The stage was set almost 50 years ago, and the practices first put in place then at Venezia Bulk Transport have proven their worth. Established in 1967, the family-owned company takes pride in never wavering from its commitments. Today, brothers Frank, John and Andy Venezia operate the company.
“Venezia was founded on the principles that a trucking company should work hard to provide reliable service to its customers and should always treat its employees as family,” says Andrew Venezia, the company’s president. “At the same time, diversification has been a major driver of our success as a niche carrier in a crowded and competitive market.”
Based in Limerick, Pa., Venezia is made up of two separate bulk divisions that haul liquid and dry bulk commodities. Its 500 tractors and 1,200 trailers operate from 10 terminals in six states, covering a network of lanes that span 48 states and Canadian provinces. Venezia also operates at four rail transloading sites.
The diverse Venezia trailer fleet includes steel, stainless steel and aluminum trailers. Some trailers are spec’d with insulated barrels in single- and multi-compartment configurations to haul lubricants, chemicals, metered concrete admixtures, liquid asphalt and LPG. Other units handle a range of pneumatic dry bulk commodities, including cement, lime, starch and food-grade products such as flour, sugar, salt, malt, and plastic resins. Also included are flatbeds for its heavy haul division.
“We develop strong partnerships with our customers, so providing equipment tailored to meeting their needs becomes something we do regularly,” says Phil Nelms, director of operations. “That includes making sure our equipment is spec’d to handle the customer’s expected payload, is the right length for maneuverability at customer locations, and that we have a complete understanding of the product and how it needs to be handled.”
Frank Venezia, operations manager of the liquid division, points to several examples of how the company makes sure it has the right equipment to service customers. “Understanding how a specific customer’s product flows into our tanks during loading translates into how we spec a trailer to help expedite the delivery process,” he says. “Additionally, a thorough understanding of how trailers are cleaned, considering any internal hang up points, lets us make sure customers receive all their product from a safe and clean vessel. We also operate in some seasonally colder climates, so making sure equipment is spec’d to maintain product temperature keeps its integrity to a maximum.”
In its dry food grade division, working directly with customers’ loading, transportation group and logistics planners, Venezia is able to adapt equipment to meet customer needs and ensure food safety remains of the utmost importance, says JP Venezia, the company’s maintenance systems and food compliance manager.
“We removed one of the four standard dome lids to reduce weight and to center load distribution,” he explains. “To save weight we now spec aluminum frame ends in place of steel, 445/50R22.5 wide base single tires and lightweight food grade product valves.”
Safety, which is a high priority at Venezia, can also go hand in hand with productivity and cost savings. For example, the carrier recently started testing automatic opening dome lids, with early results indicating that they not only reduce loading time but also eliminate fall hazards for drivers. Likewise, adding a swivel to hot hoses on liquid tanks not only means drivers can move the hose without climbing onto the deck plate, but eliminates hose wear when it is moved from the trailer to the blower without stretching.