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Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN) was founded in 1956 by Clarence L. (C.L.) Werner. Werner Enterprises is a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. It ships to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, Europe and South America. Werner has regional offices throughout North America, in China and recently in Australia. Werner is among the five largest carriers in the United States, with services that include dedicated, medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van capacity, expedited, temperature-controlled and flatbed. Werner also offers freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, load/mode and network optimization and freight forwarding.
Beginning: 1956-1970: Werner Enterprises' Chairman Emeritus C. L. Werner began a humble business in 1956 with one truck. At the age of 19, Werner went to Omaha to work in a factory, but decided he would rather drive a truck. He sold his car to buy a gas-powered Ford F800 truck and started hauling cargo for other trucking companies. He hauled cargo that was exempt from regulatory restrictions, such as grain, watermelon and fence posts. C. L.'s first son, Gary, entered the world in 1957 and would become the first of four children to help transform the family business into a billion dollar operation.
C. L. built the company one truck at a time, hauling in regional areas. He officially named his company Werner Enterprises in 1959. With the purchase of his first diesel truck, C. L. began to see the future of his company before his eyes. While growing a business, the young businessman was also growing a family. In 1959, C. L. welcomed his second child, son Greg. In 1964, C. L. Werner moved his company out of his 900-square-foot home and into a little shop on property costing $25,000 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. With a fleet of a dozen metallic blue trucks, Werner Enterprises became a shining example of hard work paying off. C. L.'s third son, Curt was also born in 1964. By the late 1960s, C. L.'s two oldest sons, Gary and Greg, were becoming interested in their father's company. C. L. even started a small business for the children, affectionately called Gra-Gar. The small company, which leased out equipment, would later merge with Werner Enterprises further strengthening the family business bonds.
Continued Growth: 1971-1978: C. L. made his first big truck purchase of 10 Freightliners in 1971. He also expanded the Company to include the first office employee, Sharon Curry, who started out working in the tire shop. As the Werner Enterprises team began to grow, so did its customer base. Werner Enterprises welcomed Maytag, its first Fortune 500 customer in 1975. With 100 trucks on the road and gross sales exceeding $6 million, Werner Enterprises built its new headquarters on five-acres in Omaha without a loan. With daughter Gail working as a receptionist, the family business continued to grow. Werner Enterprises even purchased its first aircraft, a Cessna 414, in 1978.
Public Offering and Paperless Logs: 1979-1994: Werner Enterprises went public on NASDAQ in 1986 with a fleet of 630 trucks. By this time, son Gary Werner was president of the company. As a trusted team, C. L. and Gary worked diligently to prove the company's worth to Wall Street. Werner Enterprises chose Alex Brown & Sons to underwrite the company's public offering. The company's shares climbed to $22 within the first three months. C. L. and his children remained the company's largest private shareholders.
In an effort to streamline the company's operations and improve communications, Werner Enterprises implemented a satellite-based Qualcomm system for location and messaging capabilities on all of its trucks. This real-time communication system would help the company manage its continuous contact with drivers. Later the company became the first truckload carrier to be authorized by the Federal Highway Administration to implement paperless logs.
On-site Expansions: 1995-1999: In 1995, son Greg Werner led the Management Information System group. Just before the company turned 40 years old, Werner began construction of its Phoenix, Ariz. terminal. In addition, the company opened the Conestoga Building at its Omaha headquarters that features a collection of historical Company equipment along with other informational exhibits. With revenues reaching $1 billion, Werner Enterprises completed a 166,500-square-foot addition to its Omaha headquarters in 1999. This expansion would allow the Werner Enterprises family of employees to enjoy Drivers' lounges, a 5,000-square-foot computer center, a company store and cafeteria.
International Operations: 2000–Present: To tap into international market growth, Werner Enterprises launched its Mexico operations in 2000. Having increased freight operations in Canada as well, international business became a significant part of Werner Enterprises' way of life. Also, in 2001 Werner Enterprises opened an international terminal in Laredo, Texas, and continued plans for a bright future.
