June 27, 2009

Driver Pay and Benefits Stay Untouched at Marten Transport

Like all U.S. companies in the last year, Marten Transport needed to reduce expenses in a tough economy. But unlike most other carriers, Marten forged ahead without lowering driver pay or downgrading benefits. "I didn't want us to be known as the company that cut driver pay," says Randy Marten, Marten's CEO. "We put our focus on other cost cutting measures." To start, the company kept customer relationships strong by providing excellent service to existing customers. Marten Transport also expanded service to those customers by bidding competitively for additional business as well.

The company has aggressively sought new customers and expanded lanes, terminal locations and driving opportunities. "Everything we've done has been with an eye toward not just surviving an economic downturn, but to coming through the tough time stronger than ever," says Tim Norlin, Marten's Director of Recruiting. "The last thing we want to do is to negatively affect driver compensation. Through all of the ups and downs, we have never cut pay, dropped benefits, suspended 401(k) or vacation time. We haven't forced time off like a lot of places have." According to Norlin, the company implemented cost-cutting measures for fuel, office supplies, insurance and more.

"Basically, we looked everywhere we could to keep our service high and costs low," says Norlin. "Because of this, our driving force has been able to concentrate on driving, not worrying about their income." In 2008 and 2009, Marten has opened several new regional runs including Midwest, Southeast, South Central, and Western fleets. The newest regional opportunity is the Southwest Regional runs out of Phoenix, Ariz., which includes California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Richmond, Va., is the base for Marten's Mid-Atlantic Regional runs going as far south as Atlanta, Ga., west to Indiana, and up and down the Atlantic seaboard. "The Mid-Atlantic Regional fleet still has some outstanding opportunities open," says Norlin. "It's a great fleet to get into." As always, Marten also has OTR opportunities for those who want the longer hauls with higher earnings. Company drivers at Marten still enjoy a solid pay package, bonus programs, a 401(k) plan, 95 percent no touch freight, EZ Pass for most tolls, and much more.

Owner operators at Marten can take advantage of business support services through ATBS, the largest business services provider for owner operators. Plus, owner operators increase profitability by taking advantage of Marten's purchasing power on shop fees, tires, APUs and more. Marten's enhanced benefits plan provides owner operators with an affordable option for major medical/catastrophic health coverage with no underwriting, no waiting period and competitive rates. Marten Transport, headquartered in Mondovi, Wis., specializes in transporting food and other consumer packaged goods that require a time and temperature-sensitive or insulated environment.

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