955, John V. Crowe, III joined his family's business and continued its concentration on the transportation of petroleum products. The Company expanded its chemicals business when natural gas began to take over fuel oil as the main heating fuel in the Midwest. In 1967, TSC saw an additional growth opportunity in the transportation of food grade products and subsequently acquired a Decatur, Illinois based transporter of soy bean oil. After this acquisition, TSC expanded relationships with existing customers and cultivated new relationships in the vegetable oils business through its concentration to customer service. The advantage of TSC's vegetable oils business led to the advancement of TSC's transportation of other higher value, quality sensitive food products such as corn syrup.
Transport Service Co. expanded its chemical business in 1972, through the acquisition of the chemical transportation operations of Refiners RTT. Strong diversified growth of TSC's business came about in the development of separate Chemical and Food Grade divisions in 1990. And in March 1, 2008 Kenan Advantage Group (KAG), the nation's largest bulk transportation and logistics provider to the petroleum and niche chemical industries, has acquired Transport Service Co.
Transport Service Co. is one of the largest tank truck carriers in the United States. It is also one of the leading independent tank truck carriers of Sweetener products. TSC has two separate divisions, Chemical and Food Grade. Sixty percent (60%) of it's revenue comes from its Chemical division. They provide tank truck carrier services to companies manufacturing chemicals. The food grade division brings in 40% of the company's revenue. This division focuses on serving companies that manufacturing bulk liquid food products.
Equipment and Technology
Transport Service Co. is acknowledged by both customers and competitors for its fleet of immaculately clean, Company-owned, late model tractors and stainless steel trailers. To retain its glory for tidiness, the Company uses stainless steel pumps exclusively on every Chemical Division tractor and on all Food Grade Division trailers. Hydraulically driven, stainless steel pumps provide better control, higher reliability and less risk of product contamination when compared to iron pumps, which are generally used in the chemical transportation industry.
Transport Service Co.'s fleet consists of 700 tractors. The company's philosophy is to own its tractors which permits them to exercise control over such areas as maintenance and average age while ensuring a steady performance and appearance level to customers. TSC is currently on a replacement cycle of seven-years or 700,000 miles, whichever comes first, which takes maximum advantage of the manufacturer's warranty. As an outcome of this replacement cycle, management believes that its fleet is considerably younger than the industry average.
Transport Service Co.'s fleet of 1400 trailers consists of late model trailers designed to escalate efficiency and reliability. TSC's fleet of trailers covers a range of designs and are often specialized to meet the needs of customers. Chemical uses a wide range of specialized trailers which are geared to carry out specific client's needs including trailers which maintain certain temperatures through the use of a heat exchanger as well as multi-compartment trailers. TSC's Sweetener operation uses trailers that are typically 4,700 - 5,000 gallons in size while trailers used in the Edible Products operations are 7,000 gallons. TSC's trailers are stainless steel with stainless piping and valves. Valves are designed to be quick release to further rapid cleaning. Welds and protuberances on the trailers are polished to eliminate areas which could trap dirt of product that may lead to contamination. TSC's Food Grade trailers are geared with hydraulically driven stainless steel pumps. In addition to reliability and safety, the stainless pumps TSC appropriates on its Food Grade trailers are particularly designed to stop product contamination and, by mounting the pump on the trailer, comforts clients that the prior product record of the trailer applies to the pump as well.
Roll Stability System - Since 2006 TSC has been designating Bendix Roll Stability on all new tractors. They have over 250 systems in their fleet. Roll Stability works to lessen lateral force by automatically reducing acceleration of the tractor and trailer as essential to avert a rollover.
Lane Departure Warning System - In 2007 TSC made a choice to equip Iteris LDWS in all new tractors. After field testing several units for a period of time and getting positive driver feedback, TSC currently has over 175 units installed in the fleet. Iteris LDWS is designed to alarm the driver when the driver changes lanes without using a turn signal or wanders across the lane markings. The system alarms the driver with a rumble strip sound from speakers inside the tractor.
Blind Spot Camera System Ãƒ‚Ã¢€“ Transport Service Co. has been testing dozens of BSCS systems and getting positive driver comments, since 2006 the company has installed BSCS in all new tractors. They have over 225 systems equipped in their fleet. The system has a 7" color panel display on the dashboard and a side body camera placed in the blind spot area of the tractors' right side. The system is triggered when the driver engages his right side turn indicator to show the driver if there are any vehicles in the blind spot area of his mirrors.
Driver Authorization Security System - With today's high level of security awareness TSC has equipped Base security systems in its fleet of tractors. Before the vehicle can be driven, the system requires the driver to enter a security code on the touch pad. Engine will stall without entering the proper authorization code.
Today, Transport Service Co. employs 750 non-union drivers, driving 700 late model tractors and 1400 specialized, stainless steel trailers. It also earned an annual revenue of $130 Million.