Our Secret Sauce: Small Carriers

Here at AM Transport, we’ve been in the logistics industry for 30 years. It’s a long time. Over time, we’ve seen many changes. In fact, this business began in a small one-room cabin on a tiny lake in rural Illinois. There were two telephones and a window air conditioner that didn’t work. Now we’re in an office building we designed ourselves. Out back is a beautiful beer garden for gatherings and working outside on nice days. And just recently, due to COVID-19, we moved to a remote workforce. What I’m trying to say is things change all the time; we and the customers and carriers we work with can expect more of this as we move forward.


Small Carriers

Here’s the funny thing. When people ask me, “Hey Michael, what does AMT do better than other businesses? What’s your secret sauce?”I know that it’s the one thing that’s never changed. We add the most value by putting smaller, service-oriented fleets on dedicated lanes and routes for customers. Sure, we can move shipments on short notice when our customers get in a jam–we’re really good at that. But what we really love is to help our customers who want to improve their overall logistics experience, those shippers who are willing to share information needed, so we can find the best carriers to handle their business on a dedicated basis.

When you give us a lane or two, we can’t truly evaluate how to help you in a meaningful way. But when you give us a look across your freight lanes and network, we get a true picture of what can be accomplished. We’ll never disrupt anything that’s working well, but if you have an area ripe for improvement, we’ll dig in and get to work.


Here’s how we do this.


  • Relationships are the heart of our method. You want dependable service, people you can count on–that’s our team of highly-skilled logistics professionals. You want a single point of contact, someone you really know, a person to talk to when you have a problem or better yet a new business opportunity. Basically, you want a low-maintenance relationship with high-level service, and that’s what we provide.


  • When you share your freight lanes and networks, the magic begins. You see,  our carrier reps are experienced professionals who have spent the last several years growing and building great relationships with small, service-minded carriers. Our carrier reps will look at your freight lanes and networks and they’ll choose the best carriers for your business. Then, we provide the technology to connect these great carriers with you for tracking and reporting and the communication for both of you so the carriers can focus on operating trucks and you aren’t spending your valuable time tracking down shipments.


  • Let’s talk about these small, service-minded carriers. These small carriers are great because we know them. We can call, talk to the owner, the shop, and we get to know the drivers. These small fleets have lower driver turnover, long business histories, and they want the same thing you want–to do what they do best. They want a low-maintenance business relationship good for their bottom line. Like their low driver turnover, they keep their customer turnover low as well. These excellent carriers are practical, sensible business people who understand the value of long-term relationships.


  • We succeed (actually I think we excel) because we make things better for customers and carriers. It’s not a zero-sum game. Actually, it’s just the opposite. When the freight lanes and service are optimized for you and the carrier, you save money and your carrier is more profitable. Anyone who tells you differently, doesn’t know what she’s doing or doesn’t have your interests at heart.


Secret Sauce: Service-Minded Small Carriers

In the end, we offer proactive management. We keep a close eye on the market conditions and rates. We invest in technology that keeps us ahead of volatile freight rates (and we’ve seen a lot of that lately). When you combine this with the efficiencies we bring to the table, you’ll see that we’ll keep your rates in line and below market while making sure fleets hauling your goods are profitable and happy too. Healthy long-term relationships with good fleets and market knowledge tech keeps you from the large pricing swings other customers are susceptible to.


Sure, we’re good at a lot of things. We like a challenge, but our secret sauce is our relationships with small, service-minded carriers and the value that brings to our customers and the carriers who haul their freight.