Shulist Trucking

Taking pride in moving your ride

From as far back as she can remember, Tracy Shulist wanted to drive trucks. “As a kid, I would play with toy trucks and mechanic’s tools,” she laughs. “It was just something I had always wanted to do.” As she got older, she never wavered in her career path, and in 1987, Tracy got a job driving trucks across Canada and United States. After working for various companies, racking up miles and experience, she decided it was time to start her own business. In 1995, Shulist Trucking was born.

Despite increases in the female truck driver population, when Tracy began in the industry, there weren’t too many women in the field. “We were few and far between,” she recalls, adding that trucking was a tough industry to crack at first. “There were some of the lumps and the bumps to get where I am today, but you learn to keep a stiff upper lip. Being the stubborn person I am, I did a lot of proving—not in a loud way; but I knew what to say and when to say it, without being rude. I knew that sooner or later it would come around.” And she was right. Tracy remains the president of one of the Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For in North America.

‘The odder, the better’

Located in King City, Ontario, Shulist Trucking has made quite a name for itself over the years. As a diversified transportation company, Shulist Trucking specializes in fleet transportation management and services for any type of load, including dry freight, wheeled equipment and oversized equipment—Shulist can work with every request, no matter how particular.

“We do a whole bunch of odd jobs,” says Tracy. “The odder the better. There is a market for the kind of work we do and not a lot of logistics companies can do it. That’s how we distinguish ourselves: doing anything that’s unusual.” Because customer experience is the top priority, Shulist Trucking wants to offer whatever service its clients require of them, from Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping and specialized equipment transport to shuttle service that delivers oversized, drivable equipment. “We try not to refuse anything that helps the customer and, by extension, future business,” she adds.

In addition to transporting anything and everything, Shulist Trucking also offers short-term storage to help manage delivery times and workflow during peak seasons. Short-term storage is beneficial for customers who need additional space during the moving process. It’s also helpful because Shulist will fulfill shipment requests from its facilities, saving the customer time and effort to locate space elsewhere.

Keeping up

While the trucking industry may seem as simple as moving goods from Point A to Point B, there are a lot of factors and guidelines to consider. “The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) changes its rules and regulations, so we have to stay on top of the Highway Traffic Act,” Tracy maintains. “That’s why we focus most of our business in Ontario. As a small company, it takes a lot of manpower to broaden our horizons and enter other provinces or go into the United States. Every district has its own set of rules.”

“Dealing with the government is always a challenge, but everyone has to do it,” she continues. “Whether it’s by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or the MTO, we all get audited. So long as you stay with your due diligence, read the chronicles and go to meetings—which we do—things will run well.” As a member of the Ontario Trucking Association, Shulist Trucking leverages its access to industry updates about safety, customs regulations, taxation, labour relations and environment issues.

Bringing up the bottom line

In next few years, Shulist Trucking has some lofty goals to make the company even better. After spending years focusing on the customers, Tracy talks about putting some resources into the people who make it all happen: her employees.
“We have a great group of guys working with us,” she says. “Everyone here is terrific and we work as though we are a family. In the next five years, we want to concentrate on increasing profits to take better care of our people by bringing up the bottom line. We are interested in starting a profit sharing program or a bonus program for employees.”

“The goal isn’t necessarily to increase the fleet or amount of equipment,” Tracy adds, “but it would be nice to have 17 to 20 trucks—no more than that in the next five years. The bigger you get the harder you fall,” she laughs. “I want to take care of our people and keep servicing the customers we do have. At this stage, there is room to find some more pillar customers that we could offer the same level of service.” As the company continues to under-promise and over-deliver, Shulist Trucking Ltd. has a bright road ahead.