The North American company has seen significant growth in the last 10 years. Discover their journey from Canadian national company to leader in logistics.
FLS Transportation Services, founded in 1987, is one of North America’s fastest growing transportation logistics providers in the marketplace today. The company started in Canada, and originally focused on cross-border business with the U.S.
The mid-2000s saw the company establish its business in the U.S., right after the Canadian dollar’s value increased dramatically in 2004. Without a move into the U.S., which has 10 times the market size of Canada in the industry, it might have been the end of FLS. Instead, the company is growing at an incredible rate: just three years ago, FLS Transportation moved into Mexico.
The company, which provides reliable transportation solutions for small, medium, and large companies spanning a multitude of industries, has seen incredible growth in its auxiliary markets, where 80 percent of its business comes from the U.S. From 2005 to 2015, FLS Transportation saw 30 percent compounded growth, and 28 percent compounded growth of the bottom line.
The move into Mexico was punctuated by the growing cost of manufacturing and shipping from China. FLS Transportation had the foresight to move into Mexico before others in the transportation industry realized the value of moving business to the country. Where it used to take 28 days to get goods from China to the U.S., the same products can be shipped from Mexico in less than a week. Another plus? Costs are just as competitive.
“The success wasn’t immediate when we entered the U.S. market,” shared Mike Flinker, President of FLS Transportation Services. “But our people made it happen for us. We hire the best people we can. They’re aggressive, tenacious, and fit into the culture of the business. When employees like these go after large accounts like Walmart, they succeed.”
FLS Transportation made a previous attempt to set up shop in Mexico, but with a workforce that was not native to the region. With the language barrier, different laws, and a lack of understanding of the culture, the first effort was not successful.
Since then, the company has committed to employing the local population in its Mexican locations. This change in mindset has provided the leverage necessary to succeed in this market.
“Our Mexican employees have absolutely been the key to the successful integration of FLS Transportation into the business fabric of South America. Not only have these employees taught us so much about the wonderful culture, but it’s been much easier this time around. We better understand the customs, the way things are done professionally, and how business relationships are built.”
Flinker was quick to credit the company’s staff in each country they operate in for the goals the company has reached. He shared that while many people today believe that the newest technology is what sets companies apart from their competitors, the biggest companies in the world know it’s not the case.
“You see the Googles, Microsofts, and Oracles of the world, and it’s the people who built and continue to build the companies that make them great, not the tech. People are always the key ingredient.”
FLS Transportation’s technological capabilities make the company more efficient, there’s no denying that. The company can track and manage inventory, and manage clients’ warehouses. But technology isn’t why, for example, Sandra Fraser was able to work her way up from Director of HR to Vice President of HR and Corporate Performance—her incredibly hard work and her determination, in addition to the company’s commitment to its culture and employees, are what drove this career path.
“There are two critical components for success at FLS Transportation,” Flinker shared. “One, our devoted employees. Two, we treat our clients like gold. We understand that they have a tremendous amount of options. Clients take years to gain and seconds to lose. Our philosophy of taking care of our clients is creating a terrific partnership built on honesty.”
Founded in 1987, FLS now has facilities all across North America strategically located to serve our current and future customers. FLS provides reliable transportation solutions for small, medium and large companies spanning a multitude of industries. FLS’s ability to remain focused on the customer’s needs and provide flexible, scalable, proactive and reactive solutions allow us to serve your unique requirements.
While FLS remains a leader in our field by investing in new technologies and infrastructure that our industry and clients command, the true resource behind each client experience is our people. The FLS teams you partner with are trained to provide you peace of mind when moving your precious goods throughout your supply chain.
Our success is measured by your success — our #1 priority.
FLS Transportation Services HQ
180 N La Salle St, Suite 2950
Chicago, IL 60601