Five Minutes With Rex Oliver
Written By
James Crichlow
April 25, 2024

Five Minutes With Rex Oliver

We asked our Director of Operations to weigh in on what he's seen so far in 2020, working through a generational event, and what he thinks for anyone wanting to join the industry.

So Rex, how’s 2020 been so far?

 Like everyone we were having a great start to the year. Since the Pandemic has been in full swing we have all faced great challenges. Though, I’ll say that there's a lot less fortunate people in our country.

Operationally, we've seen a lot of inconsistencies in the market and in our world. As a third-party Logistics provider, when the market is unstable, negative trend lines aren’t all that uncommon. 

We were very fortunate the first half of 2020 and enjoyed some very positive revenue months. I have to say we're blessed and very thankful for those.

Global instability has pushed rates up to greater than a five-year high. Here at Atlantic we've felt tightening of capacity in a lot of the markets we are in. Honestly, I think anybody in our industry is feeling the same capacity reduction as we have. That being said, Atlantic Logistics has been very fortunate that we've been able to manage priorities and add resources.

Besides capacity, what other challenges have been front and center?

I'm finding the amount of time to secure the load and keep it on that same carrier has become a challenge. Freight lanes that are usually very profitable and easy to secure have been taking longer than normal to cover. Our customers are not used to that. They are used to Atlantic picking up the load and moving on. The freight is shipped and on the road in a few hours.

Loads today can take a bit longer to secure. So it’s not the amount of loads we’re moving; it's the time in which our folks spend securing loads that’s become another 2020 challenge.

Again, I’m thankful that the team puts in the hard work and always finds a way to rise to the occasion. Always.

photo by Cole LoCurto

Ready to get back to normal?

Yes sir. There is nothing we’d love more than to get to the other side of this pandemic and get back to a normal supply chain, whatever that may look like in the future.

Rex Oliver and Teresa Peterson.

Describe what it’s like to grow a customer base in this climate?

COVID-19 has brought up some real hard conversations. The foundation that we’ve built and grown this business is our customer service and operational excellence. During this pandemic we may have had to make concessions on the margins to meet our customer expectations.  

Obviously, no business can do that very long, but the Atlantic Team keeps grinding, and doing the work to get it done.

It's the Atlantic Way.

How do you think the industry has handled the pandemic?

Overall, I think we’ve done a really good job of handling it. Whether it's a huge company or a small to mid-sized company like us, for a hundred year event, I think the entire industry should feel proud we did our part to keep the country moving.

Finally, for those that may be looking for a new career, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the trucking industry? 

Johnnie Greene, Amanda Thacker, and Rex Oliver head up operations at Atlantic.

I've been in it all my life, My father was in it his whole career. He helped start the company that is now Landstar. There is a huge opportunity in this industry, everything you see in this room, has been moved by a truck. That's a very sustainable career. 

On the flip side it's long hours, many many miles, and for some it's living away from home. Your truck is your office, it's your home, it's your bed. You only take intermittent stops at a place of a brick-and-mortar. However, you get out of it what you put into it. Anything in life, if it's worth having, it's worth working for. 

Let me finish by saying truck drivers are essential. They’re essential to this country and they are essential for our young folks. It's a great way to make a living but it's very, very hard work.

About Atlantic Logistics

Atlantic Logistics provides expedited truckload and partial service on flatbeds, stepdecks, lowbeds, vans, and reefers throughout the United States and Canada. Moving over-dimensional/over-weight freight with specialized equipment, Atlantic Logistics is an approved Department of Defense and General Services Administration broker, qualify as a woman-owned business, and are members of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA),the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA.)

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