By Sean Delaney
Everyone thinks a truck is a truck, but really we’re an extension of what our customers and clients are trying to accomplish, said Vince Tarantini, president of the Carmen Transportation Group. Good shipping and good service is a balancing act between a number of considerations, and years within the business along with the quality leadership of a father who paved the road before him, has led Tarantini to the successful Emery Village business he runs today.
“We’re trying to get goods to market,” Tarantini said, breaking down the basics of his business. “What do you need? How do we get that there and be sensitive to your need? Is it timing? Is it equipment on the truck? Is it staging? Is it trailer pools? Do we need to work with people on receiving end? All of these can be considerations.”
But to run a quality transportation company, Tarantini explained, one will need to consider two main factors first.
But let’s start where the Carmen story began.
“Carmen is my father’s name,” Tarantini said. His father began the company in 1985 with the purchase of a single truck. He was in the oil and tanker business, and bought a five tonne local cartage truck that became available by chance. It was a steady run for a specific client, a furniture manufacturer in North York.
“It was exactly what he was looking for at the time,” Tarantini said. “Something more regular. He started working for that specific client and then in 1990, bought a second truck.”
Tarantini began working with his father, never really knowing if it was going to be a career. As a lot of young people do, he debated about getting into the family business, or his own path after finishing college. Once he was through college he said, his education helped him to begin to see the business potential in what his father had begun.
“It began with expanding from the one client,” he said. “We had always worked for the one manufacturer, and were doing some regional things for that manufacturer, so I began to ask about possible business elsewhere.”
The goal was to explore other avenues, and with some simple enquiries, they did.
“We kept that piece of our business, where we do dedicated services for the one client, but we began to service other clients in southern Ontario with another group, and then started to cross the border.”
With the US being so vast, Tarantini said they didn’t get to complex with their strategy, they stuck to what they enjoyed, picked lanes that intrigued them, and hit the road.
“We picked our points, it wasn’t sophisticated. We just picked a lane, knowing we liked longer routes, and started.”
They began in Texas and Florida.
“They were right for our sales concept,” Tarantini said. “We know what we’re going to sell, and we knew where we were going to sell it.”
But what they’ve built their business on is a foundation of those two fundamental concepts.
Being mindful of their staff and their trucks, and the rules of the road.
Some companies sacrifice regulations to get there faster, and some sacrifice customer needs to meet regulations. Tarantini said the foundations his father built, specifically inspired by his endless work ethic, ensured Carmen had a perfect balancing act of each.
“Sometimes the shippers and receivers aren’t that mindful of the laws and regulations we have to follow, like maintenance and hours of service for our drivers,” Tarantini said. “Our industry has a lot of regulations, and not everybody complies. But that wasn’t going to be us. That wasn’t going to be our story.”
His father was always a stickler for maintenance. He was tireless at making sure his trucks were always ready for use, and safe.
And it’s made them a better business.
“If you’re going to be mindful of both, you have to plan,” Tarantini said.
And they’ve become just what his father wanted. A capable and reliable transportation company their clients and customers can plan on.
Carmen Transportation Group is at 3700 Weston Road, or reached at 416-667-9700.