“I’ve worked with other carriers who just were ‘high maintenance’ – they wanted to tell us what to do and how to do it, but with little regard for feasibility in the ‘real’ day-to-day operations of our own business,” says Sheri Stuart, safety and personnel manager at Metro Xpress in Wichita, Kansas.
Having worked with Canal for nearly five years, Stuart appreciates a change in approach. Describing Canal as knowledgeable about claims, particularly larger losses, and on-top of liability issues, she has come to rely on Canal’s valuable safety resources. It works for her – not the other way around.
“Canal is always ready to help us find ways we can be better, but they do it on our terms,” explains Stuart. “They can be as hands on as you want them to be, but they don’t step on toes.” Like many other Canal insureds, Metro Xpress arrived with a structured safety program already in place. “We run a pretty tight ship, but we’re always open to suggestions to make our company’s safety program better,” says Stuart. “And Canal helped us keep our program firmly on track.”
Metro Xpress, which began in 1982 as a husband and wife operation with one 14-foot straight truck, has grown into the largest general commodities truck load carrier in Wichita, servicing all 48 contiguous states. The company also boasts warehousing facilities, making it a total logistics company.
Although Metro Xpress does monitor its own drivers regularly, Stuart appreciates the additional insight Canal provides, referencing available education material, on-site visits and a trending report of CSA scores that Canal recently provided as examples of their open dialogue and partnership. As she says, an extra layer of experience and suggestions for improvement are always beneficial, particularly at a company like Metro Xpress.
Stuart has attended two Canal Safety Seminars as well – the most recent in April – and she was especially impressed with the caliber of presenters, including attorneys who highlighted specific liability issues. “The networking was another great benefit,” she says. “It’s always good to hear how others are managing the same kind of problems you face.”
“In the end, Canal provides what we need, when we need it and in a format that matches our company and its procedures, not the other way around,” says Stuart.