Lessons Earned: Achieving success by not cutting corners

The ability to turn risk into success has allowed Jade Transport to become a leader in a specialized market.

Though they’re known for being a Western Canadian-based transportation leader, Jade Transport’s roots can be traced back to Mexico where the company’s founder, Jake Dyck, first began his career in trucking. In 1969, Jake formed the company, focusing on hauling bulk liquids into Winnipeg. Almost 20 years later in 1984, his son Larry and daughter-in-law Kim purchased the business from Jake, and brought in partner, Greg Arndt two years later.

Since then, these dynamic partners have grown the business to transport a wide variety of liquids as a specialized carrier across Canada and the northern border states of the U.S. And their fleet has expanded to over 183 trailers, which includes 109 stainless steel tankers and 87 tractors and owner-operators.

Paving the way for growth

Even though the company has enjoyed decades of enduring success, they have also been faced with their fair share of challenges. The team at Jade Transport experienced a major struggle when one of their customers was going out of business. “We had a situation when the industry was deregulated in the late 1980s,” Greg Arndt, Vice President, explains. Jade Transport and the third-party company were working very closely together, and they owed Jade Transport a lot of money. “That was a scary time for us, and we had to really scramble quickly to regulate our cash flow.” With cash flows being so important to any company, a major client declaring bankruptcy can often be detrimental for any B2B that relies on that business.

Ultimately, the Jade Transport team was quick on their feet and managed to take over many of the assets that the now-defunct company possessed at the time. “We came in and assumed the business,” recalls Greg. “There wasn’t a non-compete clause in our deal with them, so we jumped in and showed their customers that we would continue to provide them service as best we could.” What started as a point of major concern for the company turned into steady, solid business accounts for Jade Transport moving forward. 

Expanding into new markets

As the years have progressed, Greg and Larry have expanded their markets both geographically and in their service area. And that has allowed them to grow from five trucks in 1986 to close to 90 trucks in 2018. In addition, the company’s expansion into specialized hauling has had a positive impact on their business. “We’ve developed a niche market for ourselves and have grown in that market,” Greg says. “We’ve done work from British Columbia to Newfoundland and across 49 states in the US. And we’re a specialized carrier now with not a lot of people hauling in stainless steel tanks like we do.”

Maintaining the highest standards

Jade Transport handles many different highly specialized types of liquid hauling, which makes them more diverse than a lot of hauling companies. They transport everything from corrosive and flammable liquids, hazardous wastes such as contaminated water, and continue to haul asphalt, which is where it all started.

Greg knows that part of the reason they maintain so many clients is because of their dedication to keeping their trailers clean inside and out. “The risk of contamination is high,” he notes.
“We do chemical work, as well as some food grade and pharmaceutical work, so it gives our shippers confidence to see pristine trailers. Actions speak louder than words."

Their tractors also showcase the same attention to detail with custom paintwork with bold colours and a high level of cleanliness — with some of the tractors being show quality.

Jade Transport is proud of the company’s commitment to their clients and always providing the best service possible — having achieved the ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2018. They’re also a CVSA approved inspection station, enabling them to certify trucks to operate anywhere in North America.

Finding a partner in CWB

In 1998, the need for new building additions and renovations led Jade Transport to seek out a bank that would support their venture. And in CWB, they found a partner who was willing to take risks and grow with their company. “It felt like we were being treated as a partner and not someone looking at you with a jaundiced eye,” explains Greg.

Jade Transport got the money they needed and the relationship with CWB has grown ever since. “It’s more personal, more relational, more old-styled, which we like.” Greg says. The relationship that Jade Transport and CWB have fostered will allow Jade Transport to continue to prosper.

CWB is here to support companies throughout every stage of their business. Speak to a CWB advisor today to see how they can help your business grow.