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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Solid reputation drives company's strong growth

By John Chick
Toronto Sun

In its more than 75 years of existence, Mac-Kinnon Transport has earned a solid reputation of building strong relationships and focusing on safety and financial stability.
MacKinnon Transport is proud of its 75-year heritage

MacKinnon's humble beginnings started in the little town of Caledon doing business off the kitchen table. Since that time the company has grown into a major player in the transportation industry in Canada and the United States.

State-of-the-art terminal

MacKinnon's 40,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art terminal is located on a 20-acre site in Guelph, and houses the maintenance facility along with safety, administration and logistics and operations departments.

Back in the 1920s, Leslie MacKinnon and his brother Norm operated a family farm in Caledon. By the end of the decade however, the great depression was underway and there was not significant income from the farm to support the family. On June 4, 1929, Leslie's 37th birthday, he purchased a used 1928 Chevrolet straight-back truck, using a car his father-in-law had left him as a down payment. Leslie began hauling livestock to the Toronto stockyards and on his return trips brought back coal, fertilizer and other supplies. For the next 14 years the business operated with one truck and a base of 125 customers. In those days, Leslie's expenses ran around $2 per day, which covered fuel and meals on the road.

Today, not surprisingly, the company has a staff turnover rate that is well below the industry average. Management invests in safety training and communication with employees, keeping them in the loop as to the company's goals and progress.

"Basically the people we hire and train for the most part stay with our company, so we have truck drivers here who have more than 45 years seniority and that's a big contributing factor towards safety achievements," said Evan MacKinnon, the company's CEO and current chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

"Our concentration has not been on growth totally from a sales standpoint, but on the quality of clientele, their sectors in the industry and our service capabilities," he said. "We have one customer we've done business with for over 52 years."

The safety achievements MacKinnon refers to include three fleet safety awards (1999, 2001, 2003) from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), something no other Canadian carrier has matched. The TCA is the largest truckload carriers trade association in the United States, and the largest division of the American Trucking Association.

MacKinnon Transport is proud to have been a "customer driven" service provider for the past 75 years. The company is thankful to all who have supported it through the good and bad times in the transportation industry, including the suppliers, the City of Guelph and the company's dedicated employees.

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