System Freight Inc. - An American Success Story
We are proud of our customer relationships and are honored
to serve them in all of their business needs. Check out our
customer spotlight on System Freight, Inc. Their story is one
of growth and triumph in the face of personal loss, economic
recession and an ever-changing trucking industry.
Spotlight on System Freight, Inc.
James LaMarca began his business in 1975 with one B-model Mack truck and a vision. From day one, every customer was earned and every deal nurtured. Business flourished. After only a few years, LaMarca was adding trucks to meet growing demand. By the 1980s, System Freight, Inc. was an established carrier on the fast track to becoming one of the nation’s premier freight operations. By the end of the twentieth century, the company’s business focus had pivoted from primarily LTL (less than truckload) to dedicated contract transportation.
Prior to his passing in 2006, LaMarca drafted a 10-year plan to guide his company into the unknown future. Despite the loss of its founder and a looming economic recession, System Freight, Inc. not only endured, it thrived during the following years. Today, LaMarca’s business model is credited as the backbone of the company’s success story and System Freight, Inc. proudly serves many of their very first customers.
Growing Up with the Business
Today’s System Freight, Inc. operation includes 420 power units, almost 3000 trailers and approximately 500 team members across 30 locations. This expansion is remarkable considering the company had only 180 operating power units in 2006. Jim LaMarca Jr., current Executive Vice President, attributes this growth and success to the following:
- Superior customer service
- Accessibility and support from upper management
- Density in the region that they serve
- Dedication to the business
- Flexibility from multiple locations
- Pricing models that are customer friendly
- Strong reputation and robust relationships
Jim LaMarca Jr. has been in the business his whole life. His dad would bring him to the office on weekends and during the summers to help with odd jobs. The first job he remembers is filing paperwork for his dad at $2/hour when he was about six years old.
“If there was a dirty job at the shop, it belonged to me,” Jim reminisces. “I mowed lawns, swept pits and painted rims.” He fondly remembers being asked to paint the rims bright orange one day. “By the time I went home, I looked like a pumpkin.”
Building a Fleet
System Freight, Inc. leverages their extensive experience to help their customers through closely aligned partnerships. One such partnership led them to Bergey’s Truck Centers. In the mid-1980s, System Freight, Inc. was purchasing trucks from Horner Mack in Pennsauken, NJ. When Bergey’s Truck Centers purchased Horner Mack in 2002, they were pleasantly surprised to find that Bergey’s had additional capabilities to offer their business. “We were pleased to learn that Bergey’s was a quality company to work with and our relationship was enhanced as a result of the acquisition,” says Jim LaMarca.
System Freight, Inc. began outgrowing their shops and in 2008, turned to Bergey’s for full-service leasing. Today, with the support of Bergey’s Truck Centers’ sales, parts, service and leasing departments, LaMarca and his team continue to successfully serve their growing customer base.
System Freight, Inc. currently runs a mix of Mack Anthem and CXU single and tandem axle day cabs in a variety of acquisition methods:
- 50+ full-service lease units through Bergey’s Leasing Associates
- Bergey’s is responsible for fleet uptime, including maintenance, repairs and replacement units.
- Multiple company-owned assets with contract maintenance plans from Bergey’s
- Contract maintenance plans provide fleets with a schedule and set pricing to help with budget projections.
Planning for Success
Today, the management team at System Freight, Inc. is focusing on a few key factors:
- Fuel economy
- Analyzing incremental savings
- Utilizing PeopleNet for online reporting
- Safety Equipment
- System Freight, Inc. reported improved stats on accident ratios with new safety equipment, including front collision mitigation systems and blind spot detection. This safety equipment decreases accidents and improves driver recruitment and retention.
Over the next five years, LaMarca hopes for changes to improve the future of the industry.
- Updated recruiting strategies
- Reduced legal age for CDL drivers
- More female drivers entering the CDL workforce
- Changes in immigration laws/processes to encourage new entries into the country to learn to drive trucks as a way to enter the workforce
Jim LaMarca is honored to be a part of the team that has made System Freight, Inc. such a success. He is especially proud of the company’s top-notch customer service and subsequent business growth.
Jim have to
I believe that the future is driven by people. I believe that our future is a positive one because I believe in our team, our customers and our partnerships.”
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