Today, the transport and logistics sector is undergoing a significant transformation as new technological solutions come into everyday use, driven by market trends. At no point in recent history have one witnessed such a large degree of political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal changes influencing this segment of the economy. Creating a difference for more than four decades in the logistics arena is Quality Transportation Services, a privately held logistics company headquartered in Mechanicsville, Virginia. The company operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week handling a wide variety of rail logistics needs for leaders in industries such as Chemicals, Metals, Food, Aggregates, and Forest and Paper Products. QTS is the leader in innovative third-party rail expertise with an ever-growing team of experienced transportation professionals serving a diverse group of customers in traditionally rail-served industries throughout North America.
QTS started out in the proactive tracking business way back in 1982, and culminated into one of the pioneers of this service, and continue to lead the industry today. From this foundation of success, their customers have led them into developing a full spectrum of rail-centric products and services all with the fundamental goal of achieving maximum performance while minimizing the costs of rail shipping. It starts with a commitment to the customer with the passion and skill of a true professional. QTS’ uniqueness lies in its dedicated offerings that are targeted toward rail services—unlike others that provide multi-modal transportation services—making them specialists in the domain.
The company offers extensive facilities for shipment management, fleet administration, and tracking, freight procurement, plant management, freight auditing, and reporting and analytics. Each of the services given by the company characterizes one constituent portion of the overall procedure, designed to enhance the value and cost-effectiveness of the rail mode.
QTS is one of the few independent players in the industry and does business with a wide variety of entities from railroads, to rail shops, car manufacturers, lessors and third parties, but through the years they have remained detached from outside influences to ensure their singular focus is on the success of the customers. Since QTS is independent and objective, they are able to pursue the objectives of their customers, take on their perspective—the shippers—and work with a shipper’s mindset in dealing with carriers, lessors, shops, and other industry influences.
The QTS SmartRail Suite of software tools is designed and updated regularly by a staff of programmers on-site at QTS’ headquarters. Their development team works with the operations group side-by-side to produce applications that are built from an end user’s point of view, with their years of industry knowledge and business intelligence built right in. Staying flexible in their approach allows QTS to provide the customized and varied services they do—not the simple off-the-shelf, “take it or leave it” products and services, but adaptable, tailored solutions that change as the customers’ needs change. QTS practices lean and agile principles in everything they do and focus their resources on being adaptable and ready to change with the customers.
Over 40 years, QTS has learned quite a bit about how to run an effective rail transportation program. The company has a set of protocols and operating procedures in every area of their business – from tracking, to fleet maintenance, to software development and network support. Many of these practices come from industry models, some from the leadership of their customers, and some from a recipe of common sense and trial and error that have allowed QTS to stay flexible in an ever-changing business environment.