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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2022

An innovator redefining logistics with decades of experience and satisfied customers: PLS Logistics Services

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In the highly competitive world we live in, logistics play an essential role in the growth of businesses. Top-notch logistical services translate to lower costs, higher production rates, increased efficiencies, better inventory control, more intelligent use of warehouse space, and increased customer and supplier satisfaction. The logistics activities within a business organization attempt to help businesses flourish by achieving the time and location-related market challenges, the cost of the service provided, and the quality. Globally there are various logistics firms delivering excellent services, but PLS Logistics Services stands out from the rest. PLS Logistics Services was founded in 1991 as Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc., with seven employees and a single metals customer in Cherrington Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Over the last 30 years, the firm has strived to help companies to grow their business through reliable and quality logistics transportation services.

When it comes to motivation, PLS’ people are the lifeblood of its company. PLS works to create an environment for extensive career development and growth through all its positions and offices. The firm’s employees’ passion, dedication, energy, and camaraderie have made the company what it is today. That’s why PLS’ top priority is creating opportunities for motivated, driven, and hard-working young professionals.

In conversation with Gregory Burns, Chairman, President, and CEO of PLS Logistics Services

Q. Can you explain about your services in brief?

We manage more than 1 million loads annually through all major freight modes: Truckload, LTL, rail & barge, air, ocean, and intermodal. Using our innovative TMS, PLS Pro, and a robust carrier network, we make efficiency and transparency a top priority for our customers. Our Scope of Services is as follows:

  • Freight Brokerage Services
  • National Accounts Solutions
  • Transportation Management System
  • Inbound Freight Management
  • Outsourced Transportation Management

Q. Unanticipated Costs, Potential for Setbacks, Integration Difficulties, and Quality Suffers are an inevitable part of logistics. How do you overcome these without disrupting the business flow?

Frequent supply chain disruptions have continuously proven to be both a challenge and an opportunity. Utilizing our network of 55,000+ qualified and vetted carriers and 600+ global employees, we’ve served our customers well by providing capacity under challenging conditions while delivering real-time visibility on their freight and supply chain status.

Q. How do you meet consumer demands and minimize overall costs involved in logistics processes?

As we all learned during the pandemic, supply chains are incredibly complex systems with many opportunities for disruptions. The disruptions can range from small risks, like manufacturing, to significant risks, like natural disasters. Our specialists commit to optimizing our customer’s supply chain and the streamlining costs that come with it. We understand that supply chain disruptions can be frustrating, so we provide logistic solutions with a tailored approach to prepare our customers for any roadblocks along the way.

Q. There is a talent war in logistics. Among the scarce pool of talent, how do you manage to source the best?

Attracting top talent is essential to our organization. It continues to evolve, but at the end of the day, our 30-year track record of growth and stability ensures that we’ll be ready for every challenge. In a growing industry like logistics, quick expansion is a competitive advantage. Everyone at PLS Logistics Services has a strong sense of urgency in anything they do, and our recruiters are at the forefront. We focus on a talent pipeline vs. a talent pool. A talent pipeline includes all vetted candidates with the qualities and skillsets to be considered for a position immediately.

Q. A logistics network performs its best when all its departments and operations function efficiently. How can we improve visibility and working procedure through your solutions to support organizations? 

To improve our visibility, we created and innovated a Transportation Management System, PLS PRO, which is web-based and user-friendly. As a result, our customers get details on their freight, operational consistency, pricing, and detailed reporting. On our end of this tool, we manage loads by connecting with our vetted carrier network of over 55,000 partners. All of which results in streamlined efficiency, capacity, and best pricing for our customers.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

We pride ourselves on constant innovation with PLS Pro making it a streamlined customer-centric tool. We have new release updates happening as frequently as the industry changes.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?

Our corporate headquarters recently moved to the Westinghouse campus in Cranberry Township, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, our downtown Pittsburgh office recently moved to the Highline on the South Side. As our business continues to grow, we hope to not only gain new customers, but we are also looking to expand our internal departments as well. These departments in all offices include Sales, Recruiting, Human Resources (HR), Operations, Information Technology (IT), Finance, Marketing, and Corporate Administration.

Meet the leader behind the success of PLS Logistics Services

Gregory Burns is the Chairman, President, and CEO of PLS Logistics Services, a leading third-party logistics provider to industrial companies in North America, with annual revenues of 1 billion. Mr. Burns has worked with companies in the transportation and logistics sector and related industries for over 25 years as an operator, consultant, and research analyst. Mr. Burns also serves as President of Blue Line Advisors, a strategic consulting firm that provides consulting services to companies in the transportation and logistics sector. From 2001-2005 Mr. Burns was Vice President and research analyst at JP Morgan Inc., responsible for research coverage of the trucking rail and global logistics industries. Before JP Morgan, Mr. Burns worked at Lazard, leading the firm’s research on the non-asset-based logistics industry. From 1998-2001, Mr. Burns was a member of the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team in the Airfreight and Logistics category. Mr. Burns is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a member of the council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the Transportation Intermediaries Associations (TIA), the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR), and a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Mr. Burns received his B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, Ct.

“Through our innovative TMS and carrier network, we make efficiency and transparency a top priority for our customers.”