Leadership Q&A

John Luciani – COO LTL Services

Tell us more about your background – what led you to get started in the transportation industry?
My introduction to the transportation business is similar to that of many of my co-workers. I was supporting my way through college when I went to work for my first trucking company. During that time, I fell in love with the people and pace of the business. No two days are exactly alike and that has kept the business challenging and fun for more than 30 years.
What about Pyle attracted you to work for this company? Company culture, family-run business, etc.
Pyle has a great business strategy that is built around the engagement and discretionary effort of the team. The dedication and loyalty of the Pyle team starts with the Latta family and their commitment to developing and maintaining the culture. During 95 years of ownership, the Pyle and Latta families have always taken a long term approach to business and, in doing so, has earned and continued to build the trust of the team. The owner’s “stewardship” business philosophy, coupled with their commitment to the future, has been the foundation of our company culture, making it a very attractive place to start or continue a career.
Describe your role at Pyle.
As the COO of LTL Services at Pyle, I get to wear many hats to help the organization be successful. However, I feel my most significant contributions to our future are achieved by engaging with our customers and Pyle team. After speaking with our customers, I’m able to plan strategically for our future. By engaging and working with our Pyle leaders, many that are just starting their careers, I can help motivate them to see the opportunities available at Pyle and help them be the best leaders they can be. Mentoring the team to navigate through the inevitable challenges and then celebrating their successes is extremely rewarding.
Anything unique about your approach to LTL and Integrated Logistics operations?
I’m not sure my personal approach is unique, but I believe by leading our LTL business unit and feeling strongly about our integrated business strategy is the best approach for the long-term growth of Pyle. Having four disparate business units – Dedicated, W&D, Logistics and LTL – that can successfully work together for the benefit of our customers is unique within the industry. As a result, there is a requirement to balance resources, be creative and have more flexibility than any other point earlier in my career.
With decades of experience under your belt, what are some of the major ways truckload and logistics operations have changed over the years?
During my 30-plus years in the transportation industry, the advancements in technology have had the greatest impact on efficiency and driver safety. It has been interesting to be engaged in route optimization, the AOBRD and ELD migration to manage driver hours of service, on-board cameras and, more recently, having the ability to leverage document scanning as we strive to become completely paperless. As soon as we implement something new, it seems the next thing is being launched.
What are some market predictions that you believe will be shaping the future of the trucking and logistics industry?
As our customers look for creative and reliable solutions to eliminate delays in their supply chain, I believe Pyle is ideally positioned for the future with our comprehensive supply chain offerings. I believe that a combination of our culture and unique infrastructure can provide a superior cost and value proposition to our customers while providing growth opportunities to the Pyle team.

Frank Granieri – COO Supply Chain Solutions

Tell us more about your background – what led you to get started in the transportation industry?
When I was a freshman at Penn State, I took a job as a part-time seasonal package handler at UPS. My tenure with UPS lasted 10 years, and I credit the company with providing me with an invaluable education in leadership, hard work and operational discipline. I then left the transportation industry for a few years and tried my hand at a company that provided document management services and distributed copiers. It was there that I met my wife, who happened to be a member of the 4th generation ownership group of Pyle. I like to say that I was recruited to A. Duie Pyle by way of marriage!
What about Pyle attracted you to work for this company? Company culture, family-run business, etc.
I was attracted to the idea that I could dedicate the remainder of my career carrying forward a legacy that was established through the hard work and efforts of several generations of men and women before me. I also believe great progress and innovation can be made in flat organizations where people are empowered to enhance processes and drive results. Pyle’s lean structure fosters a nimble culture that is able to quickly pivot when opportunities exist to enhance our operations and better service our customers.
Describe your role at Pyle.
I am responsible for Pyle’s Supply Chain Solutions Group which includes Contract Dedicated Transportation, Warehousing & Distribution, and Logistics (Non-Asset TL, Drayage, and Managed Transportation Services.) My role is to recruit, develop and serve the Pyle People by removing obstacles that have the potential to limit progress in fulfilling our value proposition to our customers.
Anything unique about your approach to Dedicated and Warehousing & Distribution operations?
Our transportation and warehousing engineering group is engaged with every prospect and pursues consultative partnerships with our clients. We shy away from traditional RFP’s where companies are simply comparing costs between providers. We believe the greatest value can be derived from reviewing raw transportation data. This enables us to make suggestions regarding optimization of transportation and distribution including geographic location, vehicle and driver class, and productivity standards. We believe our role is to provide our customers with expertise derived from our 95 years of moving and storing goods.
In the next five years, what are some market predictions that you believe will be shaping the future of the trucking and logistics industry?
I believe we will continue to see the market move towards greater collaboration between Carriers, Shippers, and Brokers to drive out inefficiencies. Customers will look for providers that offer multiple services and can effectively integrate those services to provide seamless support of multi-facets of a company’s supply chains, in a manner that limits cost increases. I also believe that the C-Suite will view their transportation and warehousing strategy as a vital role to their future revenue growth and competitive differentiation.
Any logistics or operational challenges you see that are on the horizon?
I believe attracting and developing talented logistics professionals will continue to be a critical need to support the positive evolution of the industry.
How does Pyle plan to close out the year – any exciting updates to mention?
We are very excited with the progress of the construction of our Integrated Logistics Centers in Hagerstown, MD and Westfield, MA. Walls are being erected and customers are increasingly securing capacity in advance of our opening in 2020.
What achievement are you most proud of (during your time with Pyle)?
My greatest sense of satisfaction comes from seeing people develop and progress in their professional careers. The countless number of customer service reps, dock workers and various other positions that have worked hard and progressed to positions of greater responsibility in the organization as a result of their ambition and abilities speaks to both the company’s culture as well as the caliber of the Pyle People. People are our greatest competitive differentiator.