CCJ Magazine

April 2020

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Page 44 of 75

commercial carrier journal | april 2020 43 COVER STORY CCJ 2020 INNOVATOR of the YEAR He had just become the Missis- sauga, Ontario-based carrier's new president following the passing of his father, Larry Cox, who founded PTG in 1994 and was big on investing in technology to be more e cient, scalable and competitive. Dave Cox is following in his father's footsteps and is taking that philosophy a few steps further. " e business situation was ready for change," he says, and he began to establish a new framework for PTG based on ve pillars: technology, tal- ent, customer-centricity, safety and community. PTG o ers full supply chain solutions – transportation, logistics, warehousing, distribution and tech- nology – within a niche of next-day pickup-and-delivery service between the greater Toronto area and select areas in the United States. e company has a eet of more than 120 tractors and 280 trailers that operates from C-TPAT certi ed facilities that include two warehouses in Toronto and a location in Ohio that o ers truckload and less-than- truckload (LTL) service. Cox describes PTG, which trans- ports more than 300,000 orders a year across the border, as an "American company headquartered in Toronto," with many customers, transporta- tion partners and competitors in the United States. In 2018, he hired Dave Brajkov- ich to ll a new position as chief technology o cer. Brajkovich had been a technology adviser to the company since 2015 with experience in automating business systems in the nancial, healthcare, manufacturing and banking industries. As Brajkovich worked to bring new digital capabilities to PTG, Cox had a vision for employees in all aspects, from the o ce to the driver's seat. He wanted his people to use their skill sets instead of doing mundane work. During the last two years, PTG has implemented robotic process automa- tion (RPA), a blockchain hyperledger for building communities, arti cial intelligence and application program- ming interface (API)-based system integrations to unlock human capital to focus on more valuable activities and careers than processing freight transactions. "People are creative and want to use their talents," Cox says. Now, PTG employees are on track to becoming "Polaris engineers" who use advanced technology to make better operation- al and planning decisions. For leading a digital transforma- tion to increase employee satisfaction and deliver business results, Polaris Transportation Group has earned the distinctive honor as the Commercial Carrier Journal 2020 Innovator of the Year. Ready for robotics e company had an immediate need for a technology pillar in order entry. As an LTL carrier, PTG's local pickup-and-delivery operations feed 35 line-haul schedules southbound and 35 northbound every night. e assets go no further than 500 miles out and return, loaded with freight into and out of the Toronto area. All the line-hauls have daily cuto times for orders that have to go through a series of complex opera- tional steps. Each order has unique PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE BRAJKOVICH I n 2017, Dave Cox began asking Polaris Transportation Group (PTG) employees a profound question to learn their career path: "What do you want to do in life?" Dave Cox, PTG president, meets with company leaders in the Digital Laboratory to set a vision for the company.

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