Driving Relationships with the Trucking Industry 

Great Truckers

Carrier of the Month: National Retail Systems, Inc.

TheRoad_CarrierOfMonthThis month’s featured carrier is National Retail Systems, Inc., (NRS), a family owned and operated company that has been proving logistics solutions for retailers and manufacturers for more than 60 years. Mike Luffy, terminal manager, has over 20 years of wide-ranging transportation and logistics experience. At NRS, he manages over seven terminals nationwide that, in total, handle over 1,100 store deliveries each week.

What makes your company unique?

Our culture of being a family owned business makes us unique. We have strong relationships with our drivers—from the top down, through all levels of management and employees. We have been in transportation logistics for over 60 years, and many of our employees have been with us for 20+ years, and some even 30+ years. Longevity in our company speaks volumes about our culture and stability.

When working with a customer for the first time, what are your expectations?

First off, we make sure that their logistics needs are clearly defined so that we can customize a logistics model that fits their specific needs. Then we try to make sure our goals are aligned so we can meet their expectations. It takes the noise out of the supply chain.

If you could change one thing about the transportation industry, what would it be?

The perception that drivers are not skilled workers. In fact, drivers keep not only NRS running, but they keep the entire country running. Without drivers, America would essentially stop because everything you purchase has been delivered in some way, shape, or form by a driver.

What should the general public know about the trucking industry?

I don’t think the public is aware of the culture of safety we try to pass on to our drivers. Every facet of our company stems from a safety standpoint. The general public needs to do their part by being aware of how to share the roads with tractor-trailers. For example, know that a tractor-trailer has blind spots, and don’t linger there. Steer clear from cutting off tractor-trailers because they do not have the ability to stop as fast as cars do.

What industry or technology innovations have improved the trucking industry? 

In the last 20 years, the concept of sustainability in trucking has been pretty innovative. At NRS, we have been in investing in new equipment that is better for the environment. We are a proud SmartWay carrier and doing all we can to improve our emissions. Our initiatives vary from our rolling resistant tires to light sensors in our warehouses—we are cutting our costs as well as our carbon footprint.

Can you explain NRS’s iTrack and the idea of a glass-house logistics solution?

Everything is transparent. Our customers have access to each segment of the supply chain via an online dashboard called iTrack that can be viewed across various gadgets and accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. There’s even a portal where vendors can go in and book loads. We allow visibility from start to finish, and our in-house team of programmers completely customize the dashboard so that our customers can get the data they want to see, and how they want to see it, 24/7.

It’s always great to read new perspectives and insights from carriers. If you are interested in being featured in our carrier of the month series, please email theroad@chrobinson.com.

- Communications Specialist- C.H. Robinson

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