In nearly 50 years, C. L. Werner's company went from one tractor to one of the country's largest carriers. With his family alongside, C. L. was able to achieve the kind of business success that eludes most people. Crediting his success to the hard work he learned on the farm as a child, C. L. celebrated his company's 50-year anniversary with his team of dedicated, customer-focused and hardworking professionals.
In 2007, Werner Enterprises appointed Gregory L. Werner to chief executive officer in addition to the position of president. Werner Enterprises and Werner Global Logistics are named as the official freight forwarder and logistics provider for the pools used in the 2008 US Swim Trials. The event was a pre-cursor to the record-breaking games held later in Beijing, China. Werner Global Logistics continued to grow, crossing two major milestones. As the company provided service to its 100th country, it also opened its first office in Australia, further meeting customer demand in the Pacific Rim. Werner Enterprises was named to Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies list in 2010. In addition, the Company was listed as one of Forbes.com 's Most Trustworthy Companies. Derek Leathers was named president of Werner Enterprises in 2011 in addition to his duties as chief operating officer, a position he held as of 2008.
Werner Enterprises has a broad spectrum of services that includes dedicated; medium-to-long-haul, regional and local van; expedited; temperature-controlled; and flatbed services. Werner's Value Added Services portfolio includes freight management, truck brokerage, intermodal, and international services. International services are provided through Werner's domestic and global subsidiary companies and include ocean, air and ground transportation; freight forwarding; and customs brokerage. The main commodities of freight transported are retail store merchandise, consumer products, manufactured products and grocery products.
Werner operates 13 terminals in the United States with the most recent addition of the terminal located U.S./Canada border near Detroit, Michigan. Of the 13 terminals, nine are full service terminals offering tractor and trailer repair services. The other terminals offer a drop yard and safety services but no maintenance facilities. The complete list of Werner terminal locations in the U.S. is as follows:
Werner Enterprises was the first trucking company to use the paperless log system. In June 1998 Werner Enterprises and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) entered into a pilot program to use a "paperless" log system designed to replace the paper logbooks for recording drivers Hours Of Service (HOS) duty statuses. This process was tested and monitored by the FMCSA for a period of six years. Through the six-year period drivers used the computer system via the Qualcomm on board computers in the truck and still maintaining a paper log while the system was perfected. From 1995 through September 2004 Werner continued to improve the paperless log system and in this time contacted the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and informed them of their findings and showed Werner's commitment to the safety of their drivers and more importantly the motoring public. On September 21, 2004 the FMCSA granted Werner Enterprises an exemption from paper log use and in December 2004 was formally granted the exemption at a ceremony at the corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. Other companies using electronic logs include Schneider National, Knight Transportation, and Marten Transport.
Werner’s current fleet is made up of the following makes and models: • Freightliner Cascadia • Peterbilt 386 and 587 • Kenworth T660, T700, and T680 • International ProStar and ProStar+ • Volvo Trucks VNL 670. As fuel and operating costs increased over the years, Werner elected to remove the "long-nose" tractors from their fleet. The Pete 379/389, Kenworth W-900, and the Freightliner Classic were retired from the fleet and were replaced with the more aerodynamic tractors. It is estimated that a tractor burns one gallon of fuel for every hour it is idling. The main color of Werner tractors and trailers is light silver blue. However, since this color has become so synonymous with Werner in the transportation industry, Werner has diversified its colors to assist in tractor resale. The new colors include, but are not limited to: red, black, dark blue, white, and tan. The Werner van and temperature controlled trailer fleet mostly consists of 53' Wabash trailers, while the flatbeds are 48' spread axle trailers.
Werner Enterprises is a SmartWay Transport partner. The SmartWay partnership is an innovative collaboration between the U.S. EPA and the freight industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution. Through SmartWay, Werner Enterprises has earned a ShipperIndex Factor (SIF) of 1.25, the highest score possible. An SIF of 1.25 represents outstanding environmental performance and is an example of Werner's commitment to environmental friendliness. In addition, only partners that score 1.25 are allowed to display the SmartWay Transport Partner logo. Werner Enterprises has adopted the following fuel efficiency initiatives:
In addition, electrical usage for lighting is controlled by timers during off hours.