Nearly a year ago, local and state officials gathered in Dublin to announce the Patton Logistics Group would be investing $12 million to establish a new logistics and warehousing operation in the New River Valley Commerce Park in Pulaski County.
And before construction on that 250,000 square foot facility is complete, company officials are already announcing an 80,000 square foot addition.
Now the company is ready to hire employees, and Patton officials are hosting a job fair Saturday (Nov. 28) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New River Valley Airport terminal off Route 100 north of Dublin.
According to Thierry Lindor, a Partner with Patton Warehousing and Logistics, the next step for the operation in Dublin is to open the warehouse facility in February or March.
“We’re very close to securing a project in which we will need to hire at least 10 to 15 people to get started in the warehouse – logistics part,” Lindor said.
In addition to that the company will need to hire 15 to 20 additional truck drivers for various trucking projects that will be associated with the Dublin logistics center.
“We’re looking for staff that would be involved with movement of material inside the warehouse, and then obviously staff that will be involved with moving that material to customers that we are transporting to,” said Lindor.
“That’s the reason for the job fair,” he added. “We want everyone to meet us and know what we’re about. We’re hopeful we’ll have a successful day.”
Patton Logistics is comprised of three separate organizations employing over 560 people throughout the U.S.
Watsontown Trucking is a family-owned and -operated asset-based motor carrier company founded in 1941. It operates a fleet of 400 trucks and 1,150 trailers with a workforce of 475.
Patton Logistics, LLC was organized in 2013 as an affiliated entity of Watsontown Trucking to provide transportation brokerage and third-party logistics services for its expanding customer base.
Patton Warehousing, LLC was formed in 2015 and currently manages 1.6 million square feet of warehouse space in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey.
Patton Logistics Group provides integrated supply chain solutions for clients throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Lindor said most of the deliveries truck drivers will make out of the Dublin facility are regional and will include customers in North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee. He said trucks will travel out in a 150- to 200-mile radius of Dublin.
However, quite a few routes, Lindor said would be what the company refers to as “shuttle jobs” delivering to clients in a 5- to 20-mile radius.
“Our initial hiring is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Lindor. “Our employment numbers will triple or more in the near future.”
Establishing their operations in Dublin puts Patton near its truck supplier – Volvo.
“The power units we operate in our fleet are purchased through Volvo and the trucks are made right in Dublin,” Lindor noted.
“That’s a good thing,” he added.
“We just committed to purchasing about $15 million worth of equipment from Volvo over the next four years. We have an excellent partnership with Volvo, and we love their trucks and the way they are built,” Lindor continued.
“We have really in a big way made a commitment with Volvo that they will be our main truck supplier. We were already a customer, but became a more significant customer since our move to Dublin. We don’t think it would be right for us to build a logistics center 5 miles from Volvo and not buy their trucks,” Lindor said.
“We’ll definitely be enhancing our fleet with more Volvo power,” Lindor said. “We just took delivery of 13 trucks last week, and I know they’ll be building more for us in the near future.”
Lindor said the new trucks are replacements for older trucks in their fleet, which he said shows the company is investing in its fleet and looking to the future.
When the company’s expansion to Dublin was announced in January, company officials raved about the reception they had received locally and how they had been made to feel welcome. That feeling hasn’t changed nearly a year later.
“It’s still that way and might have gotten better,” Lindor said.
“Even in advance of the job fair, we have really had a significant hiring of drivers in the Dublin and Roanoke areas just in the last month. I think our presence there will enhance the ability for us to recruit and retain drivers,” Lindor said.
Another important factor in gaining and keeping drivers, he added, has come in the last 30 days as the company has increased its pay rate for drivers.
“As you can see in some of our advertisements, drivers can earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year. That’s really significant,” he said.
Lindor said the pay increase was the result of two things: the safety record of its drivers and their excellent work history.
“Employees are loyal to the company, dedicated, come to work on time and are good people,” Lindor said.
“Our turnover is very low,” he said. “The trucking industry has 100 percent turnover so every year they have a complete turnover of their people. Our turnover is 25 percent.”
Lindor credits that low turnover to the way the company treats its employees.
“We really listen to them and hear their concerns if they have them and react accordingly,” he said. “People like our open-door policy to ownership and management, and I think they really care about the way they’re treated here. It’s a family-owned company and the employees really feel like they’re a part of it.”
While employees are attracted to Patton, so are customers.
“We can offer a complete package of services in one phone call,” Lindor said about the company.
“Someone can call us that has warehousing work and discuss the logistics work to get that product moved from supplier to warehouse, and then from warehouse to the end user. They can also discuss with us those movements. We can take care of the over-the-road trucking, the warehousing and logistics and then we can take care of the shuttle process to take it to the end users. Not many companies can do that. Not many who have 400 trucks and growing, plus have a couple million square feet of warehousing operations and the freight brokerage on top of it. It gives us a huge advantage,” he said.
“That’s a powerful marketing tool that has been very successful for us. People don’t want to call three different people to get a single logistics project done. Customers are really attracted to us because of it,” Lindor said.
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot